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Are You Tracking The Right Google Analytics Metrics?

If you are a business owner or in the marketing business, chances are, you are already tracking Google Analytics metrics. As a free and incredibly useful tool, modern businesses cannot afford to go without Google Analytics in their arsenal. When done right, these metrics can give actionable insights into your website data to improve customer experience and consequently, conversion rate. Now, can you be sure you are tracking the right Google Analytics metrics? We will list out a few metrics to take special notice of and tell you what you can do to improve each one.

Key Terms to Familiarize Yourself with

Google Analytics uses a few specific terms over and over again. In order to understand the data presented by its numerous metrics, you will need to familiarize yourself with them as below:

·         Sessions are when a user opens a page on your site from a browser.

·         Users refer to the number of unique users that opened each page on your site.

·         Pageviews are the number of pages a user views on your site during each session.

·         Pages/Session is calculated by the number of pages viewed per session.

·         Average session duration is calculated by the amount of time spent per session.

·         Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users who left your site without further interaction after a single-page session.

Now that you know what these key terms mean, let’s take a look at the metrics you should be tracking to receive actionable insights and improve your conversion rates.

Source

This important metric allows you to find out where your website traffic comes from. This can be a combination of the below:

·         Browser searches

·         Email links

·         Advertisements on social media

·         Advertisements on other websites

·         … and many more!

Tracking this metric allows you to figure out where the majority of your traffic is coming from and optimize those, while taking steps to increase traffic from smaller sources.

Location

Where in the world are your users coming from? If you are a business that offers international shipping or services, this is an incredibly useful metric for you to work with. By knowing which countries or areas your users tend to come from, you can focus on your target locations more effectively and optimize marketing to locations you wish to get more customers from.

Device Usage

Besides the location your users come from, another important metric that will allow you to optimize your target audience is that of device usage. While businesses are always concerned with figures as a whole, finding out whether the bulk of your visitors are coming from laptops, mobile phones or tablets can help you to optimize content for a particular device as well as target a specific demographic.

Unique Pageviews

You know what pageviews are, but what about unique pageviews? Unique pageviews refer to the number of times a user returns to a particular page on your website within the same session. This metric is incredibly useful because it gives you an understanding as to which pages are working well in terms of content. With this knowledge, you can improve the other pages on your website to attract more unique pageviews.

Average Time on Page

This metric is self-explanatory – the more time a user spends on your page, the better it is for your business. With more time spent on absorbing your content, the likelihood of conversion becomes higher. You should always aim for as high a time as possible and improve pages with a low average time by comparing their content to those with higher average times.

Entrances

Simply put, an “entrance” refers to the first page of your site that a user visits in each session. If this is too confusing, think of it like this: if a user visits three pages on your site during a session, only the first page will be counted as an “entrance.” Similarly, if they visit four pages, five pages or more… You get the idea. This metric allows you to understand which particular page on your site is generating the most visits and optimize it, along with all other pages.

Landing Pages

Similar to an “entrance page,” a landing page is the first page a user “lands on” on your site. This can be from organic traffic or aPPC marketing campaign where they are directed to land on a particular page. By understanding this metric, you can optimize the most common landing pages of your site to leave a good first impression on customers and increase the chances of them clicking to other pages and/or having a longer session. Landing page design experts can help you properly implement the right tracking goals.

Bounce Rate

We have already discussed “bounce rate” as a key term, but this particular metric allows you to find out exactly which page the user left without further interaction. If there seems to be a trend, you may want to relook into the content of that particular page. Which brings us to the next critical metric to track is exit percentage.

Exit Percentage

Exit percentage is similar to “bounce rate” in that it is the last page a user visits before exiting their session. However, this means that the user viewed more than a single page in contrast to “bounce rate”, where they only visited a single page before leaving. The last page a user visits before exiting your site altogether gets a point towards its exit percentage. If you notice a trend, it may be time to look at the page of interest and figure out what it is that is driving users away.

Site Speed

Lastly, one of the most important metrics is the speed at which your site loads. In fact, statistics have shown that 37% of users leave a website that takes more than 5 seconds to load! This contributes negatively to your bounce rate and is something you want to avoid at all costs. Not to mention, it is easily avoidable so there are no excuses to let this metric get in the way of growing your business and customer base!

About the Author

Bio: 

Chad is the Director of Content for SmartSites, a top rated website design and ecommerce development agency. Chad's career in SEO and digital content spans over 10 years. In his role with SmartSites, Chad grew from being an SEO copywriter, to leading a team of over 25 writers.