How To Measure Website Performance

Measureing Your Website's Performance

Perhaps the most important number you need to know as a website owner is the ratio between visitor sessions and conversions.

Jed & Andy discussed this subject in detail in one of their Tea Time Talks:

(You can see more great videos on our very own digitalROAR YouTube Channel.)

The reason it’s so important is because it establishes how efficiently your website is performing.

Take the example of an eCommerce store where this metric is most noticeable. The number of sales will be highly visible and very often in relation to the number of visitors the site is receiving. If sales fall off there will be a tendency to search out new sources of traffic to compensate.  

In the example of a non-eCommerce store this figure is less noticeable since it isn’t immediately reflected in pounds and pence. Instead the website will typically capture enquiries which then may (or may not) lead to sales.

Whichever website category you fall into understanding the visitor session : enquiry/sale ratio is essential in order to gauge your website’s efficiency at turning a visitor into a customer.

What makes this metric so key is that it helps; 

  1. Establish the level of return you are getting from the investment you made in your website
  2. Set a baseline from which you can improve your results.

It’s that last point which really helps you since it becomes is the figure you try to improve month-by-month through testing new ways to convert more visitors. After all by understanding the website’s past performance you can better underpin future success. (You can read more about this here: Why Testing & Failing Improves Your Website .)

It’s worth remembering that every time you increase the ratio from 100:1 to 100:2 you have effectively doubled the number of conversions you are receiving and simultaneously doubled your sales.

Let’s take a look at the actual data you need.

First of all go in to your website’s analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) and lookup the total number of Sessions on your website last month. (We’re looking for Sessions rather than the total unique visitors because we want to establish how many times the website needs to be interacted with to get a conversion, even by the same person, and not how many actual people visited. For example it could take someone five visits before they decide to leave their details and so we should count that as five interactions to get a contact and not one.)

Then look for the number of direct sales or, if you’re not an ecommerce store, the number of times your contact forms were filled in during the last month. If you can’t easily find that information (since website contact emails can end up spread across many people in your business) look for the number of times the “thank you” page was viewed. (This is the page which appears directly after a form as been successfully filled in.)

You now have two numbers; Visitor Sessions and Conversions (or Sessions and Converters in Google Analytics speak).

Total Users vs Conversions

Let’s imagine that you acquired 1000 visits in a month and 10 contact forms were filled in. Your website’s efficiency ratio is then 100:1.  In other words for every 100 visits you will receive 1 conversion.

This important metric now gives you a baseline from which you can focus your strategies and improve your results. (Looking for ideas on how to improve your website then check out: 33 Ways to Improve Your Website.)

One final thought it’s worth remembering that every time you increase the ratio from 100:1 to 100:2 you have effectively doubled the number of conversions you are receiving and simultaneously doubled your sales!

Have fun.


digitalROAR LogoAt digitalROAR we love helping our customers improve their website's performance through our After-Sales program.  Perhaps we can do the same for you?  Drop us a line below.