13 Mar Overview of Google Analytics
Why you should use Google Analytics to measure and improve your site’s performance
Does your website stink or does it shine? This is one of many questions that Google Analytics, a free, robust software platform, can answer. It can give you key insights into your website’s performance. Specifically, it can answer:
- Who is coming to your site?
- Where are your site visitors at geographically?
- How many visitors are using computers, tablets, or mobile phones?
- What are your best and worst pages on your site?
- How engaged are visitors with the site’s content?
Google Analytics is easy to use and set up. Here are some key metrics that Google Analytics measures that can help you improve your website:
1. Audience Metrics
Who is coming to your site? Google Analytics provides the following metrics to help you understand your audience:
- Traffic: You can learn how much traffic your site has each day, week, and month.
- Location: You can see where visitors are physically located (state or city) while visiting your site.
- Device Type: You can see how many site visitors use desktop/laptop computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
- New or Repeat: You will see how many visitors have never been to your site before and how many are return visitors.
Audience metrics give you a glimpse as to who exactly is coming to your site. It can help you customize your site for certain geographic, demographic, and technological segments of your site.
2. Traffic Sources Metrics
How are visitors finding your site? Traffic source data in Google Analytics helps answer this question. Here are some common metrics you will see:
- Keywords: You will see what keywords from organic and paid search are leading visitors to come to your site.
- PPC: Find out how many visitors come from your paid search campaigns
- Organic: See what percent of visitors come from your organic rankings on search engines on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
- Direct: See how many people typed in your website address directly into their web browser.
- Referral: See what visitors come from links to your site from other websites on the Internet.
Traffic source data helps you see where to focus your efforts. You will find out which keywords and sources are your most profitable for you. You can then adapt your marketing strategy to focus on the aspects of paid search and organic rankings that matter the most.
3. Engagement Metrics
Do visitors like your site? Is it easy to navigate? Is the content engaging? These metrics will help you decide the answer:
- Bounce Rate: This is the percent of people that leave after arriving on the first page of your site.
- Pages/Visit: The amount of pages that people visit.
- Time on Site: Measures how long a visitor stays on your site
- Goals: You can specify goals for the site. For example, you can set a goal for a visit of 3 minutes long or a completed form submission. Analytics will measure and report on the amount of times goals were completed.
- Events: You can measure certain actions, such as a clicked link or watched video.
- Page Performance: Analytics will break down your site by page and show you how well each site performed (time on page, bounce rate, etc).
Engagement metrics can give you clues that will help you improve site content to make it more interesting and useful. It can also help you improve internal linking, navigation, and other aspects of your site.
While there are many advanced features that bring additional insights to website performance, these metrics give you the foundation you need to make website improvements that can increase the performance and conversion rate of your site.
For more information, visit the Google Analytics website.