7 Important Website Metrics in Google Analytics Reports

When you are browsing through your Google Analytics reports, do you know what you are looking for? There are tons of numbers, graphs and lines going every which way making it somewhat difficult to know what to look for.

In the article I am going to explain to you a few really important Google Analytics reports you should be looking for in your Analytics Reports.

Session Duration

How long someone stays on your website is a really important metric. It tells you pretty much what people think of your site, as well as providing a Search Engine Optimization Benefit.

avg session durationSession Duration is the amount of time that someone stays on your website. The average session duration of website depends on what time of website it is and a number of other factors but its usually around 1-3 minutes. Anything lower is very bad and anything higher is very good but the longer the better.

Google uses this as a factor in ranking your website in their search engine result pages. They call it Dwell time and its the amount of time someone stays on your site before going back to Google.

This tells Google which sites users are staying at longer (because the found the information they were searching for) and which sites users leave quickly (probably not what they were searching for).

There are a few reasons that your session duration could be low:

  • Bad UI Design
  • Slow loading website
  • Simply not what the user was looking for
  • Not Mobile Responsive

Bounce Rate

bounce rateWhen you are browsing your Google Analytics Reports and you see a bounce rate of 100%, you make think awesome! But bounce rate is actually the percentage of people that come to your page and leave without clicking to any other pages.

When it comes to the bounce rate, you want it to be as low as possible. To calculate the bounce rate of your page simply apply this calculation:

Bounce Rate = (Visits With Only 1 Pageview) / (Total Visits)

A typical bounce rate can vary by what type of website or business you have but 26 – 40 percent bounce rate is good. But having a low bounce rate may not exactly mean that your site is terrible. It may just happen that all your traffic is coming from a source that will only need to look at one page.

In the end it matters if the bounce rate is hurting your traffic or business.

Traffic by Source/Medium

One of the most important reports to know about your website is where your visitors are coming from. The source or medium that your visitor comes from can change the visitors behavior trememdnosly so tis really important to know where your traffic is coming from.

The Traffic by Source metric in Google Analytics shows you all the different ways people are getting to your website. There are a number of different ways like:

  • Search Engines
  • Referrals
  • Direct
  • Advertising
  • Social Media

All these different types of sources can impact your online business in different ways. Usually search engines traffic is the highest converting (depending on what keywords you are ranked for) but it really depends on your website/business and a number of other factors.

traffic by source

Keeping a close eye on where your traffic is coming from can have a strong impact on how you manage your website and its presence. For example, if you are getting a lot of traffic from search engines for ‘buy cars’ yet, you are not selling any cars, there’s probably a bigger underlying problem on your website.

Site Speed

In Google Analytics, the Site Speed metric tells you how fast your website loads. This is one of the most overlooked reports as a lot of people don’t worry too much about their websites speed. But this is a big issues! Did you know that Google now looks at website speed for a ranking factor in the search engines?

site speed test

That means that having a faster websites can actually rank you higher in Google. Not only that but have you ever tried to purchase something but the website was very slow? Its probably likely that you didn’t make that purchase and left the site. Having a slow websites can actually make your business lose customers… so its very important to keep a close eye on how fast your website is and the site speed.

Users by Page

Knowing what pages your visitors are frequenting can help you figure out what your customers are looking for, what they like and what they don’t like. The users by page metric will show you how many people visited each of your website pages.

This helps you figure out what your most viewed pages are, which ones don’t get viewed and which pages are popular. If you don’t get a lot of traffic, you may have to look over a months or weeks span to see all your pages getting traffic. If you have a have traffic site, you make need to click view more to see all the pages.

If a page is not visible in this list, then that means that no one has visited that page for the requested time period.

Events

If you have events set up on your website, you can track just about anything too really see whats going on on your website. Lets say you want to track all the times people click any buttons on your website. With events, you can see how many people click each button, where they came from and a number of other reports.

You can also use events to track your external clicks to see where your visitors are leaving your website to go to. This can shed a lot of light on where people are leaving your site and why. Here is some simple javascript to track external links.

Add this after your analytics tracking code:

<script>
/**
* Function that tracks a click on an outbound link in Analytics.
* This function takes a valid URL string as an argument, and uses that URL string
* as the event label. Setting the transport method to 'beacon' lets the hit be sent
* using 'navigator.sendBeacon' in browser that support it.
*/
var trackOutboundLink = function(url) {
   ga('send', 'event', 'outbound', 'click', url, {
     'transport': 'beacon',
     'hitCallback': function(){document.location = url;}
   });
}
</script>

Now you will have to add the function to your links to track each url:

<a href="http://www.example.com" onclick="trackOutboundLink('http://www.example.com'); return false;">Check out example.com</a>

Once this is set up, you can see which links your visitors are clicking to leave your site. If you are on a WordPress site, there are plugins that allow you to track outbound clicks just like this.

Conversions

If you have conversion set up, then its likely this is the most important metrics of all. The conversion is the sale on your website, the register, or the contact form. There are many types of conversions but they are all the life blood of your business.

Tracking conversions will help you see where buyers are coming from, how they navigate your site and other vital information to your business. There are a ton of different ways to install conversion tracking on your website. Once set up, you will be able to see and learn things about your online business that you never knew before.

Wrapping Up

There are plenty of important Analytics metrics and reports to constantly check. If you run an online business, then Analytics is probably a daily or hourly view for you. Simply watch these vital stats and you will keep your finger on the pulse if your online business.

 

 

 

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