Testing and Tracking – What Statistics to Track

by Wayne Sharer

International speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Retired navy officer, former commanding officer. Over 35 years of leading, coaching, mentoring, and speaking.

December 10, 2011

The first step to proper tracking is knowing what to track. There are literally hundreds of statistics you can track. Only a handful are truly important.

The Lifeblood of Your Business

The first few stats we’ll go over are the statistics that are the most important. You should be checking these statistics almost every day.

  • Visitors – How many visitors come to your website every day?
  • Sales – How many sales do you make each day on average?
  • Conversion Rate – Out of all the visitors that come to your website, how many make a purchase? This number is measured in percentage. If 1 out of every 100 visitors buys, you have a 1% conversion rate.

Improving these numbers will have a direct and powerful impact on your business’s bottom line.

User Behavior Statistics

There are several very useful statistics you can track to learn more about your user’s behaviors. These aren’t statistics you need to track very often, but they can be very useful to look at when you want to spend some time on improving your bottom line.

Bounce Rate – What percentage of your visitors leave without visiting another page? In other words, what percentage of your visitors will land on your site, decide it’s not for them and leave before they look at anything else?

Traffic Sources – Where does the majority of your traffic come from? Does it come from search engines, from other websites or from people who know your brand?

By identifying your #1 sources of traffic, you can identify where your marketing is most effective. Once you find something that works, you can simply increase your marketing efforts there to achieve even better results.

Keywords – Your analytics software can actually tell you what keywords people are typing into the search engines to find your website.

This is extremely useful for marketing purposes. Often time’s people will be type in keywords you would have never expected them to. By finding out about these keywords, you’ll learn more about what your market wants and how you can attract more visitors.

For example, if you’re selling a diet eBook but the majority of your customers are finding you with “online diet planner,” then you know what a good potential upsell product is.

Marketing Statistics

Marketing statistics are crucial for your bottom line. Improving any of these numbers will directly result in you making more money.

Conversion Rate – Out of every 100 visitors, how many will buy something?

This number is crucial. It’s also very easy to improve, especially if you haven’t done a lot of work on your conversion rate.

A 0.1% increase in your conversion isn’t a 0.1% increase in business; it’s a ten percent improvement in business. Improving your conversion rate just a little bit has a huge impact on your business.

Average Customer Value – This is yet another crucial element to the marketing equation. Your average customer value is how much each customer is worth to you over the long run.

To give a more concrete example:

You have a range of products from low end to high end. These are your prices and upsell rates.

Product #1 – $20

Product #2 – $80, 30% of your customers buy product #2.

Product #3 – $400, 10% of your customers buy product #3.

Product #4 – $1,000, 5% of your customers buy product #4.


Your average customer value is …

$20 + ($80 * 0.3) + ($400 * 0.10) + ($1,000 * 0.05) = $134

Most people try and make the majority of their income from their first product. As you can tell however, the majority of your income usually won’t come from making just one sale. Most businesses make most of their money by selling higher priced products to repeat customers.

Knowing your long term customer value is crucial to marketing. If you were only looking at the short term statistics, then it would make no sense for you to spend $40 to acquire a customer. On the other hand, if you know each customer is worth on average $134 to you, then it’s an absolute no brainer to spend $40 to acquire a customer.

If you didn’t know your long term customer value, you’d be leaving money on the table every time you turn down an advertising opportunity that will get you more money but costs more than $20.

Upsell Rate – Your upsell rate is another important statistic to track. Out of all your customers, how many will make a repeat purchase? Your sales process can have a big influence on this number.

ROI on Advertising – What is your return on your advertising investment? For every $1 you spend, how much money are you making back?

It’s very important that your advertising is carefully tracked. A lot of business owners will make advertising investments without carefully tracking their results. This results in overspending for results that under deliver.

Shopping Cart Dropout

One other important but commonly overlooked statistic is your shopping cart dropout rate.

This is the number of people who click your purchase link but don’t follow through and actually make a purchase. In some businesses, this number can be as high as fifty percent or more.

Often time’s businesses will shoot themselves in the foot by making the checkout process far too complicated. By simplifying your checkout process, you can reduce the shopping cart dropout rate and make more money.

Once you get more traffic, you can really start tackling the improvement of your checkout process. There are many ways to do this.

The most common and basic way is to make sure your checkout page looks the same as the rest of your website. You can also recap the benefits of your product on the credit card page or reassure your visitors that they’re making the right decision with a video on the page.

Some marketers have even had success by putting the order form right on the same page.

Summing Up Important Statistics

These are some of the more important statistics you should keep an eye on when you’re running your business.

As you can tell, there’s a lot that you can keep track of. You could spend hours just on tracking your statistics.

The intention isn’t to get stuck looking at numbers. The idea is to have a very good idea of where you are now so that you can improve your stats over the long run.

Up Next:  Installing and using Google Analytics

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