Types of metrics and when to use them

  • Updated
  • Optimizely Web Experimentation
  • Optimizely Personalization
  • Optimizely Performance Edge
  • Optimizely Feature Experimentation
  • Optimizely Full Stack (Legacy)

In Optimizely Experimentation, a metric is a quantitative measurement of a visitor's action. Metrics are created out of events, which directly track actions like clicks, pageviews, form submissions, purchases, and scroll depth. After you create an event in Optimizely Web Experimentation or Optimizely Feature Experimentation, you decide how it is displayed as a metric.

A simple example of a metric is an increase in unique conversions per visitor of clicks to an Add-to-Cart button; the event would track clicks to the button.

Optimizely Experimentation's metrics builder gives you several built-in metric types to choose from when constructing your experiments. The following sections describe each and provide examples of when to use each.

Unique conversions

The unique conversions metric tracks the number of visitors who convert. Each visitor who converts is counted only once, no matter how many times they click. Use unique conversions when you want to track:

  • Demo requests.
  • Newsletter subscriptions.
  • White paper downloads.
  • Event registrations.

Total conversions

The total conversions metric tracks the total number of conversions. While the unique conversions metric only counts the first time a user interacts with your event, total conversions will count every interaction, regardless of whether or not a particular user has already converted on a previous visit. Use total conversions when you want to track:

  • Total completed purchases.
  • Total number of upsells.
  • Number of videos viewed.

Bounce rate and exit rate

A bounce is when a visitor views only a single page on your site (in other words, if the page is the first and last page a visitor sees). If the visitor continues to browse your site after landing on that first page (in other words, if the page is the first but not the last page a visitor sees), the visitor did not bounce from the page.

If you count the times a page was the first page viewed (including the times it was also the only page viewed) and divide a page's total bounces by that number, you have the bounce rate.

An exit is when a visitor leaves your site. In metrics, a page is an exit when it is the last page a visitor sees. Optimizely Web Experimentation calculates a page's exit rate by dividing the total number of times a page was an exit by the number of times the page was viewed.

See detailed information about the bounce rate and exit rate metrics.

Total revenue

Total revenue tracks the total amount of revenue generated from user interactions with your event. Use total revenue when you want to track:

  • Revenue per visitor.
  • Average order value.
  • Revenue per visit.
  • Customer lifetime value.

To use the total revenue metric in Web Experimentation, you must first set up revenue tracking.

Total value

Using the total value metric enables you to quantify visitor actions beyond bounces, exits, conversions, and revenue. By selecting total value and editing a few lines of code, you can track the performance of your different variations on any visitor action that can be described numerically per conversion, per session (Optimizely Personalization), or per visitor (Optimizely Feature Experimentation and Optimizely Web Experimentation).

Unlike revenue metrics, which use fixed-point numbers, metrics tracked with total value use floating-point numbers. For example, $72.81 would be submitted as 7281 as a revenue metric but as 72.81 otherwise. Due to the dynamic precision of floating-point numbers, aggregations for non-monetary metrics are susceptible to rounding. You must use the revenue metric to prevent these rounding errors when tracking monetary values. See Total value and other numeric metrics for more.

Some common uses for the total value metric include:

  • Measure reader engagement and content consumption.
    • Ad units per visit.
    • Ad viewability rate.
    • Video play duration.
    • Article scroll depth (25/50/75/100%).
    • Article page load time.
    • Number of articles read.
    • Number of videos watched.
    • Article count per page.
  • Measure high-value behavior beyond conversions and revenue.
    • Number of items added to or removed from cart.
    • Number of items per order.
    • Number of products viewed.
    • Number of filters applied.
    • Number of related products viewed.
    • Category page scroll depth.
    • Page load time.
  • Determine appropriate products for customers based on demographic data.
    • Credit score.
    • Loan amount applied for.
    • Interest rate selected.
    • Steps of application funnel completed.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of website messaging and content in generating qualified leads.
    • Average lead score.
    • Pieces of content downloaded.
    • Number of form fields completed.
    • Demo video play duration.
  • Determine booking efficacy and ability to upsell ancillary products.
    • Number of items added to or removed from cart.
    • Number of ancillary products purchased.
    • Steps of booking funnel completed.
  • Measure high-value behavior beyond clicks and conversions.
    • Number of form fields completed.
    • Video consumed.
    • Unique pages per visit.
    • Page scroll depth (25/50/75/100%).
Use cases for the total value metric for more.