If there’s one thing marketers love, that’s data. Chances are if you creep a marketer’s Christmas list this year, you’ll find them asking Santa for more data. When it comes to websites, the data is endless. Don’t worry, if you don’t know where to start we’re here to help. We have compiled a list of 10 different metrics you should be tracking in Google Analytics. These metrics will help you get a better understanding of your overall website performance. You’ll know where your users are coming from, what they are doing on your site, and how many of them visit your site. Just a heads up, this blog will be more informative than entertaining. Do you expect us to make data sexy too?
Users and Sessions
These stats will give you a glimpse of how many unique visitors and sessions your website has. Just keep in mind that a user might visit your site more than once, therefore your sessions will always be higher than your user count. One downside is that Google Analytics counts a page refresh as a new session. In addition, you’ll be able to view these stats different timeframes. As a result, you can contrast and compare different periods of time against each other. This is crucial in comparing website performance in relation to any marketing objectives you might have executed in a given time.
A bounce rate is when a user triggers only one request from the landing page. Basically, they come to your site, look around, and leave. In other words, they bounced before the party even started. Knowing how many people leave after viewing one page is crucial. A high bounce rate means that people are leaving. Some things to ask yourself if your site has a high bounce rate;
- Does my web page load fast?
- Does it have relevant info and designed accordingly?
- Are my marketing efforts driving the right traffic?
- Do I have clear CTAs (Call to Actions) that entice users to move on to another page?
Average Session Duration
In this case, lingering around is good. This stat lets you see how long on average a website session is. There’s no right number as to how long someone should stay on a website since each site serves a different purpose. If time on site is low, people are not staying and leaving. This will probably pair with a high bounce rate as well. In addition, a high time on site means that people might be lost and aren’t finding the information or products they are looking for right away.
Page Views Per Sessions
Now that you know people are lingering, let’s see if they are lurking. The easiest way to see if people are clicking around is to look at how many pages users are viewing per session. The best part, you won’t have to do much clicking around yourself since this stat is directly in your Google Analytics dashboard. Just remember that a refresh also counts as a pageview. In addition, there is no magic number when it comes to page views, it’s all dependent on the nature of your website once again.
Views Per Page
This stat helps you determine which pages on your site are popular amongst users. It’s a no-brainer that your top page should be your landing page, but what pages rank next is important. When looking at the list of your top pages there are several key questions to ask yourself;
- Are the pages I want to have a lot of views getting views?
- Do the pages that have direct links from PPC/SEM campaigns outranking organic traffic only pages?
- Are there any pages that I assumed wouldn’t have a lot for views getting views?
- If the pages that I want to have views are underperforming, does my website UX allow users to discover them with ease?
This will help you get a better understanding of where your marketing and website UX guides your website users, and if they are being driven to the pages you want them to go to. Pro Tip, compare pageviews based on time periods to see if there are any pages popular due to seasons or holidays.
Number and Percentage of New Sessions
No matter what kind of website are running, whether a blog or an e-commerce site, the key to growth is attracting new users to your website. This stat in Google Analytics lets you see how many new your site has had in a given amount of time. It’s also important to look at your percentage share of new users vs return users. A higher percentage of new users means that due to some event, more people are discovering your site. This stat is crucial if you have recently undertaken any marketing initiatives focused on driving traffic to your website.
Number and Percentage of Return Users
Who doesn’t love loyalty? Your return users are the guys who find value in whatever your site offers. Yes, we know it’s a cliche, but a common saying in the sales world is, it’s easier to retain a customer than acquire a new one. Having return users is essential especially if you’re an e-commerce site, returning users means recurring revenue. You should be looking at both numbers and percentage of these guys. Tracking numbers is essential to see if there was an increase over a given time period when you were running remarketing campaigns. But remember you need to give them a reason to come back.
Eventually, all good thing come to an end. People will eventually leave your website. However, it’s important to know where your viewers exit. Knowing where they exit can give you many insights into your user’s behaviour. If they are leaving off of your landing page, then you probably have a high bounce rate. Some common culprits include;
- Slow load times.
- Marketing driving wrong traffic
- The user not being able to find relevant information.
- Your content not offering relevant content for your audience.
You should also have several target exit pages in mind, such as a contact page or a thank you page if you sell items online. Knowing how many users exit from these pages is a good way to judge website success and if they had a positive experience.
Sessions By Channel
One of the most important statistics Google Analytics is your source of traffic. You’re able to see the amount and percentage of people coming from organic reach, direct URL, social media, and email. As a result, this metric is essential to see if your marketing efforts are panning out as well as you hoped they would. It’s also key in identifying what channels are already performing well and which ones you can devote more attention to. Furthermore, if you’re running multiple digital campaigns, you can get the same statistics under the acquisition → campaigns tab. Just be sure to properly use UTMs. Not quite sure how to do that, check out this lovely guide.
Google Analytics allows for setting up goal conversions. If you’re not quite sure on how to do that, check out this guide. Your goals can range from anything such as specific page views, time on site, purchases, even contact info. The key to success, track the conversions that matter for your business. This metric allows you to see if users are following through and completing that one task you want them to. If they are not, go back dig through the other analytics and see why.
Choosing the Right Google Analytics For Your Website
Everyone’s website is different, therefore different Google Analytics will take priority over others. If you’re an e-commerce site, conversions will be your key metric, followed by looking at ones that are related to user behaviour on your site. You should be sitting down with your team and discussing what do we care about in regards to website behaviour. But no matter what industry you are in, looking at these Google Analytics statistics all together will give you a great benchmark for overall website health and performance. We’ve also put together a list of other marketing tools you should be using in today’s digital age. Go ahead and give it a read.