Google Analytics: 6 important metrics to look at
Yes, being super creative is great, but is your marketing plan based on insights and analytics?
This is a common mistake amongst small businesses. Innovation and success come from analysing performance and understanding what works and what doesn’t. And that’s exactly what Google Analytics can help you with.
So what can you understand from all that data?
- Who your audience is.
- What type of content works for your brand.
- Your website’s functionality and the efficiency of the customer journey.
- Your most important and effective marketing channels.
So what metrics do you need to look at and how do you interpret them?
1. Audience location
If you go to Audience > Geo > Location, you can see a world map and a breakdown of the countries where your web visitors are located.
This is so important for so many reasons.
First, if you’re only selling your products or services locally, this will tell you whether or not you’re getting the right audience on your website. For example, if you’re only providing services to UK-based businesses, but most of your website visitors are from Germany, it means you need to re-evaluate how your website is marketed.
Secondly, it helps you figure out what time you should publish posts on your website (and on social channels too!). Be aware of time zones as it can influence your reach by a lot.
2. Traffic sources
This is probably the most important metric to consider. Go to Acquisition > All traffic > Channels.
This will show you the amount of traffic that is coming from these sources:
- Direct – this is usually people who have typed in your website or had it bookmarked;
- Organic Search – traffic coming from Google/Bing/Yahoo etc. searches. These can be branded (for example, someone searching for ‘Nude Digital’ accessing our website), or by keywords (for example, someone searching for ‘social media marketing services London’);
- Paid Search – traffic from Google Ads (self explanatory);
- Social – again, quite easy to understand. This represents all traffic coming from your social media channels;
- Referral – traffic from other websites, backlinks etc.;
- Email – from newsletters, email signatures etc. (make sure you use tracking links, otherwise it might not be tracked);
If you’re looking to invest into some SEO work, or are interested in placing some PPC ads, then go to Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords.
This will give you a breakdown of all the search keywords or phrases that landed users on your pages.
4. Popular content
Head to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages to see the content that is most popular with your audience.
This should be your guide when creating new content for both your website and your social media channels. Important metrics to consider are:
- Page views – the higher the better;
- Average time on page – the higher the better;
- Bounce rate – the lower the better;
5. Bounce Rate
According to Google Analytics, a bounce rate is calculated by how many users open a single page on your site and then exit without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.
So is it bad to have a high bounce rate? Depends on how you measure success on your website. If your website is a one-pager, then they don’t really have anywhere else to go.
However, if they need to follow a journey in order to convert, then your bounce rate is a metric to consider.
6. Avg. session duration
According to Google Analytics, the average session duration is: total duration of all sessions (in seconds) / number of sessions.
Why is this so important? Because this tells you how captivating your website’s content is, and whether or not is enough to generate interest and ultimately convert. The bounce rate and the average session duration combined are the 2 metrics that let you know if you should consider updating your website design & copy.