Getting Started With Google Analytics: 6 Metrics To Track On Your Website
So your business just launched a new website. Like most companies you probably spent a significant amount of time getting the design, content and functionality just right. I have just 2 questions for you: How will you track whether or not your new site is a success? And how do you know if users are engaging with your site? There are actually many tools for this but the one tool that I use everyday is Google Analytics (and it’s free).
Here are 6 useful Google Analytics metrics you can track to help you answer the questions above:
1. User Count
User count is a good indication of how your site is doing. The higher the user count the higher the chance is that one of those users will engage with your company. When you first launch a website the odds are your user count will be low. Do not worry this is completely normal. Once Google has had a chance to index your site you should see a steady increase in users. If you are seeing that all your pages are indexed in webmaster tools and your user count is still low perhaps it’s time to start dialing in your SEO.
Tip: Create the following filters to ensure your user count is accurate: 1) exclude your IP address, 2) include your hostname and 3) exclude all bot traffic.
2. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of users that visit your site and leave after viewing a single page. A high bounce rate can be caused by many things including:
- Clicking an external link
- A user not finding what they’re looking for right away.
- Giving your user what they are looking for immediately without a trackable call-to-action.
A high bounce rate is not necessarily a cause for concern if the user is converted on the first page, so be sure to include a measurable call-to-action on every page. A low bounce rate could mean that users are engaged by the content on your site or could be looking for some information that was not on the first page they viewed.
A session is a continuous set of interactions by a single user that ends when they become inactive for more than a half hour. User interactions that are tracked within a session include page views, goal completions, and other types of conversions.
4. Pages Per Session
Pages per session is the average number of pages that a user views in a single session. In a nutshell, pages per session can tell you whether your audience is engaged or not. If the metric is seems a little high you may want to consider whether your call-to-actions are clear enough. Conversely, if the metric is low you should consider revising your content.
5. Traffic Sources
Tracking the traffic from different sources can help you measure how you are doing on other mediums such as social media, local listings, and google adwords campaigns. If you notice a lot of traffic coming from one particular medium, such as facebook, you know that you are doing well to represent your brand on that medium. Also, if you are noticing low numbers coming from search engines such as google or bing, it may be an indicator that there are some underlying SEO issues on your site.
Tracking conversions could be the most important thing you do in analytics. A conversion can be any interaction a user has with your site that can be seen as a win for you business. A few of the most popular types of conversions you can track are:
- Submitting a form
- Purchasing a product
- Viewing a specific page
- Viewing a set of pages in a specific order that could lead to a purchase or form completion (also called a funnel)
- Downloading a file
- Clicking a specific link
While these are only a few of the metrics you can view in Google Analytics they should be enough to get you started. By yielding the power of analytics to measure key performance indicators you can develop a website that will convert a high percentage of users. Remember, the true sign of whether or not your website is successful isn’t the number of users or sessions, it’s your conversion rate. With that, I wish you all good luck and happy tracking!