Analytics is a term that’s being brought up more and more. Analytics can tell which player has the best batting average against right-handed pitchers with runners in scoring position when the temperature is above 85 degrees, or how people are using and interacting with your website. Google Analytics is an invaluable tool when it comes to measuring your website’s performance, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips as to what some of the numbers and data mean and how you can use the information provided to understand the performance of your website.
If you’re going to be using this valuable data to make decisions regarding how to improve your website, make sure you are using good data to drive those decisions. Filtering out your company’s internal traffic from reporting and making sure the latest version of the Google Analytics tracking code is installed on every page of the site is a must.
This is a great way to gauge how your site is performing over time. Has the number of sessions been increasing or decreasing? If the answer is decreasing, look at the same point in time a year ago to see if there is some seasonality in play. If not, you can dig into other reports to try to pinpoint the reason for the decrease.
This report will show you how people found your site, either by typing in the web address directly into their web browser, from an organic listing in a search engine, or from a paid ad. This report helps you break down other metrics by traffic source so you can see if one source has a higher conversion rate or bounce rate than others. In essence, it will helps you and your organization find what type of channel is working best for you.
Bounce rate is calculated by the number of people who land on a page and leave without clicking through to any other pages. While bounce rates vary by industry, anything above 55% should be looked at to improve. When researching the cause of high bounce rates, look at specific high bounce pages as a user and try to deduce what is missing. Does the page reference a product spec sheet but doesn’t actually link to a file to download? Make sure the page delivers what people are looking for.
Be sure to set up goals and make sure you are accurately tracking them. These goals will give you the ability to track the conversion rate of contact forms. You can also assign a monetary value to conversions to track revenue from form completions. If you sell products on your site, proper ecommerce tracking should also be set up so you can track important figures like revenue, items per transaction, and conversion rate - but that’s its own blog post.
There’s a wealth of additional information within Google Analytics that you can slice and dice a report on. Don’t be overwhelmed! You’re sure to find something to help maximize your website’s potential.
Do you have anything to add? Comment your thoughts and questions below.