Understanding Google Analytics: Key Metrics

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Do you know how people visit your website every day and where they come from?

 Wondering who your target audience is in the digital space or what their online behavior might be? Are your advertising programs such a social media marketing or SEO producing the right results?

Access to this data can provide insights to improve your digital marketing campaigns, products and overall customer experience. But how do you access it? The answer is through Google Analytics.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a web analytics service that provides valuable information about your website traffic and target audience. The service uses machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to provide insights that help businesses formulate their digital marketing campaigns, and reach the right customers.

Whether you have a wordpress, ecommerce or custom website, Google Analytics is one of the most crucial digital marketing tools for businesses today. It analyzes your website's performance and conversions to help you determine whether your current strategies are working. For your business to thrive, you need to utilize this tool by understanding which metrics to focus on.

Key Google Analytics Reporting Metrics

As an entrepreneur, business owner or marketer, you don't need to dive into all the technical details of Google Analytics. All you need to understand is the essential metrics your business needs to boost traffic, increase conversions, and enhance the customer experience.

The four essential metrics are:

  • Audience
  • Acquisition
  • Behavior
  • Conversion

Below is a breakdown of each parameter and how measuring it can make the difference for your business.

1. Audience

Audience, in this case, refers to several factors as it relates to the visitors on your site. Some key metrics:

  • Location: Visitors from Country, State, City, etc.
  • Devices: Indicates if visitors use a desktop computers or mobile devices to view your site.
  • New or Returning Visitors

Monitoring these stats helps identify your audience and uncover areas of opportunity or new markets.

Audience information can help you tweak you personalize your site layout and content, adjust the responsiveness, and help increase returning site users.

Business Application:

Metric: Audience > Mobile > Devices
Majority of visitors view your site from a mobile device versus a tablet or desktop.

Opportunity:
Optimize your site for mobile viewing with larger text and buttons for easy navigation. Ensure it is mobile friendly.

2. Acquisition

Where does the traffic on your website come from? Organic search (searches on Google, Yahoo Bing, etc.) is the largest source of web traffic on most sites today. According to research, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. However, search engine queries aren't the only source of web traffic.

Other sources include the following:

  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Quora, etc)
  • Referrals (visits from another website that links to yours)
  • Direct traffic (someone types in your URL into the browser or an unidentified source)
  • Paid search (Google AdWords)

With this information, you're able to capitalize on sources that generate the most traffic and boost those that receive heavy marketing but generate low traffic.
 In the example above, you’ll notice approx. 62% of traffic is arriving from organic search. This is a strong indication that your SEO strategy is working well.

Business Application:

Metric: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
Low traffic from organic search

Opportunity:
Optimize your content for search engines by working on a keyword strategy, boosting your site layout, and adding Meta descriptions.

3. Behavior

Behavior reporting refers to what users do when they visit your site. The pages they visit, the average visit duration and the bounce rate (single page visits). What are your most popular pages? How long are users viewing each page? Are users leaving after viewing only one webpage?

Understanding user behavior gives insight into how to improve the customer experience and provide valuable content. If users navigate multiple pages or experience longer sessions, it means they find the site useful and find value in your content.

Understanding the Avg. Time on Page can help determine if users found the information they need.

Business Application:

Metric: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
Content performing with the least amount of pageviews

Opportunity:
Rework the content to bring the page more focus and increase overall interest.

4. Conversion

The ultimate goal of any marketing strategy is to get a customer to complete an action that is crucial to your overall business success. This conversion typically has a specific call-to-action. It could be to subscribe to your newsletter, download an ebook PDF or buy a product from your ecommerce website.

You can track your conversions thru Google Analytics:

  • Form conversions, e.g., sign-up forms and contact forms
  • Products added to cart
  • Completed purchases or materials downloaded 
  • Articles read or video played

Different businesses have different conversion goals. Google Analytics allows you to track goals specific to your marketing objectives. It ultimately gives insight into how to push leads further down the funnel.

google_analytics_wsi_conversionIn this example, 745 users completed the goal of scheduling an appointment.
Image Credit: https://www.searchenginejournal.com

Business Application:

Metric: Conversions > Goals > Goal URLs
Noted drop in month over month goal completions for the ebook download

Opportunity:
Increase downloads through urgency or refresh messaging around the value of the ebook.

Ready to Get Started with Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a must-have analytics tool for every business owner, marketer, or entrepreneur who wishes to attain success in the digital space. Let WSI Connect provide insight into your audience, traffic acquisition, conversions, and user behavior. The information will help build a solid marketing strategy that will increase leads and conversions, and boost ROI.

Contact WSI Connect for help with Google Analytics 

Topics: Analytics, Google, Google Analytics, WSI Connect

Audrey Harze

I am a skilled digital marketing professional with an extensive knowledge and passion for digital solutions. I enjoy producing extraordinary results for clients that stem from data discovery. At WSI Connect, I direct marketing operations with a keen focus on client service.