What Does it Mean?

This tells you what proportion of traffic coming to your site is made up of first-time visitors, as opposed to returning visitors (people that have visited the site before).

Why Does it Matter?

If your company is growing rapidly, it stands to reason you’ll get a lot of new people that have only just heard of you, coming to the site to check you out for the first time. That said, if your numbers are too heavily skewed in favour of new visitors, this suggest that people aren’t inclined to come back once they’ve seen your site once or twice. Most people are unlikely to make a purchase on the basis of a single visit, and (depending on your type of business), you probably want to keep leads and customers engaged with your site content long term, to help stay on their radar, develop customer loyalty, deepen the client relationship, and give you a chance to market / upsell new products and services.

Marketing Dashboard Example

How Do You Measure the KPI?

This one’s simple: you just need to track where visitors are coming from, whether they’ve been before, and work out the ratio. Of course, you’ll also want to track change over time.

What Data Sources Would You Use to Measure the KPI?

Whichever tool you use to keep track of who visits your website; in most cases, that will be something like Google Analytics or equivalent. These use cookies to track visitor behaviour and tell whether someone has been to your site before. While your ratio of new to returning visitors is an important KPI, do bear in mind that this not an exact science. People delete cookies, use VPNs, vary the device they use to visit your site… all of these factors skew your results. Besides which, there are many indicators of customer loyalty; depending on what you sell, you might not expect regular / hundreds of repeat visits from the same person.

Give Me an Example…

Let’s say you’re seeing huge amounts of traffic to your company blog, and now you’re looking for an effective strategy for turning those visitors into leads. If you’re able to establish that the vast majority of these people are returning visitors, this suggests that these people are already reasonably invested in your blog and have come to trust you; it could be the right time to introduce calls to action that guide them towards gated assets or invite them to contact you for a quote. On the other hand, if your traffic is dominated by first-time visitors, you either haven’t had time to build up a rapport, or your blog isn’t succeeding in deepening your relationship with potential customers. You’ll likely need to work harder at winning their trust before you push to progress them onto your sales pipeline.

What Benchmark / Indicators Should I Use?

Depending on your specific business goals, you may be interested in attracting more new customers, but in most cases you’ll be looking to lower the percentage of new visits overall. That means useful indicators include:

  • Decreasing the percentage of new visits overall
  • Increasing the number of returning visitors (groupings might include single visits, 2-4, 5-9, 10+)
More Marketing KPIs Curious to see how these KPI dashboards work in action? Click here to see some of our example KPI Dashboard templates and online demos.