Google Analytics – the metrics you need to know
15 July, 2015 | SEO
How do you know if your website is working for you? If your business has a website then you need Google Analytics. Google Analytics will allow you to monitor your websites performance over time which you should do on a regular basis to ensure what you are doing is working. If not, you are likely to be wasting your time and effort.
You don’t have to be an expert to find out valuable information on Google Analytics, just by understanding the basics will give you a clearer picture of what your website is doing for your business and how to get more out of your website. Here are the key metrics you definitely should look at on a regular basis:
Number of sessions
Audience > Overview > Sessions
This shows you how many times your website has been accessed. A session means visits and doesn’t refer to how many individual people have visited your website.
The difference between a session and a unique visitor or new user is how many times that individual goes to your website.
New visitors vs. returning visitors
Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning
When it comes to your website traffic, you will want both new visitors and returning visitors.
It means exactly what it says, a new visitor is classed as a person visiting your website for the first time and if they return to your website at a later date then they will be classed as a returning visitor.
New visitors are likely to only be researching so generally won’t be ready to speak to someone. However, returning visitors are more likely to get in contact with you, so if your numbers don’t match up you might be doing something wrong.
Number of sessions by medium
Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
This will tell you where your traffic is coming from. These channels are Organic Search, Direct, Referral and Social.
Where your traffic comes from will vary depending on the company. For example, well-known companies will generally have 50% plus traffic coming directly to their site as people don’t need to search for them.
It is important you know where your traffic is coming from so you know where to focus your efforts.
Audience > Overview > Bounce Rate
The bounce rate means how many people have entered your website and left it from the same page.
Ideally, you would want this number to be low (under 50%) but it obviously depends on what marketing strategies you are using. If the bounce rate is high on your homepage then there is likely something wrong with it.
Avg. Session duration
The average session duration means how long the average visitor stays on your website for.
Of course, longer is better. Ideally, your avg. session duration will be between 1-3 minutes. If your website has a very low avg. session duration then it probably means you don’t have enough information.