If you’re new to Google Analytics, you may be feeling overwhelmed. As a powerful tool for measuring your website’s performance, Google Analytics includes a myriad metrics for tweaking your site, but which are the most important for your business. Utilizing Google Analytics data will ultimately depend on your individual needs, but in the early stages you should pay close attention to Visitors, Sources, Landing Pages, and Conversions.
Obviously, you want to know you’re getting traffic to your site, and Google Analytics can help you breakdown visitor data so you know how many visitors you’re getting and what your visitors are doing. For example, Google Analytics provides the following visitor data:
- Total number of visits
- The number of unique visitors
- The number of pages per visit
- The average time on site of visitors, and
- The bounce rate
Whatever your business, the values for each of these metrics will probably look different. Ideally, you want to see an increased number of visitors and trends that suggest traffic to your site is increasing in quantity and quality.
One metric that many website owners overlook is the source of traffic to your site; yet, this is an extremely important piece of information. Is your traffic coming from search engines, paid advertising, or directly entering your website in the URL bar? If most of your traffic comes from direct type-ins, you may want to focus web improvements on search engine optimization. From the sources metric, you’ll know how people find your website and which efforts you can take to increase traffic.
Landing pages metrics can give you a lot of information about the effectiveness of your landing pages. Is the information on your landing page enticing enough to maintain visitor attention? By reviewing landing page metrics, you can ensure your pay per click advertising is effective. Once visitors arrive at your landing page, are they continuing to peruse your site or do they immediately lose interest? Ultimately, you can also review your bounce rates as these will tell you whether you need to improve your paid advertising landing pages so that you’re not paying too much for pay per click advertising.
Finally, Google Analytics can tell you a lot about your conversion rate – and this is likely the most important metric you need to review. If your site is about sales, you want to employ e-commerce tracking so you can see if web traffic converts to sales for your business. You may want to work with an expert in web design to ensure that your site is not only optimized to draw traffic but also to convert that traffic into paying customers.
We know that Google Analytics can be daunting to utilize for beginners, but because you know your business best it is always a good idea to become familiar with this tool. Eventually, you’ll be able to tell which metrics are most important for you to follow to get the most value from your website.
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