Google Analytics report is a very important tool for any webmaster. This tool has a lot of features that prove crucial for analyzing and tracking the performance of a website. Some of the important activities that are made easier by Google Analytics include identification of important demographics, understanding the behavior of users and measurement of website traffic. For this reason, this is a fundamental tool in bettering your brand, blog or business website.
The following is a guide geared towards beginners who are starting the use of this analytics tool. We will define the complex analytics terms and explain the metrics you need to focus on. Before we go into details, let’s have a look at the reasons why you need the tool.
Why Is Google Analytics Report Important For Every Website?
All bloggers, business owners and managers have unlimited questions revolving around the site’s performance. Simply put, the answers are all in Google Analytics. These answers are highly beneficial to your website. They will give you the information you require to better understand which of your marketing campaigns and initiatives are working, the content that works for your target audience and the pages that are getting the most attention.
The importance of these details is to assist you make the necessary changes, improvements and additions that will see your website performance doubled or tripled. If you are just beginning, you should learn how you can install the tool and with the information online, this should not be a difficult task.
Important Terms You Need To Focus On
Page views are counted when a page is visited (the page has to have the Google Analytics tracking code). The page view count is recorded overtime there is execution of the tracking method. The counts include page refreshing, going back, and opening same pages in new tabs or browser. This is regardless of whether the page is cached.
Session & Page/Session
Session refers to the pages a user visits during the time they spend on your website. This is usually during a given time span (Google has a default time frame of 30 minutes. This can be modified to meet your needs). In simple words, everything the user will do from the time they enter to the time they leave your website is what is called a session.
As stated above, the default by Google is 30 minutes but you have the freedom to adjust this up to 4 hours to as short as 1 minute. This will depend on what you are looking for and the type of website involved. There are a few recommendations put forth by Google:
– If the website signs out the user automatically after they are active for a particular period, the session timeout should be matched with this period.
– If your website is full of information that you expect your target users to go through, you should set the session time to match the period you expect the users to stay. If the content is little, the period should be shortened.
Pages/Session simply refers to the average pages per session duration. The higher this average is, the more engaged the users are with your content. This also indicates the increase in navigation through the website.
Bounce & Bounce Rate
Bounce means the user has only visited one page and left. Keep in mind that this is regardless of the time they spend on that single page. This is a visit to the website that involves a single interaction. The bounce rate is a percentage representation of the people that bounce out of your website with one age interaction. If the bounce rate stands at 90%, it means that 9 out of 10 sessions involve a one page interaction. The lower the bounce rate, the better the interaction. A low bounce rate also means that the visitors are visiting other pages on the website.
UMV is abbreviation for Unique Monthly Views. This stands for the individual users who visit your site in a month. If you are a blogger or are selling advertising on your website, then this is information you will find useful. Most brands will ask for these metrics prior to handling any business with your site. This is one of the best ways to track your growth month after month.
User Behaviors That Matter
Traffic flow is the first user behavior that you should pay attention to. The most important aspect is the source of the traffic. The reason this is important is so you can improve your efforts through the channels that are giving you high traffic. The secret is to put more effort in methods that work.
All the traffic sources are important but there some that are more important than others. The sources that you need to pay attention to include, organic, referral and direct traffic. The direct traffic will measure the number of users visiting your website through a direct input of your site‘s URL into the browser. Organic traffic will tell you the number of users that are searching your website through Google search. Referral traffic stands for users who visit your website after being directed by other sites such as blogs and press placements.
It is important to understand what your visitors are doing as soon as they get on the website. Do they leave as fast as they get there or do they navigate for more details? If they are staying longer, which pages are they concentrating on? When you understand the website content that your users are finding interesting, you will be in a better position to give them a better experience. The information from Google Analytics can then be used to create content that will attract more users and keep them on the site for a longer period. If you are selling online, then you will be able to drive your visitors to the call to action and consequently to what you are selling.
After you have understood the type of content that is working and how users are finding it, you will need to find out how these users are engaging with it. The metrics you need to pay attention to are session durations and the number of pages per every visit.
The session duration refers to the time average the visitors are spending in a given session. When the number is high, it means the users are staying longer on the website and this translates to more engagement.
The pages per visit reflects the number of pages that the user views on the site when they visit. The higher the number, the more engaged they are and the more the exploration to find more information. If this number is low and the bounce rate is high, you need to make a few changes to avoid poor performance.
Contrary to what most people believe, Google Analytics has more to offer than being a simple hit counter. What this post focuses on is just a small part of what Google Analytics can help you achieve. This tool will not only eliminate the usual guess work, it will also help a great deal in reducing marketing cost. With its power, you will focus only on productive campaigns and you will be working on proven numbers. This is because you will stop funding any campaigns that are not giving you a return on investment. You can then channel these funds to campaigns that have proven to be traffic pullers.
Though the tool can be overwhelming for beginners, understanding how it works will open doors to more success. Do you have any questions about Google analytics or about your website in general? Don’t hesitate to contact us for any question or inquiry.