Awesome, so everybody is up to date on Jet’s Favorite Freesources and checked out the intro on Analytics earlier this week right? Okay great, that’s great news. Let’s dig a little bit deeper - today we’ll touch on what you as a pet store owner should be tracking on Analytics, what you can learn through it when it comes to marketing your pet store, and how to adjust your pet store marketing strategy with your data analysis.
If we get a little too technical or deep in the weeds, sorry about that! We definitely geek out about these things here at Pet Engine and we’re happy to help you out if you’re in need! Schedule a call with us and let’s see what kind of synergy we can drum up.
Before we really go in depth with Analytics, we should mention that Analytics is a tool that’s used to track the success of your other assets, namely online campaigns and your website. If your website creates holes in your sales and marketing funnels, Analytics will show you how.
As a pet store, your website is destined to attract an audience, but it should be able to hold and convert the potential customers into real customers. This all depends on how you choose to optimize and use these metrics so that they best fit your brand and website. There are so many different ways that a website can increase their rates of retention and conversion, but prior to taking on the endeavor you must figure out which specific metrics it is that you are trying to improve for your brand. For example, a brand awareness campaign may be focused on new users, or a campaign centered around product sales would be focused on conversions. These metrics that are most important for your business are commonly called key performance indicators, or KPI’s.
Alright, play time is over, let’s get to the meat and potatoes, or dog treats and catnip, whichever you prefer.
10 Metrics Pet Stores Should Track with Analytics
New or Unique Visitor Conversion
It is vital to know that the way in which a returning visitor interacts with your website will be different from how a first-time visitor will interact with your website. You will have a low rate of conversion for new or unique visitors if your website is not user friendly. These new visitors will be the ones that are seeing everything for the first time, and will not be privy to any “tricks” to better use the website. It needs to provide a great user experience up front. Your pet store’s website should be user friendly, brand-centric, with messaging designated for your target audience. We can help with that 😉
Sources for Incoming Traffic
Ideally, your website would have incoming traffic streaming in from a variety of sources. There are three categories for the primary sources: direct visitors, search visitors, and referral visitors.
Your direct visitors will be those who have come to your site by typing in your exact URL into the address bar in their browser.
Your search visitors will be those who have arrived to your website based on a search query that they have entered.
Your referral visitors will be those who visit the website because it was mentioned somewhere on another website or blog that they were visiting
All three of the sources are very important, but they have different levels of conversion. Because of this, you should be calculating how much traffic each individual source is converting, and then take action based on these numbers.
If your direct visitors number is low, is your website easy for people to remember? Is it advertised in a way that is widely available? If it isn't you may be losing direct visitors to search visitors—those who had to remember details about your brand in order to find your website.
Keep in mind, for pet stores that haven’t made the jump to eCommerce yet, a conversion can be a click to “call here,” or a click to “get directions,” or a form fill, or a new subscriber.
Interactions Per Visit
Even when there are visitors to your website that do not convert, you must still monitor their behavior on your website. By digging into the behavior flow on your pet store’s website, you can understand how many pages the average visitor is looking through, which pages are most commonly looked at, which pages they leave from (more on that later), and so on. Does your pet store’s website have multiple conversion points along the average visitor’s web path? Worth looking into right?
Return Visitor Conversion
When someone has returned to your website, there are two very important questions that you should be asking yourself: why did this person return, and did they convert the first time they visited—if they did not, what can you do to convert this person on their return visit? Your brand left enough of an impression on them to make them to return to the website. Now that you know that you can entice visitors to return, your next goal should be to single out the conversion rate of return visitors and figure out how to increase it.
Some pet stores opt to offer exclusive deals or coupons to their return customers, while others ask their returning visitors to join their mailing list or to complete a survey. How you choose to increase the conversion rate will depend on the goods or services that are offered by your brand.
Value per Visit
The value of each visit is bound immediately to the interactions per visit. This can be calculated as the total number of visits divided by the total value that was created. Calculating the value per visit is sometimes difficult because there are various intangibles that are involved in creating value that are hard to exactly define. As an example, visitors of your pet store’s blog create a value each time that they add a page view onto your traffic number, but they will also create an intangible value when they leave a comment on your website. For those pet stores with eCommerce sites, website visitors create value when they purchase a product, but they will then also create this value that cannot be calculated when they choose to leave a review or spread the brand name by word of mouth.
Oftentimes in today’s world, the value of a review or referral is worth much more than the value of a single product sold.
The preliminary goal when trying to increase the value per visit, interactions per visit, return visitor conversion, new & unique visitor conversion, and traffic sources is to minimize the bounce rate of visitors. The bounce rate can be defined as the amount of times new visitors visit the site and then immediately leave it without completing any actions - this will be indicated with very little time spent on the website and no interactions..
In order for your pet store’s website to get your bounce rate down, your content has to resonate with your audience, and your incoming sources of traffic should be qualified. Your SEO should be focused on speaking to that audience and directing quality traffic to the right places on your site. Lots to think about!
Cost Per Conversion
This is the effect of a value per visit, and perhaps one of the more important metrics. When you are trying to increase conversion rates on your website, you will need to keep the cost per conversion in mind, as well as the overall margins. Simply put, this is when you are not breaking even for what you are paying in order to gain conversion.
Your website's bounce rates are not totally derived from the home page. Often times your brand's final call to action (or conversion) will be on the second or third page of a process. In order to maximize your conversions, you will need to investigate further into the exits and find out at which stage of the process the visitors are leaving the website or discarding their shopping cart. To some degree, this makes marketing your pet store and your webdesign necessities simple: your customers want a simple process. When the process becomes complicated, the goods or services will become “not worth the hassle” to potential customers.
One page view is a single view of a web page on your website by a visitor. The page view metric will show just how often visitors successfully access the content on your website. When there are a high number of page views, this could be due to the quality and value of the content on the website.
Average Session Duration
Quite simply, this is the average length of time (in hours, minutes, and seconds) that a visitor spends in a session on your website. This has a direct correlation with how relevant your website is to the visitor—the more relevant it is, the more time that a visitor will spend accessing the information contained on your website that is of interest to them.
Once you are aware of the metrics that are most important, you will be able to better utilize Google Analytics to track the progress of your pet store’s website metrics. These stats will be able to provide your brand with the knowledge that it needs in order to optimize each one, and will enable these metrics to work together to accomplish your final goals of your overall pet store’s marketing strategy. Because each of these metrics has a direct effect on another, when you make the choice to optimize one, you are taking action to optimize multiple!
As always, we’d love some feedback and some input from our audience! Reach out to us or comment below!