Sophisticated tools, like Google Analytics, can provide website owners with highly detailed information about their visitors and how they interact with their websites. In this post, we’ll look at some of the key metrics you should look for and how these can help you make improvements to your site.
Page views tell you how many times each of your pages or posts get visited. Rather than looking at your overall number of website visitors, this metric shows which pages of your site are the most and least popular. Sometimes the information you find here can be different to what you expect, and this can provide key insights for both your website and your business.
Additionally, analysing page views can show you if your marketing has been successful. If you have an ad campaign that sends visitors to a specific landing page, for example, this metric will show you how well that campaign has performed in terms of driving traffic.
Average time on page
While page views show you how many people visit your pages, ‘average time on page’ tells you how long people spent looking at them. This information can provide a number of important insights. A very short average time shows people are not engaging with the content and are leaving.
This could be because the content or appearance needs improvement or because the page is attracting the wrong people. The latter could happen because of misleading keywords in the title or an ad. People may visit expecting one thing but not finding it when they arrive.
Ideally, you want the average time on page to be around how long it takes to read or watch all the content. However, as not all visitors will do this, a good average is somewhat shorter. From an SEO perspective, if you have a reasonable average time, Google will assume your page is something visitors think is worth reading and this can boost the page’s ranking.
Average session duration
The aim of most websites is to drive sales or leads. For these reasons, you often want people to visit more than one page, for instance, the products pages and the checkout page.
While average time on page looks at individual pages, average session duration tells you how long the average visitor stays on your site. Again, the longer they stay, the better, as it means you’re engaging people, which is important if you want to improve conversion rates.
Pages per session
Pages per session is a metric that needs to be analysed along with average session duration as, combined, they tell you how many pages people visit and how long they stay on them. If you have a small website, you won’t necessarily expect to see a high page count, so don’t worry if the number is not high.
However, if people visit a lot of your pages and you have a short average session time, this may indicate that people are flicking through your pages without finding anything of relevance.
The bounce rate is important as it tells you what percentage of visitors leave soon after the website loads on their screens. While you want the bounce rate to be as low as possible, every website has visitors who do this, and it can happen for many reasons.
People can click on links by mistake; realise straight away that they are on the wrong site, or not like the look of what they see. However, there are other important reasons why they might bounce; for example, your website loads too slowly or because the site isn’t mobile-friendly and doesn’t display correctly on their device.
High-performance hosting can help improve loading speed and a responsive theme will ensure your site can be accessed on all devices.
Bouncing can also occur if the content isn’t relevant, the site is hard to navigate, the design is ugly or out of date and for various other reasons. If you have a high bounce rate, it is important to find the causes or the offending pages and fix them.
Visitors can come from various sources, search engines, ads, emails, social media, etc., and it is important to know how these different sources compare.
If you get very few search engine visitors (organic traffic), then your website is not performing well in search engine results, and you will need to do some SEO to try and improve this. Using a proven tool, like marketgoo, can be very helpful here.
If you’re not getting a lot of organic traffic, then you will need to rely on other forms of attracting visitors, which often means costly paid-for advertising. If you are running a campaign, the traffic sources analytics will help you understand just how many visitors that campaign is generating.
You can even track those visitors on Google Analytics to see how many of them convert and thus monitor the ROI of your advertising budget.
New and repeat visitors
Two other important metrics are new and repeat visitors. By tracking IP addresses, Google Analytics can let you know when someone new visits your website for the first time and if they ever come back again. A growing business needs both.
You’ll want new visitors to find you and you’ll want them to be loyal customers and keep coming back. These metrics will help you understand how well your website performs in both of these key areas.
Analytics can tell you a great deal about your visitors and your website. Its insights can help you make improvements that keep visitors engaged and drives conversion rates. The good news is that Google Analytics is a free-to-use tool that any website owner can take advantage of.
Need your website to load faster? See our wide range of high-performance hosting plans.