Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

The Single Most Important Website Metric

By
This story appears in the October 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Since Google Analytics was made available for free in 2005, marketers, media experts and everyone in between has struggled to make sense of the various it records--page views, visitors, uniques. Meanwhile, many business owners have ignored this data entirely, focusing only on the number of sales or leads a site generates. After all, if a website doesn't generate revenue or collect prospects' contact information, then something must be wrong.

Illustration by Romulaldo Faura

According to Jakob , co-founder and principal of Nielsen Norman Group, a Fremont, Calif., firm that conducts evidence-based online user research, neither the marketers nor the business owners are entirely right. The one data point that matters most is rate. This counts what percentage of visitors responded to calls to action on your site, such as clicking on an article, scheduling an appointment or buying a product. The rate provides an accurate measure of your website's effectiveness at engaging visitors, no matter whether you see 1,000 or 1 million visitors each month.

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

We make some of our best content available to Entrepreneur subscribers only. Become a subscriber for just $5 to get an ad-free experience, exclusive access to premium content like this, and unlock special discounts.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks