If you’ve ever used or seen Google Analytics, you know that there is a tremendous amount of data available. Reading and understanding it all can be difficult for some. You could literally spend days looking at every possible “this means this” and “that means that” scenario from that data for a single website.

How do we decide what’s important? Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. In this blog, we’ll explain four basic Key Performance Indicators that’ll help you out the most.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI): a single piece of data that we can use to measure a certain aspect of your website.

By viewing Google Analytics data, we can compare Key Performance Indicators with your website’s goals to get an idea of how well you are engaging with your visitors. If things aren’t working out, KPIs will tell us where your website needs improving.

Let’s get started!

1. Percentage of New Visitors

By looking at how many of your website’s visitors are new visitors, you’ll be able to tell whether your recent SEO or marketing campaigns have been successful in generating new traffic to your website.


If you find that your percentage of new visitors is steadily increasing month after month, you must be doing something right.  If you find that your percentage of new visitors is declining or is pretty standard across the board, you may want to take a look at your online efforts and what you could be doing more of or be better at.

Also take into consideration big events that your business or website sees in a given month that might cause a spike.  Or, if you’re a seasonal business such as a golf range or furnace company, you can expect to see seasonal deviations.

2. Visitors per Lead or Visitors per Sale

This Key Performance Indicator could be very simply explained as “How many visits does it take for my website to achieve its goal?”  Whether your goal is to sell something, generate a sales lead or get someone to join your membership, you need to know “Out of every 1,000 visitors, ‘x’ convert into a lead.

This KPI is a great way to determine whether your website is accomplishing its goals.  If you’re seeing thousands of visitors and only a couple of sales or leads, you probably have a problem.

  • What is it?
  • Are the prices too high?
  • Are shipping costs too high?
  • Site too slow to load?
  • Is the contact form hard to find or broken?

The list goes on and on, but this KPI is a good place to start.

3. Cost per Lead

Here’s where the math comes in, so pay close attention. math-lady-calculating-profit-key-performance-indicatorsOnce you know your Visitors per Lead or Visitors per Sale, take a look at the next Key Performance Indicator which is your Cost per Lead KPI. Consider this scenario.

Calculating Cost per Lead

You’re spending $5,000 per month in pay-per-click advertising and $5,000 in SEO services. Combined, they’re generating 22,000 visitors. Once those visitors get to your website, 7% of those visitors are converting via a purchase or a contact form submission.

What is your cost per lead?

7% of 22,000 is 1,540.  So essentially, you received 1,540 leads or sales at a cost of $10,000.  10,000 divided by 1540 is roughly $6.49 per lead in this case.

Next Step: Calculating Profit

Obviously the next step is to calculate out how much profit each of those leads makes you.  If you’re only making $5.00 in profit for each of these leads and they’re costing you an acquisition fee of $6.49, you’re losing money and you’ve got a problem. (Sometimes, maybe you don’t care if your goal is to create brand awareness)

If you’re making $20 or $1,000 in profit on average for each lead, you’re still turning a positive ROI.

4. Stickiness

The last basic Key Performance Indicator that we’ll cover for right now is “stickiness”.

Stickiness is an indicator of how much of your website visitors are viewing during their visits.

By looking at the level of involvement your visitors have with your website or how long they’re spending on each page you can determine a number of factors about the value of your content.

  • If they really like your content in a particular section of your site (like your blog), they’re likely to spend more time in that part of your website. This is a good indicator or content that’s working!  You should create more links to this content throughout your website and also analyze whether this “style” of writing should be used in worse performing sections.
  • If visitors used to spend a lot of time in a section of your site and don’t anymore, it probably means that it’s time to update your content.
  • If you find that they aren’t finding particular pages of your website, you may have issues with linking or navigation that you should look into.

Are they finding a high value page and quickly leaving it? Why? Time to do a little investigating!

KPIs at a Glance

There are many other Key Performance Indicators for you to consider, but knowing the basics of these four KPIs can do wonders for your online performance.  More importantly, they can help you make educated decisions about your web presence and keep track of whether what you’re doing is working.

As always, we’re happy to help if you need help with understanding these Key Performance Indicators, learning about other KPIs you should know about or if you don’t even have analytics installed.  Feel free to contact us at anytime to chat!

2 responses to “What are Website Key Performance Indicators?

Posted by Jim Plouffe

Nice breakdown – For how extensive Google Analytics, people tend to forget about the importance of the key numbers involved.

Posted on September 24, 2011 at 7:59 am

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Posted by The Best Examples of Key Performance Indicators | CallCenterBestPractices.com

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Posted on September 26, 2011 at 12:28 am

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