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What Google Analytics Metrics Should You Monitor?
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What Google Analytics Metrics Should You Monitor?

Google Analytics is currently the most widely used website statistics (12 million + websites). However, when I ask others what metrics they are viewing and reporting on the answers always seem to match the default metrics that appear on the dashboard (Visitors, Pageviews, Bounce Rate, Time on Site, Visitor Type, and Traffic Source).

Let’s look at these metrics (and others you should be reviewing).

  1. Visitors / Visitor Type

    Displays your visitor count and shows you new vs. returning visitors. You can clearly see if you are receiving more traffic and how loyal your visitors are (returning). Remember, search engine “bots” are also recorded here so the numbers could be inflated. Filter out any visits that only spent 2-3 secs on your site and you should see a more realistic number of your actual visitors.

  2. Pageviews

    This metric basically shows you the load on your server. If you are not in charge of monitoring the server’s capacity stop spending time here or remove it from your dashboard.

  3. Bounce Rate

    One of the most important metrics to look at (the lower the rate the better, however too low is not good either). This let’s you know what percentage of your visitors are landing on a page and then leaving your site without navigating further. I’d recommend spending some time analyzing pages that show a high bounce rate and determine if the information is relevant, easy to follow, clearly illustrates the next step or call to action, etc., there is a reason why your bounce rate is high, you have to figure out what that is in order for the page to be successful.

  4. Time on Site

    This metric can clearly show you how engaged visitors are on your site. Are they spending the amount of time you expected. If the majority of your visitors are spending 20 sec or less maybe they are not finding what they were looking for. Along with the visitor’s duration on your site, look at page depth to see on average how many pages they are viewing during their stay at your site. Furthermore, are the pages they are viewing in-line with the sales funnel you’ve designed into your site (you are doing this right?).

  5. Traffic Source

    Another one of the top metrics. When you dig a little deeper into this information you will clearly see if your link building and SEO efforts are paying off. Are your keywords in-line with the right landing pages? How’s the bounce rate on these pages? If your focused on local advertising, the geographical summary will help you tweak those efforts as well.

  6. Landing Pages

    Alone tells you your top landing pages (not bad). However, when you select a “secondary dimension” like source, keyword, location, etc. then this report starts to become extremely useful. Simply adding that additional column now allows you to really tune into if these pages are working to enhance the user’s experience on your site. Is the keyword relevant to the landing page content (if not your bounce rate is probably high). Is it a local page that is driving traffic from that local? etc.

  7. In-Page Analytics

    A visual representation on how this page is performing (links being clicked on, how many visitor’s bounced, how they got to this page, etc.). There is a lot of information here and will really show you if your page layout is working. You’ll love this metric!

The above should get you started on looking beyond the “Dashboard”. There is a ton of information captured by Google Analytics surrounding your visitors interaction with your website. It is up to you how you are going to use that information to improve your sites performance, enhance their experience and convert more of your visitors into customers.


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