Website metrics are extremely important, but they can also be hard to understand. In our guide, you’ll learn about some of the most important website metrics that you can find in your Google Analytics account, and what they mean…
Where do I start collecting data?
Even if you don’t have much experience with it, we recommend that everyone installs Google Analytics onto their website as soon as they can. This is because the system can begin collecting information about your website, ready for you to access at any point.
Google Analytics is a powerful and free tool that can help with making improvements to your website. We’re big fans of this tool, as it allows you to make decisions on your sites based on the data collected, instead of assumptions.
You can download Google Analytics directly from Google themselves, or download a third-party plugin to do most of the work for you. In this case, we’d recommend MonsterInsights, which is a great and user-friendly WordPress plugin.
So, after you’ve got Google Analytics set up on your site, it’s important to give the website some time to start collecting data. It’s not useful trying to interpret data if there isn’t a lot going on, and we’d say that it’s much better to leave this for a while before having a proper look, which is why we usually review site data monthly.
After waiting some time for Analytics to gather some information, you should be able to digest some of the metrics. There are many different numbers and figures, which are all useful in their own way. We’ve cherry-picked a few that you could begin to interpret.
This is a percentage of users that left the site almost immediately after landing on your website, in the selected timeframe. (We cover Bounce Rate in more detail, within our marketing jargon blog)
To find bounce rate, head over to the Google Analytics dashboard, and click on the ‘Audience’ section on the left-hand side of the menu. Then, click on ‘Overview.’ Bounce rate should be displayed as a percentage on the bottom row.
Most visited pages:
One of the more self-explanatory metrics, but you can view which pages your total traffic navigated to, whilst they were on your website. This is probably one of the easiest statistics to find, which can simply be done by searching ‘most visited pages’ in Analytics’ built-in search feature. You should then be greeted with a graph. Below this, you’ll see the most viewed pages on your website in the time selected. It’s important to note, that if a page is just named ‘/’, this is the name of your Homepage!
Sources of traffic:
A pie chart breaking down how visitors ended up on your website, whether that was through a social link, an organic search, a direct search, a referral, etc.
To find this, select ‘Acquisition’ from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, then select ‘Overview’. You will be greeted with a pie chart, which displays the percentage of each source that is driving traffic to your website.
Pages per session:
Another fairly self-explanatory figure, but you can view the average number of pages that a visitor visited during their visit to your website. This can be viewed in the same section as Bounce Rate, which is under the Audience Overview. Every website is different, but for the most part, having more ‘pages per session’ is a good thing.
The number of new or unique users that visited the website in the selected timeframe. This is also explained in more detail within our marketing jargon blog, but to recap: “Measuring unique visitors is a more accurate way to measure the reach of your site as if you visited a site 20 times in a month, your visit would only count once as a unique visitor, reflecting the number of opportunities to convert”.
This can also be found under the ‘Audience Overview’.
So, there you have it! Understanding these basic numbers will help you in building a foundation when it comes to interpreting website analytics and data.
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to try this for yourself, and let us know how you get on!
As always though, if you do encounter any issues, please do get in touch, and we’ll see what we can do to help you.