Most business owners I talk to have no idea what their reports mean (if they have even been granted access to them!).
If you’re paying someone for online marketing, or even if you’re doing it yourself, you need to keep an eye on your website analytics. Paying attention to your reports can give you an idea of how people are interacting with your site- and how you can improve their experience. They can also give you an idea if you’re getting what you have paid for.
Only ignore these reports if you’re not interested in getting more business as a result of your site!
Take the Time to Understand What Your Analytics Mean
First, as long as you have a Google account (gmail address – free and easy to get) – you can be added as a user of your analytics account so you can see the data at any time.
The first thing you see when you login is the Audience Overview dashboard:
Let’s focus on the 3 most important pieces of data to summarize from this.
Number of Visitors
This gives you a snapshot to determine if the marketing and advertising you are doing to drive people to your website is effective or not (a lot more on this later in this blog series). Of course, less traffic that is better quality (read: ready to purchase your product/service) is always better than massive amounts of visitors with no conversions. This might indicate that your site is not being found for the right terms.
In this report, the numbers show:
- 17,184 unique visitors came to this website in May
- That resulted in 20,990 Visits – because some people visited more than once
- 77% of the visit were new – had never been to the site before
Pages Visited & Avg. Visit Duration
Together these are key measurements of how engaged your website visitors were. Did they take a look around? Did they find your site interesting and worth staying on? Did they spend some time?
A good benchmark to aim for in average visit duration is 2 minutes, & a good goal for the number of pages per visit would be 2-3+ (but this is dependent on your type of business & sales process).
In this report, the numbers show:
- The number of Pageviews (76,231), divided by the number of visits (20,990) created the Pages / Visit number = 3.63.
- Average Visit Duration (time on site) is 2:12
This is one the first numbers I look at anytime I’m on analytics. It can tell you a lot about whether the traffic you are getting is the right kind, or if there is something that isn’t working with your landing pages.
A bounce is when someone comes to the website, and does not click on anything, does not visit a second page, just leaves right away.
Imagine a big bouncer standing at the door scaring people away- that’s how you remember what bounce rate means (…cheesy, I know…)! Or as Avinash Kaushik (guru with personality in the Analytics world) puts it – they came, they puked, they left
With this data, obviously the lower the number- the better. You definitely don’t want to accept a bounce rate greater than 50%! We are happy if it’s in the below 40% range, and if it’s even lower than that, we are ecstatic.
In this report, the bounce rate is:
1) 34.71%- not bad! Now we ask… how can we get it even lower?
Take Advantage of the Data You’re Given & Improve Your Results
These core statistics are a great start, and you can even read deeper into the data in many other sections of the Google Analytics. It is particularly useful to determine what sources of advertising are working for you or not- which in itself is a topic that requires a dedicated post.
In next week’s installment, we’ll show you how!