Google Analytics is a fantastic source for website statistics. It offers many key performance indicators to help you monitor your site’s performance and shows you where you could improve. But it isn’t all about visitor numbers, as you’ll soon see.
Sure, you need people to turn up and knock on the door but once they come inside, that’s when the really useful info begins to unfold.
Metric 1 – Conversions
Whether your website is created for e-commerce, a blog, a portfolio or even a non-profit, it will always have an aim. Those aims are monitored by conversions and are split into two parts. There’s your overall (macro) goal and then there are your micro goals that make up the smaller steps along the way to achieving the main objective. Your macro conversion may well be a final sale, a completed contact form or perhaps a new subscriber. And your smaller conversions are newsletter signups, reading further info about products or downloading an ebook, for example.
Google Analytics reporting shows conversion rates as a percentage and uses the following equation. Take the total number of conversions and divide them by the number of visitors, then multiply by 100.
For example, 10 newsletter signups / 100 visitors x 100 = 10% conversion rate.
Metric 2 – Traffic Source
Many metrics should be used together. It’s one thing knowing how long a visitor spends on your site, or how many links they actively click on but to make sense of all of this you’ll need to look at other aspects as well. For example, the traffic source will show which avenues of exposure are pushing visitors through to your website. You’ll see how many are coming through Google, Instagram, newsletters or other avenues. Using this info and other metrics, you can see where people are coming from and what kind of interactions they have. This will help you focus your efforts on sources that are most fruitful for your website.
Metric 3 – Engagement Metrics
Attracting new visitors to a landing page is essential if you’re going to achieve your overall aim from a website. But when they get there, you need to know precisely what movements they are making and how they interact with that page. With this info, you can see where the page is performing well and what areas might need a tweak here or there. There are several important engagement metrics that you should look out for. These include bounce rate, average session duration and where visitors go after reading the content on that page.
Metric 4 – Device Breakdown
The majority of internet interactions are performed on mobile devices these days. But while PCs may be losing their edge over handheld devices, it doesn’t mean that they are redundant. Depending on your website and target demographic, you’ll find that your visitors probably favour one type of device over another. It’s always worth considering the specific user experience that you’re offering across these devices and consider a little fine-tuning. If mobile interaction is king for your business, then don’t slow it down with unnecessary images and large files, for example.
Metric 5 – Number of visitors
All of the above metrics are key for discovering how well your website performs in front of its users. But none of it means anything unless you have visitors turning up in the first place. You need traffic directed to your site and this takes time. It may be through backlinks from other content and websites, Google ads and many other sources. But when you have new visitors coming your way, you can begin to see how they interact with your site. It’s also a useful metric for those who already receive lots of visitors. If site visits are high but the bounce rate is off the charts, for example, then some serious revisions need to be performed.
All metrics are useful for assessing your website’s performance. Many of them need to be used in conjunction with others. And the overriding thought is that without context, none of the statistics mean anything. See how the metrics relate to your website and decide how improving each one will bring further benefits to you as a company, club or blogger.