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Which CRO metrics should you monitor?

There are numerous places you can start when optimising your site or landing page for conversions. As a digital marketing agency, we would recommend starting with Google Analytics.

Analytics is a web analytics tool offered by Google. It works by tracking and reporting website traffic. We use Analytics to access reports that provide performance analysis – helping us to vastly improve return on investment (ROI).

To drive great results through analytics – you will need to have understand which metrics to focus on throughout a specific digital marketing campaign. In this blog, we’re going to highlight our most used analytics metrics that we monitor for conversion rate optimisation (CRO). These include:

  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • New vs returning customers
  • Exit rate
  • Site speed

Bounce Rate

The metric we tend to start with in the evaluation process is bounce rate. The bounce rate of a site can tell you how long users are staying before clicking off and exiting. It can also be broken down into specific web pages to measure individual bounce rate as opposed to overall. This would tell you when customers click on a page and leave on the same page.

For example, you could look at bounce rate on your homepage. If your bounce rate is high on your homepage – then perhaps you need to look at your content types or how easy it is to find a menu.

Time spent on site

The second metric we suggest looking at the average session duration. This is not just an indication of how long your visitors are staying on your site – it can also be used tell a story.

For example, if you find that users are generally spending a lot of time on site – this could be both a positive thing or an issue. We suggest looking at the metric alongside other user testing findings. If you find that there are problems with your site or users are being stuck on a specific page – then maybe there are some navigational issues that need fixing. On the other hand – it could mean visitors are enjoying you content. The key is to look at multiple metrics and work out the solution.

New vs returning customers

 Analysis different audience categories is another essential part of CRO. Site visitors may be repeat customers, or they could be new to your site. How would we use this metric to increase conversions? Well, if a lot of your visitors are new – then you can optimise performance based on this audience type. You’ll know that you need to work on your brand recognition and awareness.

If you’ve got a lot of returning visitors, it is likely they already have an interest in your brand so you can focus on encouraging them to convert. Try to focus on how you can increase the session duration even more or use a CTA or special offer to encourage a purchase.

Exit rate

We previously mentioned bounce rate, which tells us when a visitor arrives on a page and leave on the same page. Exit rate is a slightly different metric which tells us when a visitor clicks on multiple pages and what their last page is.

We would use exit rate to understand more about customer or visitor journeys on a site. For example, in e-commerce, you could look at the exit rate based on the checkout process. If a high number of visitors are leaving at the checkout page, then you will know that you need to make some changes. We would optimise the page to encourage a conversion and make it as straightforward as possible

Speed of site

 The speed of a site plays a huge part in your conversion rate. If your site is too slow, users will likely get bored and head back to search. When using Google Analytics, you can look at your site speed on a specific web page or overall. When breaking it down to individual pages, you can pinpoint whether one page is where the users are getting stuck.

As a general rule of thumb, we’d say anything over seven seconds is definitely too long for a page to load. Users trend to give up on a page if it takes this much time, so you will know it needs to be optimised. The speed could be the result of a number of things, including:

  • A javascript issue
  • Unoptimised images
  • A high amount of flash content
  • Too many ads
  • Bad hosting


 Google Analytics can tell you whether most of your visitors are using a mobile or desktop device. This is beneficial because you might have a considerably higher amount of people coming from a specific device. So, let’s say most of your visitors are using a mobile device. You will know that you need to form a CRO strategy and testing structure for this audience. Use mobile testing to improve their experience on your site.

In-Page Analytics

In-page Analytics is a helpful add-on tool for your site. You can use the tool on a page of your choice to work out where visitors are clicking. For example, are they watching a video or clicking on a specific link first? With this data, you will understand more about the elements on a page that are more important to your audience. If you find that a link is driving the most clicks – optimise around that.

Get in touch

There is a lot of useful information that you can access in Google Analytics to improve a site. It’s a great Google service that helps us to understand more about customer and visitor journeys – which is essential when optimising for conversions.

Today, we have listed some of the most common metrics – but you might have some more questions. Feel free to get in touch with our London based team if you want to find out more. You can also take a look at our conversion service here – including call tracking and of course CRO.