So you have Google Analytics installed on your website or you are using Squarespace’s built in analytics and you know understanding these metrics is essential to helping you determine how your marketing strategies are performing, but where do you start? How the heck do you know that these mean? Which ones are the most important? We know, there’s a lot of information to monitor so we’re breaking down the 5 basic metrics you should really focus on, especially if you’re just getting comfortable with monitoring your analytics.
This is the total number of pages viewed on your website in a given period. We use this as a basis of how well a marketing strategy and/or website is performing. A high number can indicate that your visitors find value in your website’s content meaning they enjoy what is on your website and click around to read and learn more.
However, it could also indicate that users are having trouble finding the information they are searching for. This is why it’s important to understand other key metrics to determine which it actually may be.
Pageviews differ from sessions (or views if you’re looking at Squarespace metrics) as they are the total number of pages viewed rather than an interaction (or visit) with a website. While sessions are also a great metric to keep an eye on, we find more value in pageviews for the reason mentioned above as well as the fact that sessions are set to default after 30 minutes meaning that if your visitor leaves your website open in a tab then comes back to your site to click around it will count as another session.
Traffic Sources (or Acquisition)
This is where you can begin to really evaluate how your marketing is performing. Knowing where you're focusing your marketing efforts and then comparing where your traffic is coming from can help determine if your strategy is working. Have you been putting the majority of your efforts into your social media strategy? This is where you’ll see how much traffic is coming from your social media accounts. Is the majority of your traffic coming from search engines? That likely means your SEO is on point (YAY!).
Similarly, if you know you’re spending a lot of time on one part of your marketing but it’s not reflecting in your analytics, it might be time to kick that strategy to the curb. For example, we’ve recently pulled back on our Twitter strategy because we found that we barely got any referral traffic and found that our marketing efforts could be better spent elsewhere.
Popular Content (or Pages)
This is a metric you’re going to want to pay particular attention to… especially if you have a blog! By knowing which pages are the most popular on your website you can easily identify what your audience is looking for whether it’s services, products or blog topics. This way you can not only promote those pages more through your marketing but you can also create more content based around that information. Even if you don’t have a blog (which we highly recommend if you don’t), you can use this information for your social media content, email marketing content, and any other digital marketing content!
This metric is unique to Google Analytics and another way to determine how well your website is performing. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing only one page which can ultimately help you determine if your website is effective. If you have a high bounce rate, that may indicate that your visitors can't easily find the information they are looking for.
Not only can you look at your site’s overall bounce rate but you can also see the bounce rate by page. This specifically will help you determine if there are certain pages that are not performing well and may need to be edited to keep your visitors on your website longer.
The behavior flow, which is also unique to Google Analytics, shows you how your visitors flow through your website. Basically this shows you where people begin on your site, how they flow through it page by page and then where they end up dropping off your website.
This will be wildly beneficial in understanding your website’s user experience so you can make necessary adjustments if needed. For example, if you notice a large portion of users bouncing from your website on the same page, you may want to add a call-to-action or adjust in another way to direct users to the next logical page. You can also identify what that next page should be by using the data from this flow chart.
While there are tons of other analytics you can look at, these are the 5 basic metrics we recommend monitoring. And as you can see a lot of these metrics actually work together to give you a more comprehensive look into how your website as well as your digital marketing plan is performing. Taking the time to regularly check and analyze these metrics will help you make necessary adjustments to help get you on the road to an effective website and digital marketing plan.
Need a little help analyzing your website and marketing plan based off your website metrics? Give us a shout for an audit!