05 Jul Six Important Metrics from Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a fantastic reporting tool.
It gives you access to all the information that you need to be able to fully understand what’s happening on your website, how it’s happening and how you can improve on it. These six different areas are metrics that you must measure as an essential part of your overall online marketing strategy.
Number one – traffic source. Firstly and foremostly, it’s vital to understand where your visitors come from, what pages they come from, what social media they come from, whether they come from the search engines or whether they already know your page and come from a bookmark.
There are numerous resources in the Traffic Sources Campaign area, and you should track these and keep record of these month by month to understand whether or not those places that you’re putting in your time and effort are returning visitors to your website. Perhaps you’re running a specialised campaign. The traffic sources measurements can show you whether that campaign is referring traffic to you. This is one of those things you must look at minimum each and every week.
Number two – content metrics. Just as it’s important to understand where people are coming from to arrive on your site, it’s also important to understand where they go once they are on your website. What pages do they look at? What page do they then click through to afterwards? Are they looking at your homepage and then leaving, or are they looking at your homepage and then digging deeper?
Perhaps they’re arriving on another page somewhere inside your site or a blog post. Do they then click through to your contact page? Do they then click through to your shop? Do they book with you? Do they arrive on your content page and then leave? Content metrics allow you to determine the usability and the friendliness of your website. Is it what your visitors are looking for? If not, you need to make change.
Number three – bounce rate. Bounce rate can be found in Google Analytics underneath the Content-Landing Pages section. Bounce rate is the measurement which shows the percentage of people who arrive on a page on your website and then leave again without looking further at another page. They arrive and then they bounce back out.
Bounce rate is good to have an understanding of to let you know whether your content on any individual page is or is not working. For example, if you have a blog post and you have 100 visitors who view that post, and 70 of them, 70% bounce away.
You can also learn whether they are new visitors or repeat visitors. A 70% bounce rate isn’t that bad if they’re all your blog subscribers and they’re just popping by to have a look at your new post. But 70% of new visitors wouldn’t be such a good thing. It’s important to understand this metric so you can better work your content and have people click further through your website.
Number four – time onsite. This can be found under Site Content – All Pages. It’s incredibly important to understand and find out how long people spend on your website. You can learn metrics such as on the website as a whole or on individual pages.
Again, it depends on the kind of content that you’re delivering as to whether or not time onsite, a couple of minutes versus 10 or 15 minutes is a good or bad thing. But whatever it is that you use as a measurement, you must use it and then track it over time to see whether your content is improving.
It’s also possible to measure time onsite as a goal conversion. Good to know if you’ve got a series of videos each averaging five minutes and you’re only getting time onsite of around two minutes. That would suggest people are not watching your videos. You might like to improve on that.
Number five – new visitors versus repeat visitors. This is a great metric to understand and learn more about your traffic and their behaviour. It’s okay to have lots and lots of new visitors, but what about repeat visitors?
Well, it depends upon your business model.
If you have just a one-page sales website, then you want obviously high conversions of your new visitors because, well, people just don’t have a reason to come back. Do they? But if you run a good blog and you’re publishing regular quality content, then it would be an ideal goal to have people coming back time and time again. These are repeat visitors.
So, as to what is a good or a bad measurement in this area, it depends on your site and the content that you offer. But whatever it is, whatever your goals are, set your benchmarks there. If you want people to be coming back time and time again and they’re not, then make change to your content. Make change to your strategy. These things can help.
Number six – SEO keywords. It’s very important also, from a search engine optimisation point of view, to know which keyword phrases are attracting people from the search engines to your website. I strongly recommend that you link your Google Analytics account with your Webmaster Tools account for more data availability.
Between the two of them, you will learn everything that you need to know. It’s interesting you may find that you are attracting traffic from keywords and keyword phrases that are not what you had perhaps first thought. Maybe Google reads your site content as something different to what you are hoping.
Here’s an interesting test. Go to the Google external keywords tool, or log into your AdWords account if you have one. Where you look at the keywords tool and it says “Enter Keywords” to then search for others, don’t. Instead, enter your URL in the place where it says “Or Domain”. This will give you a good idea of how Google views the related keyword phrases to your website.
Using this information, of course, Analytics provides much similar, you can either make change to your content if you wish to attract a different marketplace, or you can more tightly focus your content to meet the needs of the people that Google is sending you. You must understand the keywords that attract people to your website.
These are the basics of ‘analytics’
Overall then, between these six different metrics, these are the most important metrics you must understand and track on a regular basis with Google Analytics. Yes, there’s more. We could go into e-commerce. We could go into goal conversions. We could go into real-time reporting. But for most people these things are not necessary.
If you have a good understanding of computer technology and Internet technology, you can set up these items to appear on your dashboard within Analytics. You can set up reports to be emailed to you. Or you could just simply have a notepad and make notes every two weeks on these metrics, which improve and which get worse.
Then over a period of four to six weeks, you can begin to understand which things are working for you and which things are not, and what changes you have to make. Google Analytics is a vital reporting tool, essential for every online business.
In a nutshell, Google Analytics is vital to any business!