As an ecommerce brand, your website is the center of everything you do. It's where people come to learn about your products and services, make purchases, and hopefully become loyal customers. So, you want to make sure your website is set up for success.

To ensure you're making the best decisions for website performance, website analytics is an essential tool. Analytics help you understand how website visitors behave, giving you the insights necessary to make informed decisions to improve your ecommerce business.

With website analytics, you can track key metrics, identify website successes and failures, and determine which changes will result in the biggest impact on website performance. This article will provide an introduction to website analytics for ecommerce businesses, outlining key terms and best practices to get the most out of website analytics for your business. Let's dive in!

What is website analytics, and why does it matter?

Website analytics is the process of collecting, measuring, analyzing, and reporting data for the purpose of understanding website performance and user behavior. Organizations typically track website metrics in an analytics platform such as Google Analytics (a popular web analytics tool), which allows website owners to monitor visitor trends, website performance, and conversions over time.

By gathering and analyzing analytics data, businesses can gain valuable insights into website performance and customer behavior, like understanding which parts of the site are working well and which need improvement. They can use those insights to optimize website design, marketing strategies, and overall operations. It's also fairly easy to get started. Just choose a free web analytics tool and start tracking some of the metrics we list below.

Check out our guide to ecommerce analytics.

Important analytics terms

When you first dive into analytics, it might seem like everything is in a foreign language. Don't panic – here, we'll break down the key terms you need to be aware of. Here are the main metrics you'll want to track in your website analytics tool.

Website Traffic

Web traffic is an important website analytics term that refers to the number of visitors to a website or web page. It is typically measured over a period of time, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. Website traffic data can provide valuable insights into website performance and customer behavior. Website traffic is typically calculated by pageviews and unique pageviews.


Pageviews measures the total number of pages viewed by website visitors. This metric is a good measure of website engagement and can be used to identify areas where website design or content needs to be improved. Pageviews can also help determine what types of content resonate with website visitors, allowing ecommerce businesses to tailor their marketing strategies accordingly. Additionally, pageviews provide insight into how long website visitors are staying on the site, which can indicate if they're likely to convert or not.

Unique pageviews

Unique pageviews measures the number of individual website visitors. It is calculated by subtracting the total number of pageviews from the total number of unique visitors. Unique pageviews can provide actionable insights into website performance and customer behavior by helping to identify website visitors that are likely to convert into paying customers.


A session is a group of website interactions (such as clicks, pageviews, or events) that take place within a given time frame. It's typically measured in Session duration or Pages per session. Session duration measures the length of time visitors spend on the website, and pages per session measures how many pages visitors view during each website visit.

New visitors

New visitors measures the total number of website visits from individual users during a given period of time. This website metric is useful for tracking website performance by understanding how many people are visiting your website for the first time and whether or not they drop off after their initial visit.

Returning visitors

Returning visitors are website analytics metrics that measure the number of website visits from individual users who have visited the website more than once in a given period of time. This website metric is useful for understanding website performance and customer behavior, as it shows how often customers come back to your website and helps identify loyalty.

Traffic sources

Traffic sources measure the origin of website visitors, such as search engines, social media platforms, referral sites, or direct website visits. This metric helps you to understand how visitors are finding your website and which sources are providing the most website traffic. It can help website owners identify which sources are driving visits and which sources are bringing visitors that are likely to convert into paying customers.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate measures the percentage of website visitors who leave after viewing only one page. High bounce rates indicate that website visitors are not engaging in the website, which could be due to website design or content issues. Low bounce rates indicate that site visitors are engaging with website content, which can be a good indicator of website success and customer conversion potential.

Engagement rate 

In Google Analytics 4, engagement rate is an alternative to bounce rate. It's calculated by comparing 'engaged sessions' (where visitors spend a long time on your site, view multiple web pages, or take a conversion action) with the total number of sessions. Engagement rate gives businesses similar insights to bounce rate.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate measures how many site visitors are actually converting into paying customers. It is typically calculated as the number of website visitors who completed a website goal or purchase divided by the total number of website visitors. 

Best Practices for leveraging website analytics

Now that you understand some of the key website analytics terms and data points you can track, let's explore some best practices for leveraging website analytics in your ecommerce business.

Set measurable website goals

Setting website goals is an important step in leveraging website analytics. Goals should be measurable, such as website visits, pageviews, or website goal conversions. This will allow you to track website performance and measure the success of your website design and content strategies.

Track website performance

By tracking website performance in a web analytics platform with metrics such as page views, website traffic, and conversion rate, website owners can gain valuable insights into website performance and customer behavior. This will allow website owners to identify areas of website design or content that need to be improved upon in order to maximize website success.

Test website design or content changes

Test out any website, design, or content changes with website analytics metrics. It will allow you to identify what website design or content changes are working effectively and which ones need to be improved upon.

Web analytics tools

Analytics tools allow website owners to easily collect, measure, analyze and report website data. The best web analytics tool for you depends on your specific business model and goals. Popular website analytics tools include:

By leveraging website analytics tools, website owners can gain valuable insights into website performance and customer behavior in order to optimize website design, content strategies, and overall operations to achieve their business goals.

Build on your website with SMS marketing

Once you've started to use analytics to optimize your site, it's time to build on your website by leveraging SMS marketing to reach out directly to your audience. SMS is a platform that's cost-effective, easy to track, and brings higher ROI than email.

Emotive is an SMS marketing platform built for ecommerce brands looking to grow. Book a demo today.