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Website Reports: 6 Google Analytics you need to know

If you run a website, chances are you’re using Google Analytics to monitor website metrics (if not, you should be!)

Google Analytics is a very powerful reporting tool for your business, yet most don’t use it to its full potential.

It’s important to understand how many people are visiting your site and how they behave when visiting. This allows you to track the ROI of your online marketing, quality of traffic, page views, underperforming pages, and so much more.

 

In this guide, you will learn six analytics to improve your website and increase conversions. This will give you basic knowledge to gather and interpret your data, by creating reports on website performance and situation.

If you have just started monitoring your website‘s activity on the Google Analytics dashboard and don’t understand what the metrics mean or what to include in your report – then read on because this is the blog for you!

What to Include in Your Website Reports

Google Analytics doesn’t need to be overwhelming. In fact, it should be more enlightening than anything else.

It gives you a big picture of the important stuff’s data like site traffic, engagement, and conversions broken down by source.

vector illustration of a computer screen showing a rising graph behind a group of people with the text "visitors"

Visitors

The visitor metric (the number of visitors you get on your website) is crucial to understanding the size of your audience.

Although a metric like page views from visitors will not be able to give specific information about your efforts, it will provide your report with a good overview of the overall health of your website.

With this metric, you can see any changes in growth; stagnation or decline becomes easy to identify, allowing you to make improvements quickly and easily.

There are two types of visitors that your website gets: new visitors and returning visitors.

New Visitors

New visitors (aka unique visitors) are the number of new people who have visited your website within a set period of time.

A unique visitor is a good indicator of the success of your marketing efforts, both online and offline.

Say you want to monitor how successful your marketing campaign has been at driving new visitors to your web page. Take a look at the analytics to see if there has been an increase of page views from unique visitors in that time.

Returning Visitors

Returning visitors are anyone that has previously visited your website and returned.

They are the jackpot for your business and what you should aim for in your marketing campaigns.

A returning visitor shows that the visitor is interested enough in what you offer to revisit your site. Every time a visitor returns, you have a higher chance of converting them into a customer.

Now that you know about the different types of visitors, you may be asking yourself, ‘how many visitors should my site be getting?’

The short and uncomplicated answer is- it’s relative.

If you have an e-commerce website, you should be getting much more traffic than if you had a website for your plumbing business. The quality of leads will also be different.

If you have a new site or are new to analytics, collect at least three months of data before you start to truly analyze visitor trends.

After enough time has passed to get reliable data, you can start using it to understand how your efforts affect your traffic.

With returning visitors, the general rule of thumb is to have at least 25% (ideally 50%) of your visitors returning.

vector illustration of a woman holding paper besides different styles of graphs and a clock and the word "Time"

Average Time on Site

Average time spent on your site is a good indicator of how engaging your content is.

A high amount of time spent on your website indicates high engagement.

Average time spent is also an excellent metric to measure website navigation. If a user finds it difficult to get around your website, regardless of the device they use, chances are they will leave pretty quickly.

If your website is engaging and easily navigable , your data will show that visitors’ time and the number of pages they visit on your site will increase.

To increase time spent on your site, optimizing performance for mobile devices is key.

Mobile visitors are only going to keep increasing in number. Without a properly optimized mobile site, you are losing out on a good chunk of traffic.

So, friends, ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

vector illustration of a woman sitting on a pie chart with a rising graph below and the word "Traffic"

Traffic Source

Where is your traffic coming from? Traffic source data answers this question and more.

There are three main types of traffic to focus on in your website reports: referral, direct, and social.

Depending on the nature of your business, you might get more traffic from one specific source. The focus, however, should be on making sure you get traffic from all sources .

Implementing a clear call to action and posting quality content can ensure just that!

Referral

Referral traffic refers to visitors visiting your website from another web page, blog, or other channels.

The data can tell you what sites your traffic is coming from and can present an opportunity to collaborate with other brands.

If you notice that a good amount of your referral traffic is coming from a specific site, you can approach the owners of that site about a collaboration or potential partnership that is beneficial to both parties.

Direct

Direct traffic comes from people typing your brand’s name into a search console. 

A high number of direct traffic indicated brand awareness and effective SEO strategies. 

The higher your direct traffic is, the better your following and recognition are becoming. 

Social

As you can probably guess, social traffic refers to the traffic coming from social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok, and more.

The more engaging your content is, the more people will share it and the more traffic you receive from these platforms.

vector illustration of a confused man looking at a computer screen showing a looking glass analyzing a graph and the words "Bounce Rate"

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate on Google Analytics represents the percentage of people who visit your website and immediately leave without taking any other action.

The shorter the amount of time someone spends on your site, the less likely you are to convert them.

While it will be impossible to have a bounce rate of zero, it is important to keep it as low as possible.

When your bounce rate is high, analyze your data for potential reasons and take appropriate action to decrease the bounce rate.

Numerous reasons why your bounce rate may be high:

  • Slow website performance
  • Bad product fit or description
  • Wrong keywords or content
  • Broken web pages
  • Not optimized for mobile devices

Combining your bounce rate with traffic sources shows you the traffic source with the highest bounce rate.

If your highest bounce rate on Google Analytics is coming from a referral site, you can check the referral site and the potential reasons users are leaving your site so soon.

Perhaps the site linking to your site is unrelated or not what the potential client is looking for.

Exits

Don’t get confused. Exits are not the same as bounce rates.

Exits are the number of users who viewed multiple pages of your site and when and where they decided to leave.

Exits can help you determine what aspects and pages of your site need to be looked at and possibly be reconfigured.

There will always be certain pages of your site that will have high exit rates. But if there is a page on your site, like a product page, that is getting high exit rates when it shouldn’t be; it can make you question why this is the case.

A couple of reasons it may happen is that your prices are too high, your descriptions are not clear, or a function on the page is not working.

Once you have taken the time to analyze the potential reason for such a high exit rate on your report, you can make changes to the page and see how that affects exits in the future.

illustration of conversion rate showing people icons going into a funnel with money coming out on the other end

Conversion Rate

Last but certainly not least, conversion rate is one of the most essential measurements in Google Analytics.

It can tell you if you are reaching your goals or not.

Conversion rates will show you the percentage of users who have fulfilled a specific action on your site.

 

Goals can include:

  • Signing up for emails
  • Completing a purchase
  • Navigating to a specific page
  • Following a CTA

     

Analyzing conversion rate against other metrics on your report like traffic can help you understand the quality of your leads.

If you have high traffic volume but low conversion rates, that means either you are attracting the wrong audience, or something about your web page needs to be adjusted.

Now that you know how to make quality website reports using Google Analytics, it is time to use the metrics above to better understand what is and isn’t working on your site.

Tracking users’ behaviours and using reports on website analytics allows you to gain better insight into how they behave when visiting your website. You’ll also have a deeper understanding of how you can improve your website in effective communication with your target audiences.

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