Skills & Expertise

7 KPIs of an Effective Website (And How to Measure)

Learn some of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) of websites that convert

Are you looking to generate more phone call leads? Or drive more email sign-ups? Maybe you want to test new content on your website?

Well, you simply can’t measure what you don’t track.

The fundamentals of any successful digital marketing campaign begin with setting goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).

KPIs allow you to determine what metrics define success for your business. This way, you can track all of your website’s data to understand your company’s performance over time.

By definition, a KPI is a quantifiable measure that gauges a company’s achievements based on pre-set goals and objectives.

Before you start measuring, you have to first set “SMART” goals based on your business objectives.

This will help you get a clearer and more definite picture of what you want to achieve and when you achieve it.

Below are seven of the most important KPIs of effective websites with tips on how to start tracking them so you’ll know how to tweak your website moving forward.

Note: You’ll notice that Google Analytics appears as the tool of measurement for most of the KPIs. I decided to use it as the primary tool. It’s loaded with features, it’s popular and it’s absolutely free. Also, chances are, it’s what you use on your website. If it’s not, use the KPIs to tell if your analytics tool matches up to Google Analytics.

MARKETING KPIs

These KPIs help you achieve your website goals based on marketing goals, such as generating more qualified leads, improving the subscriber rate and increasing awareness and trust.

1. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is probably the most common KPI. Everyone wants to know how many people become buyers on their site. I use “buyers” very loosely here.

This is because conversion doesn’t have to be just about sales. Conversion could be getting visitors to sign up to your newsletter, download an e-book or contribute to a cause.

As much as you want to reach a certain conversion rate, you’ll also want to analyze why a large percentage of visitors don’t convert.

2. Number of Qualified Leads

Some website owners are easily excited about the wrong things like a high number of website visitors. These are what are commonly referred to as vanity metrics.

You want to know how many of the visitors might actually buy from you. These are the qualified leads because they meet the qualification criteria you’ve set.

Traditionally, you’d track the URL on the “Thank You” page after the visitor fills out a form. This would be your overall conversion rate as discussed above. However, with this method you can’t track qualified leads, only the total number of leads. To get to the number of qualified leads, you’ll want to use customer relation management (CRM) software.

When a user fills out a lead generation form and clicks “submit”, Google Analytics transmits that data to your CRM platform. You can then score and rank the different leads to determine which are “qualified.”

3. Awareness Level

When you feel like you’re really pushing your brand out there, you’ll want to know exactly how effective your efforts are. There are several factors that indicate more people are getting familiar with your brand.

To help you with this, Google Analytics breaks down site traffic based on the source. If you look at these results (over time), you’ll get a sense of the percentage of your website visitors who already knew your brand by the time they made it there.

After you’ve started to track your current stats,  you can begin working towards increasing your website’s traffic based on your results.

SALES KPIs

These KPIs indicate if your website is doing enough to help you achieve sales goals like boosting your revenue.

4. Sales Conversion Rate

If you’re focused on the number of sales you make on your website, sales conversion rate is a metric to watch. Even though this is focused on sales, in Google Analytics, it’s measured like the aforementioned conversion rate.

Google Analytics has a built in E-commerce report, so if your sales are happening on your website, you can easily get to a variety of data about your sales conversion rate, including the total revenue, number of transactions and quantity of items purchased.

You can take this data further by looking at your most valuable sources of traffic in terms of where your biggest spenders come from or where your highest converting audience comes from. This sort of data can help inform your marketing plans.

5. Time Before Purchase

This is one of the least considered metrics. Most businesses just look at conversion, without caring to ask about how long it took a customer to convert.

If it takes multiple visits to your site before a customer buys from you, this doesn’t immediately mean trouble. They could just be taking time to get more familiar with your company, reading your site’s blog (you should have one), or a number of other acceptable reasons.

The problem comes if people don’t buy because your marketing message isn’t fined-tuned enough. You want to be closing deals as quickly as possible.

Most analytics tools offer this metric and Google Analytics shows this under E-commerce as “Visits to Purchase” and “Days to Purchase.” You should use it even if you’re not an online store. Setting up your analytics account to track the other kinds of non-purchase conversions (like those we discussed earlier) as part of the E-commerce reporting, does require some technical expertise, but it is possible.

6. Average Order Value

If you’re selling one product, it’s easy to understand that each conversion results in an amount equal to the product price. However, if you have several products, you want to know the average value of each order.

This tells you truly how much your efforts are paying off in converting customers. On its own, it’s not very valuable. But when coupled with context, you get a clear picture. In Google Analytics, it also appears under E-commerce.

UX KPIs

Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider your customer experience. Nothing will matter if the customer isn’t satisfied.

You want to make sure that whether on desktop or mobile, visitors get the best experience. The key metric here is customer satisfaction.

All other factors like navigation, page load time, mobile responsiveness, etc. boil down to improving customer satisfaction. They are factors you should test and tweak on your end based on the customer satisfaction.

7. Customer Satisfaction

To most people, customer satisfaction is highly subjective. This makes it a really hard metric to track—but it’s possible.

You need more than Google Analytics for this, though. One of the most qualitative ways you can measure customer satisfaction is through surveys.

Using a tool like SurveyMonkey, you can send out surveys to your customers to get a better understanding of what they think of your website. Qualaroo allows you to track more quantitative data according to user ratings. Temper lets you graph customer satisfaction trends.

You may also be able to get an idea from cart abandonment and bounce rate. Through these metrics, you can see where you started losing your customers.

You can also review and track your Net Promoter Score (NPS). This tells you, on a scale of 1 – 10, the likelihood of a customer buying from you based on their experience.

Measuring is the Surest Way to Grow

Successful digital marketing comprises much more than just a solid content marketing strategy, high search engine results page (SERP) rankings and spending money on social media ads.

It hinges on what is probably the most basic element of them all: your website. All the digital marketing effort is pointless if you didn’t make a website that’s effective for reaching your goals.

Start implementing these 7 key performance indicators on your site, and begin to track and review your progress over time. This is a surefire way to understand exactly where you stand right now, and plan for a stronger business in the future.

Alex Jasin can be found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Your website messaging is an opportunity to establish your reputation online and position yourself as an authority. Take our Copywriting for Websites course, to learn different styles of copywriting and best practices for creating effective, value-driven web copy.

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