Author: Josh Duffety-Wong
September 28, 2018
Tools like Google Analytics are great, but unless you know what you’re looking for you can spend hours staring at numbers without gaining a shred of useful information. However, once you’ve managed to get your head around some of the basics, this data can help you rank higher in search engines, attract more visitors and convert more customers.
Here are our top 6 website metrics you should be measuring and learning from right now.
Where have your users come from? Taking a good look at your Acquisition data will show you which sources are driving more people than others – although more doesn’t always mean better! Ideally, your website will have incoming traffic from a variety of sources including Organic, Direct, Referral and Social. A high organic result may show that your SEO efforts are paying off, or a low referral result may mean that you don’t have enough external links. Of course, this data will need to be analysed and reviewed in context but you can still gain some incredibly valuable insights from it.
This will vary depending on the type and overall goal of your website, but it’s important to analyse the difference between your new and returning users. If you have more returning visitors, you might wonder why they returned? For example, if you have an eCommerce website, returning visitors aren’t a bad thing providing they purchase every time. However, if they don’t convert, you’ll need to figure out what’s stopping them.
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page website visits that ended without an interaction – This means that they saw one page and then left without doing anything. On one hand, this could mean that they landed, read the page, got what they needed and left, but it could also mean that you have poor content and usability, and/or no calls to action. It’s best to use this information alongside other data to see if you have any issues.
This shows you how many pages your visitors viewed before they left. Similar to Bounce Rates, be careful as the data can sometimes be misleading. For example, if visitors only viewed one pages per session, this could either mean that your content or user experience is poor, or that it’s excellent and they’re getting exactly what they need before leaving. Best to use this with other data to get a clear picture.
Looking at which pages your users leave your site from can be really useful in improving conversions. Ideally, they’d all be leaving from your contact page or after they’ve made a purchase for example. However, if you have a high percentage of exits on pages where you’re trying to convert but actually aren’t, then there could be a problem.
Learning which device your visitors use to view your website will help you ensure your design meets their needs. For example, if your data shows that 80% of people view your site on a mobile, then it’s pretty safe to say they they’ll be looking for a mobile friendly design and user experience.
Remember, no one metric will show you the entire story so these, along with other will paint a clear picture of what your users are doing, where they’re coming from and what they want.