If you’re wondering what the most important Google Analytics metrics for your website are, you’re in the right place. When you read your monthly reports on your website analytics, do you know which metrics to keep your eyes out for? Whether you are new to Google Analytics or consider yourself to be a seasoned veteran, there are some key metrics you should take note of when you read your report.
1. Make Sure You Actually Have Google Analytics Installed
The only way to get to the metrics that matter is to make sure your Google Analytics code is installed on your website. Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that helps analyze traffic to your website and can give you a ton of great information. You can look at live website data any time of the day, although we send out clients monthly reports that compare each month’s metrics with the previous year. This allows our clients to see where they are improving or areas where they need to spend more time on.
2. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visited one webpage on your site and then immediately left. If your bounce rate is high, you can glean some good information from it. Take a good, hard look at your landing pages and see what could be making people leave so quickly. Maybe you need a stronger call to action or your text could be arranged in a more reader-friendly manner.
An ideal bounce rate is about 20% but this will vary from business to business. An exception to the rule? A high bounce rate (100%) on your contact page or map page isn’t something to worry about. This accounts for people checking your hours or location and then leaving your website. Keep in mind what you want people to be doing on each page and assess how to improve your bounce rate for each one.
3. Pages Per Visit
Things like number of pages per visit and average visit length measure site engagement. Similar to the bounce rate, these numbers will show you if users are going to your website and exploring different pages while they’re on it.
If the number of pages per visit and length of visits are low, it suggests there could be a problem that’s affecting a good visitor flow and user experience since visitors are not engaging with your content. For example, if you have an online shop, you’ll want visitors to have a high number of pages per visit because this means that visitors are browsing through multiple product pages on your site.
4. Landing and Exit Pages
Where visitors enter website can give insight into your website’s most relevant search queries. Does this match up with your marketing efforts? Take a look at the top ten entry pages for your website and see if they align with your content marketing and ad campaigns. Your website’s exit page can also give you insight into where your traffic drops off and where people are leaving your website. Ideally, you want your exit pages to be form completion pages or order completion pages. You don’t want people exiting your website from the homepage, during the checkout process or while they’re filling out a form. If this is the case, you need to take a close look at what could be disrupting the user flow.
5. Where Traffic is Coming From
The acquisition overview will let you know how many people visited your website and where they came from. You’ll be able to see if they found you from a search engine (like Google), as a referral from another website, directly (by typing your URL into the browser), or from a campaign you are running. It’s important to relate this information to where you are spending your time and energy – is it being fully reflected online?
6. Visits Referred by Specific Search Engine Terms
The keywords that users are typing in that bring them to your website can give you a lot of valuable insight. By keeping track of the keywords that you’re being found for, you can compare them to past months’ keyword-generating traffic or identify new trends. You might find that people are coming to your site from keywords that are under-optimized – this would be a great opportunity to optimize these newly discovered keywords to bring you even more traffic.
7. Conversion Rate
If you are using Google AdWords to help with your marketing efforts, conversion rates are probably one of the most important metrics that you should take note of. Conversion rate by search query helps you tackle the low-hanging fruit by letting you kind the keywords that continuously cause visitors to convert into paying customers/form completions/etc. Taking note of these keywords over time can help you improve your landing pages that visitors reach on your site.
8. Percentage of New Visits
As a company growing their online presence, you’ll always want to be attracting new visitors to your website because each one represents a potential customer. A growing audience will help your site gain traction, something that is especially important for an ecommerce site looking to sell more products. If you see that you are continuously attracting new visitors to your site, you’ll know that you have an effective online marketing strategy.
9. Social Overview
If your brand is active on social media, you’ll want to see how much traffic you are actually generating from your social media efforts. Once you figure out which social networks bring you the most traffic, you’ll want to head over to that network and drill down into those metrics so you can see which content performs the best and gets the most reach. This information can help you improve your content marketing and continue to give customers the content they want from you.
10. Actually Read Your Report
Remember how we mentioned all of this great data that can help you shape and improve your online marketing efforts? You can only use it to your advantage if you actually read your reports and take the time to understand them. If you work with an online marketing agency, make sure you actually get reports on a regular basis. We do our best to make sure our clients understand every aspect of their reports and are happy to help explain or interpret the data for them.
If you have any questions about why these are some of the most important Google Analytics metrics or need help understanding your reports, let us know. We’d be happy to help.