Updated July 27, 2017

It wasn’t that long ago that pageviews were the hottest metric to hit town, and everybody was talking about how ‘sticky’ their site was. Today, we realize that getting somebody to your site is still a long way from accomplishing a goal. Conversion rate is quickly becoming the new hot metric, but is this metric any better than pageviews were?


As Matthew Roche points out in his article, “All Conversions Are Not Created Equal“, just getting more conversions might not be the key. You have to also keep an eye on revenue. An advertisement could create fewer conversions but still have higher overall revenue. As the article “Web Metrics That Matter” by Susannah Patton discusses, there is no standard metric that works for everybody across the board. It depends on the type of site you have, and the goals of that site.

For retail or e-commerce sites, some key metrics include drop-off rates and goal conversion. The Google Analytics report ‘Defined Funnel Abandonment’ pinpoints where customers drop out of the checkout process and even where they go. To keep track of how goal conversion changes due to improvements or changes, the Google Analytics report ‘Goal Conversion’ charts goals achieved per visit over time.

For lead generation and brand building sites some vital information would include who referred your visitors to your site and the quality of those referral sources. The Google Analytics report ‘Source Conversion’ shows which referral source drives the highest quality traffic. The report ‘Referring Sources’ indicates which referral sources, such as search engines, newsletters, and referral sites are associated with the most revenue.