The Three Most Important Google Analytics Numbers
When it comes to online marketing, the biggest tool at your disposal is arguably Google Analytics. But just like a jigsaw isn’t helpful when you need to remove a screw, Google Analytics is useless if you don’t know what you’re using it for. It’s easy to get bogged down and confused in the heaps of pie charts, jargon and numbers. To help, here are a few of the most crucial statistics to look at and how they can clarify your site’s effectiveness.
The most important purpose of your website is to get your visitor to do something. Whether that something is buying a product or signing up for a newsletter, you need to know how successful your site is at converting basic views into actions. In order to see how well you’re performing in this regard, you must first set your goals in Analytics. Think about what percentage of your visitors you want taking action and what you want that action to be. Some basic actions that can illustrate how you are converting visitors are: email marketing subscriptions, clicking through to social media accounts, downloading guides or other products, or spending a certain amount of time on a page.
To set these, you will follow the step-by-step instructions under View > Admin > Goals, which will help you decide what goals best fit your actions. After you’ve set your goals, you will have a very detailed picture of what’s working and what isn’t on your website, because you’ll be able to break down conversions based on things like traffic sources, landing pages, new vs. returning visitors, type of device used and many other metrics. These numbers can help you easily identify if your site is working on a very fundamental level.
Found under Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages, this metric will allow you to gauge how visitors are entering your site and how that affects their experience. A landing page is essentially a page that a visitor used to enter your site, so these numbers tell you what kind of first impression you’re making. More specifically, they can tell you what your most popular pages are, how many visits they are getting and if visitors continue on to other pages or leave right away. The numbers can be crucial in finding out how interested customers are in various aspects of your site and how different pages are influencing how they browse. The Bounce Rate (number of visitors who left after seeing one page) of your landing pages is an important number to look at as well, as a high percentage (above 50) means visitors aren’t finding any reason to stay. According to Neil Patel, co-founder of analytics companies KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, one of the easiest ways to improve your Landing Page numbers is with a good call-to-action, inviting your visitor to look further into the site.
Although it is important to know what visitors are doing on your site, it can also be helpful to know what they were doing before they even arrived there. Google Analytics can show you that, as its traffic sources data tells you through what avenues visitors are reaching your site. Found under Audience Characteristics and Behavior > Traffic Sources, these numbers will illustrate, for instance, if more visitors are coming to your site from a search engine and LinkedIn, rather than Facebook or Twitter. A quick look at these stats can help you identify what aspects of your online marketing you need to give more or less attention. These also give you great insight into who makes up your audience. Of all the numbers and statistics you’ll find on Analytics, this one will be one of the easiest to digest while giving you vital information.