As a business owner you should already know that having a website is super important for your business. So, you had a well designed website made. Now what? Next, you turn to your website analytics data to see how your website is performing and if you need to make any updates to get better results.
For some people, the world of Google Analytics is this big black hole. This article is our attempt to light up the black hole and provide you with a bit of insight into how it all works.
Let’s break down what exactly Google Analytics is and why it is important for your business.
What are Google Analytics metrics?
A metric is a performance data set associated with actions on your website.
For example, how many people visited your website last week. Or how long do people stay on your website? These are the metrics that form the base of your website performance data.
Let’s take a look at what exactly some of the most important Google Analytics metrics are for your business.
Traffic and traffic source
The most basic metric is Website Traffic. This metric tells you how many people visit your website over a defined period of time. Whether you’re increasing your traffic through Google paid ads or a content blog, this is a useful metric for business owners to see how their website is performing in terms of visitors.
Because of the very many different ways to drive traffic to your website, its really important to know which one is working the best so that you can focus your effort there. It might be that your search marketing (i.e. Google Ads) is delivering more traffic than you paid and organic social media marketing and even your email marketing.
One of the most useful Google Analytics metrics is therefore traffic source. It shows the exact source of the traffic on your website and tells you which marketing channels are the most relevant traffic to your website.
Average time spent
This metric shows you how much time (on average) a user spends on your website. It's generally a good indication of how good (i.e. engaging) the content on your website is. If you see a low duration, it’s time to update your content so that it is better suits the needs and interest of your target audience.
To help with your content strategy, the top pages metric shows you exactly how your website pages are performing in terms of traffic, bounce rate, duration, etc. The flip side of this metric is your next handy too, exit pages. This metric shows you exactly where your traffic leaves your page. If you are consistently seeing visitor leave on a particular page, it should be a pretty big red flag that you have some content you need to spruce up .
A bounce essentially means users who leave after viewing a single web page. Bounce rate differs from the exit pages metric in that if a customer bounces, that means there was nothing on that page that interested them about your brand, so they left all together. If a user exits a page, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like your brand. They just may not have found what they were looking for or want to shop around.
If you have a high bounce rate, it indicates that people are leaving quickly because of bad content or that you are not targeting and funnelling the right people to your website.
Unique users v returning users
It is a proven fact that 80% of your results often come from 20% of your efforts i.e. 80% of your business comes from only 20% of your customers. This is super important to remember as we know that is much easier and cheaper to retain than it is to convert new customers. Google Analytics has the perfect metric for you, unique users v returning users you get to see the split of your website traffic.
Why Google Analytics metrics are important for your business
Ok, so we've given a really quick run down of some of the basic metrics tht are helpful to small businesses and how they can help you improve your website content.
But exactly why is it all the rage? Well, for starters, it’s free. Yes, you heard it right. It’s absolutely free. All these Google Analytics metrics can be yours to know for free. All it takes is installing the tracking code and you're away. Second, it's actually pretty cool to use. If you haven't used it before, you will be amazed at how much information you can gleam from it. All the information you will ever need to know about your website is right in one dashboard with easy to navigate buttons.
We haven't gone into them here (babay steps and all), but there is so much more detailed data you can collect that will really help drive your business efforts. Set your business goals, track your ad covnersion, follow your visitors behaviour and so much more.
If you are keen to learn more about Google Analytics and how to make it work for you, then by all means reach out.