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9th December 2013

Your site’s true value. Measuring beyond ‘hits’.

Many website owners fail to recognise the value of their sites and online community.

Without the right experience or information, owners can potentially under or over value their real estate. Undervaluing it could mean not generating their maximum potential, while over valuing could lead to a large in investment with little to no return.

If you are in the process of working out the value of your site, and what ways are available to you for revenue generation then consider dropping me a line at [email protected].

In this post I’m going to highlight four metrics you should consider, taken from my recent ‘Maximising your digital revenues’ talk, recently delivered at the SOLD Conference.

Most people will be aware of the phrase ‘website hits’, ‘visitors’ and ‘unique visitors’ used to measure the success, value and financial opportunities of a website.

Although a large quantity of visitors is certainly an encouraging sign for a website, it is not the only measurement to consider, plus remember quantity does not mean quality, and the quality of your visitors impacts on its value.

You may have also heard the phrase ‘page ranking’, and although it sounds great to have a high page ranking, bear in mind that rankings differ from location, and computer due to localisation and personalisation settings of search engines and users. You may, therefore, be pleased to know that these are not the only measurements you can make to evaluate the value of your digital real estate, especially those who have a more average visit rate.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is a term used in web analytics. Meaning the percentage of visitors who access your site and then leave without viewing other pages.

If you are using tools such as Google Analytics, you can measure your bounce rate. Does a user access your site and move on without taking a look through? If a site boasts 5,000 unique visitors a month, it may have a bounce rate of 95%. This means that the site is engaging 250 unique visitors per month (which may or may not be a substantial number, depending on your measurement criteria – but it’s certainly more accurate than if merely considering total unique visitors).

Targeted traffic on a site with an average visit rate but low bounce rate is much more valuable than huge low quality traffic numbers. Plus, for many years there have been services to inflate your visit/traffic rate that ‘generate’ visits to your site using methods such as pop unders, iframes and other embedding techniques to build up the numbers. This is where a bounce rate can be very useful to sift out the rubbish.

Dwell time on page/site

How long does a user spend on a particular page? This can be useful in finding out if the user is simply skimming, or is actually reading and/or interacting with your content – especially if you allow commenting. Does your content keep users occupied and engaged? If so, then again you are doing something right! Credible content from a trusted source creates a valuable lead in that individual, and adds value to your website. The same applies to the dwell time on your overall site. For content rich sites that include blogs and other articles of content, the higher the site and page dwell time, the better.

Page views per visit

A number of page views per visit on your site is a good indicator of user engagement. It can suggest valuable content, and an information rich site that hold visitor attention. However, be sure to check users’ routes  through your site as sometimes they can indicate a poorly designed site structure.

For example, how long are they spending on each page? Are they clicking through ten pages just to find the information they want to? (Check out the dwell time per page and visit and consider the amount of information on each viewed page).

The more quality page views per visit, the more credibility your site has, and the more value it has to those wishing to get exposure.

Repeat visitors

If people are coming back, then you are doing something right. This means you are offering content or services that they value and trust. You are building up more credibility with these users, thus other services or advertisements you serve to them can be better received rather than playing the numbers game.

If you are in the process of working out the value of your site, and want to know about about what ways are available for revenue generation, just drop me a line at [email protected]co.uk.

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