Don’t let the analytics of your website scare you! Though
these metrics may mean nothing to you now, they should mean everything to you
if you want to start tracking the success of your website. Thankfully, you don’t
need expensive software to do this; you just need to know what to look for in
your Google Analytics.
So let’s dive into these analytics to pull out some of the
most important metrics:
A session is defined as a group of interactions one user
takes within a given time frame on your website. The default time frame for
Google Analytics is 30 minutes. So this means that everything a user does under
the 30 minutes time frame on your website counts as one session.
However, if they continue
to browse or complete a goal (e.g. purchase) on your website for over the 30 minutes time frame, it's considered two sessions. Sessions do also take into account “passive” visitors who have the
tab open but may not be actively engaging with your website. Passive visitors
won’t be counted past the 30 minutes marker.
Users are basically the unique visitors that visit your website
within a given time frame. Knowing this metric shows you just how many fresh faces are
coming into contact with your website and your company. This can be an
indicator of the amount of potential new customers coming to your website through
3. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e.
sessions where the person left your website from the entrance page without
interacting with the page). There are a number of reasons users leave your website, causing unsatisfactory high bounce rates.
Two of the most common reasons are website design and usability issues. In addition, a user might only need information on that single page and not feel the need to search further into your website.
Optimizing your landing pages and ensuring that your ads or content reflect the information on the site are good ways to make sure you’re not further attributing to a high bounce rate.
4. Traffic Sources
There are multiple sources that can drive traffic to your website. It's beneficial to understand how visitors are coming to your website so that you may see which digital marketing efforts are working and which needs improvements. Here's a breakdown of website traffic sources:
This term is exactly as it
seems. Direct traffic refers to people going directly to specific URLs on your website. If someone types your URL into the web address bar in their browser, they
would be considered direct traffic.
Additionally, if a customer has a page bookmarked
or clicks on an email link that goes to your website, they would also be considered
direct traffic. It’s important to keep pages with high direct traffic updated
with new information.
This report shows which sites
are sending the most traffic your way. Things like your social media posts,
guest blog posts, and promotional materials on a different website can send you
Organic Search Traffic
This type of traffic is gained through users clicking on organic search results via search
engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Enhancing your site so that you come up
in search naturally, without the aid of any paid ads, is called 'search engine optimization' (SEO).
Increasing your organic search rankings will help your business
and products get found easier online without the aid of paid advertising, which
is always a plus!
Paid Search Traffic
On the flip side of
organic search traffic is paid search traffic. Running 'pay-per-click' (PPC) ads on search engines is
a great way to start gaining traffic in a shorter amount of time than organic
search, especially if you have a brand new website with no prior domain authority.
Paying to show up for keywords is a great way to catch people’s eye while
they’re searching for products or services you offer. Keep in mind that depending on your
industry and location, this route could get a little pricey.
Lastly, you’re going to need to measure your website’s conversions.
conversion” can be a multitude of different actions a visitor could
take on your website. It all depends on what your business’s goals are.
example, you might want visitors to download a free report, sign up for your
newsletter, request more information, or make a purchase (when eCommerce tracking is set up, this will be called a "transaction").
The higher the conversion rate, the better your website is performing! If your
conversation rate isn’t where you’d like it to be, there could be different
reasons such as web design, broken forms or links, or that the customer is
coming to your website when they’re in research mode.
Metrics are Key to Website Success
These metrics are just the basics of things that you can
analyze to measure the usability or effectiveness of your marketing efforts and
your website. A digital marketing company will be able to look further into
your analytics to pull out exactly where customers are coming from and where
they may be dropping off in order to maximize your website's results.
Schedule a free appointment today with Sales & Marketing Technologies to achieve a website that attracts more traffic and conversions!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.