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Forget All You Know (or Don't Know) About Google Analytics

Friday 18 November 2016

15 minute read

By Sarah Burns

Whatever you do or don't know about Google Analytics, forget it and start from scratch with Thrive.

Focus on these eight metrics and views of Google Analytics to get some valuable insight into your website's performance.

Since the growth in popularity of Google's products a few years ago, including Analytics and Plus, and since the inception of Google My Business, there's been a bit of headache revolving around them all.

We want to make it easier for company owners and internal marketing managers to analyse how their website and online marketing is performing.

Focus on these eight metrics and forget everything else to successfully analyse and improve on your website.

#1. Audience Overview

This is your first view of Google Analytics and includes a mix of what Google Analytics deems a fair 'overview' of your data:

  • Sessions
  • Users
  • Page Views
  • Pages/Session
  • Average Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate
  • % New Sessions

#2. Source

Acquisition > Overview

This is one of the easiest metrics to find and understand, plus you will actually gain a fair bit of knowledge from it. Sources are where your traffic originates from.

#3. Page Views vs. Unique Page Views

Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages

Page Views are exactly what they say on the tin, it's when you compare them with 'Unique Page Views' that you can build an interesting picture.

Unique Page Views take into consideration the amount of times the same user goes back and views the same page, so with a comparison of the two you can gain an idea of how may people are coming back.

Be careful not to overanalyse this section. Make sure you block your own IP address from Google Analytics data, otherwise it will be completely 'off'.

#4. Bounce Rate

Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages

Bounce Rate is quite a common turn of phrase now, but it basically means the % of single-page views your website receives.

How many times does a person come onto your site and disappear immediately without clicking further into your site?

The higher this number the more you should consider your SEO setup - are you giving people the right expectation of your company when they find you?

Is your website setup so that it doesn't put people off when they get there? Think about your responsiveness and site speed.

#5. Exit Percentage

Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages

Interestingly, an Exit Percentage is generally speaking a lesser-known metric in Google Analytics but it will let you know if a page has a high exit rate - as in, this is a page a lot of your visitors get to and then leave your website.

Having even just one high exit page could mean that there is some analysis worth doing on this page.

Why are people leaving? Are you asking for too much information or are prices too high?

#6. Landing Pages

Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages

This isn't a landing page that we would normally describe - a page with a form and a content offer - it's where visitors first visit upon 'landing' on your site.

Similar to 'Entrance Pages' (also in Google Analytics) they're the first place a visitor lands on an give you a great idea of how good this experience is or, if there are particular pages ranking better for you, in comparison to others.

#7. Device Usage

Audience > Mobile > Overview

How are people viewing your website? This data can provide all sorts of information about the responsiveness of your website and its load speed on mobile devices.

If you notice short visit times for a particular device you may want to test and see if there is a reason for this. 

This screen also allows you to check where most of your traffic is coming from - you may need to spend more time developing your mobile site, rather than your desktop one!

#8. Site Speed

Behaviour > Site Speed > Overview

How fast does your website load? Your web agency should ensure that your website loads quickly, but it's up to you to continue to monitor your website's capabilities and performance. 

If the numbers don't look too good you should analyse further - no visitor likes to wait for long for a blog post or contact details.

This will also correlate with your bounce rate - a slow site speed guarantees a high bounce rate.

Want more information about website design? Speak to our team - 0845 838 7517 / hello@thriveability.co.uk

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