A key asset of any company is their website. Not only can a website become your top salesperson with the proper attention and care, but it can also provide you with a multitude of useful data.
Your company’s website, when paired with powerful data analysis tools, knows who your customers are, how long they spend on certain pages, and more. However, accessing this information can be difficult if you don’t know how to use the proper tools.
Google Analytics is the perfect solution to this problem, but it can be overwhelming. With hundreds of metrics and dimensions to track—not to mention, a million different ways you could combine them—it can be a pretty complex system.
What Is Google Analytics?
As a service offered within the Google Marketing Platform, Google Analytics is a web analytics service that can help you analyze data regarding your visitors (and their behavior) to your website.
Google Analytics for Your Business
The metrics and dimensions that Google Analytics measures are not only interesting to study, but also useful for making future decisions regarding your website.
For example, if you find that one of your service pages has an extremely high bounce rate—that is, that people spend a very short amount of time on the page before exiting—then you know that there is an issue to be pursued. Perhaps your content needs to be expanded upon to better match the user’s intent, or there is a UX problem that is causing the page to appear confusing on mobile.
This is only one example of the many opportunities that Google Analytics will place in your lap. By using the information that Google Analytics tracks, you can directly increase your sales and the quality of your website.
Using Google Analytics
What Are Metrics and Dimensions?
Metrics are a measure of quantitative data that show how a particular website is performing in relation to a specific dimension. Examples of metrics include bounce rate, search query, and average session duration.
On the other hand, dimensions are specific attributes, such as the cities that visitors are located in or what browser visitors are using. Whereas metrics appear as quantitative data, dimensions are qualitative.
The metrics and dimensions that are the most valuable to your company will depend on your location, target market, and what service/product you are selling. Therefore, it is important to deeply consider and understand which metrics and dimensions you want to track, even after you’ve done all of the research. It is also important to remember that you can always adapt—just because you’ve chosen to track a select group of metrics or dimensions now doesn’t mean you have to track them forever.
Top 5 Metrics to Understand and Track
When choosing exactly which metrics to track, the amount of options to choose from can be overwhelming. Here are a selection of metrics that everyone should be tracking, regardless of what industry you’re working in.
1. Average Session Duration
By using the average session duration metric, you are able to see how long individuals are engaging with particular pieces of content or pages on your website. Add the “pageview” or “unique pageview” dimensions to this metric to view exactly which pages are the most valuable to your site, as well as which ones still need work.
2. Bounce Rate
A bounce rate measures the percentage of users who visit a website and then leave without completing any tasks or interacting with any other pages. For all websites, the goal is to lower your bounce rate. Tracking your bounce rate with an added dimension of tracking the device type of your visitors can show you which of your pages might be performing poorly on mobile devices and need more UX attention.
3. Goal Completions
Otherwise known as conversions, goal completions measure how many users have completed goals you’ve set for your website, such as signing up for an email or completing a purchase. Adding a dimension that tracks the geographic location of these goal completions can be helpful to prevent spam, or tracking the landing pages dimension with goal completions can aid you in understanding which pages really bring in the bacon.
4. New Sessions
Using cookies, new sessions measure each time a user visits your website for the first time. This can be extremely valuable in seeing how your new sessions measure up to your total sessions—are most of your visitors returners, or new users?
As a search engine optimization (SEO) agency, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that tracking the search query dimension with new sessions is absolutely invaluable. This will show you what your new visitors are searching for when they come to your website, as well as place a list of valuable keywords into your lap.
5. Unique Pageviews
Unique pageviews count each pageview that a user has once per session; the general pageviews metric, on the other hand, will count any pageview, regardless of how often it happens. This metric helps you understand which pages and pieces of content on your website are the most valuable; which ones does everyone go to?
With general pageviews, the data can be skewed if you have a singular visitor who just really enjoys one of your pages. Unique pageviews prevent one user from offsetting all of your data.
Elevate Your Website Today
Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool. It’s one thing to understand where your website can improve—it’s another thing entirely to invest the money, resources, and time into actually improving it. SEO is a proven investment into your website that can improve your Google Analytics metrics, ranking in Google, and the overall quality of your website. Schedule a chat with us today to learn more about opportunities for optimization on your website.