When it comes to having a successful website, you need to know what your website is actually doing. And to do that, we often dig into digital marketing tools such as Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is an essential tool to have, no matter the size of your website. It can easily be implemented in the code of your site, and allow you to easily track everything about your website from user demographics to which pages your users are viewing most frequently.
If the idea of having "analytics" sounds intimidating to you, fear not. It is actually as complicated and as in-depth as you wish for it to be. Think of Microsoft Word: there are probably 500 buttons, but maybe a dozen that you truly learn and use for your personal needs.
Every digital marketer will tell you something different when it comes to which metrics in Google Analytics they consider to be their "favorite" or "the most important", and they will also tell you different ways they use those metrics. To help take some of the mystery out of our process, here are 5 metrics we typically look at "on the reg" and can guarantee you will hear us mention at least once during our partnership.
1. Unique Visitors
- A unique visitor to your site simply means, a visitor from a unique IP Address. This data is important because it can give us a more accurate representation of visitor flow to your site, and whether it appears your traffic is consisting of the same visitors over and over again, or whether it is "unique" visitors, which could mean you're reaching a broader audience, and new customers. It is important to remember that Sessions refers to total site visits, or your overall site traffic, which means sessions include users who have come to your website multiple times.
2. Time on Site
- Time on site refers to how long your total visitors are staying on your site, in average. This metric helps point out user engagement, and tells us whether or not your site is accomplishing its goals. Ideally, a longer time on site would mean your users are more interested, or are spending time investing in the information on your site. If this begins to fluctuate greatly, it could mean maybe our calls to action are/aren't working the way we want them to, or users are arriving to your site by mistake, among other things.
3. Bounce Rate
- This is also an engagement metric, but a difficult one to understand. Unlike other metrics, we want this number to be as low as possible. Why? Because bounce rate simply refers to the percentage of users who visit your site, view ONE page, and leave. Essentially, they "bounce" quickly from your site to another. Depending on what our goals are for your site, bounce rate could mean different things. For example: blog pages typically have a high bounce rate because a user might arrive on your blog, read the article they're looking for, and leave. But, a high bounce rate on a home page could mean more trouble. Perhaps users are arriving on your homepage, unsure of where to click next or even unsure of if your'e the right business for them, so they leave without viewing another page first.
4. Traffic Channels
- Traffic channels are the paths your users have taken to get to your site, separated by the following categories: Organic, Direct, Referral, and Social. As a company who also specializes in SEO, we spend a lot of time poking around in the Organic section. Organic traffic is traffic coming specifically from search engines. If we are working on improving your site's SEO, our main focus will be change in organic search. This tells us your users are successfully finding you in the search engines, then clicking through to your site. The Organic traffic channel may be the most important metric we look at.
5. Landing Pages
- A landing page refers to which pages on your website are the FIRST pages your visitors are "landing" on. This can give you great insight into what they may be searching for, as well as an idea of if these pages are being linked to from other sites. While Top Pages is important to see which pages your users are viewing the most, it is also important to know which pages are giving your users the first impression
. As we all know, first impressions are everything, especially websites. When you're scoping out companies, do you typically make your decision based on their website? More than likely, yes.
Navigating Google Analytics, and all the fancy language can be difficult and confusing, but once you learn which metrics matter most for your business and goals, it is very beneficial in the end.
Thankfully, Pixel Perfect is here to help guide you, and do the analyzing-of-analytics for you. If you would like to get started on better understanding your website today, head on over to our Get Started page