In this digital world we live in, there is no shortage of data. We’re surrounded by it every day. The value of data, however, lies in its application. How you use that data to make decisions that improve your business.
When it comes to Google Analytics, the amount of data can be overwhelming. Logging into your GA dashboard, you are immediately greeted with metrics, graphs, and statistics comparing performance across a particular date range.
- Users: The first and most basic metric to monitor – how many people are visiting your website? This statistic is less relevant on a day by day basis and more important over time. You want to make sure that your site traffic is growing, so we like to look at this number on a month over month basis. This will help you in a few ways. First of all, you’ll notice any cycles in your web traffic. For example, do you see a spike in certain months/days? Work to understand why and consider offering a promotion to capitalize on that increased traffic. On the other hand, identifying slower months will help you allocate your advertising budget and try to fill in those times with lower numbers by increasing your ROAS (return on ad spend).
- Acquisition: In other words, where are your site visitors coming from? Do they come to your site directly? Click through from another website? Find you via social media channels? Or organic search? Understanding and monitoring how potential customers or subscribers find your site will help you take advantage of those channels and use them to the fullest.
- Bounce Rate: Take the guesswork out of determining if your site content is resonating with your audience. The Bounce Rate measures what percentage of users click through to another page on your site versus hitting a single page and leaving. While the optimum rate varies by industry, typically somewhere between 41%-55% is considered average. Anything below that would be excellent! If you find your bounce rate to be higher than you’d like, consider two things: your website acquisition and content. For example, if you are driving traffic to your site via an ad that promises answers to a certain question, but it’s not evident in the top half of the page, users are likely to give up and click away. Ensure that there is not a disconnect by evaluating your content and comparing it to the path users take to your website.
- Session Duration: Another great metric to track engagement is the average duration a user remains on your site. How long are they engaging with your content? Obviously, the longer someone stays on your site, the better (though not always – for an e-commerce project much better metric would be conversions and goals reached). This is especially important to track when you make changes to your website structure or content.
- Behavior Flow: Taking it one step further from session duration, the behavior flow chart depicts exactly how users are interacting with each page of the website. Essentially, this is a trail of breadcrumbs that maps the track users take from page to page. From this, you can determine the most engaging pages and where to place your most important content for maximum exposure. On the other hand, you’ll also be able to measure which pages are most likely to result in the user leaving the site altogether.