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Google Analytics: 5 Metrics To Keep An Eye On

You may have looked into Google Analytics and been a bit unsure of where to start with it.  In this post we will cover what Google Analytics is and what key measurements to keep an eye on in order to properly analyse your website’s traffic and inform decisions on how to improve it.

 

Firstly, What Is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a tool provided by Google that generates detailed information about a website’s browsing traffic. 

 

How do you setup Google Analytics?

Start by setting up an account at the Google Analytics page here linked to an existing email account or by adding an account.  From there follow Google’s support instructions to link your account to your website with your unique analytics code.  Once this is setup you will have access to your Google Analytics dashboard detailing numerous metrics to show how people interact with your website.  

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5 Key Measurements to Keep An Eye On 

 1.    Acquisitions

Navigation: Aquisition > Overview

One of the first areas to look at is where your website’s traffic is coming from.  This is broken into the following ways:

-       Organic Search: Web search on Google, Bing etc.

-       Direct: By typing your web address directly into the URL bar

-       Referral: Via a link from another website.

Check websites that link to your website to ensure they are correctly representing your brand, for example products and services offered, trading hours and if you can request appropriate inbound links from other websites.

-       Social: From social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter etc.

This will help to determine which social channels are working best for you for driving traffic to your website.

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 2.    Top Page Views

Navigation: Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages

Checking which pages are attracting the most views is useful for understanding the content that is drawing in users.  Looking at this will help to see what content is working and what is not.  Make sure that pages with high traffic have clear Calls-To-Action to direct customers further into the site, ultimately towards your desired action of inquiry or purchase. 

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 3.    Bounce Rate

Navigation: Behaviour > Overview

It is all very well getting traffic to your site but are people staying there when they get there.  Bounce rate is a measure of the percentage of single page sessions (a session ends after 30 minutes of inactivity or when the user leaves the site). 

High bounce rates can be caused by a few things, a website that is badly designed for user experience or first impression or simply that the user found the information they were after.  This could be determined by the next analytics category Exit Pages.

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  4. Exit Pages

Navigation: Behaviour > Site Content > Exit Pages

Where visitors exit your site is as telling as where they came from.  Exits from pages such as contact form or order completion pages are encouraging.  However exits from cart pages or incomplete forms would suggest having a look at the checkout process and the length of forms that could cause users to exit without completing.

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5. Average Session Duration

Navigation: Audience > Overview

Sessions measure the time a user is actively interacting with your website.  Depending on what your objectives are, increased session times can mean more potential for visitors consuming your content, purchasing from you or making contact.  

Making sure your user experience is optimised, content is engaging and call-to-actions are prominent will all help to increase the time users spend browsing your website.     

 

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Google Analytics is a very useful tool for understanding how people are using your website.  These are just a few starting points to give an insight into ways to improve your website to better provide information about your products or services, generate leads and ultimately purchases.