Oh Google Analytics, how we love you. How could we not love a tool that offers awesome insights into your online presence and is FREE! Much more than a conversion platform, Google Analytics (GA) offer plenty of equally, if not more useful tools to help you assess the health of your website and business.
In addition to the popular GA stats—like site visits—there are 4 other key metrics that we think all business owners should know (and check regularly!):
Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium
On the Acquisition Overview page you’ll find a quick snapshot of your bounce rate. There’s not much else to say here other than you should keep an eye on this value pretty regularly. A “target range” can vary depending on your website and industry, but typically you want to stay in the 40-60% bounce rate range. Anything below that is great! Above a 60% bounce rate probably calls for some additional research as to why the value is so high. We like to compare the bounce rate month to month as well as the rate compared to the previous year.
*Extra Credit: According to Google Analytics, the bounce rate is the percentage of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further.
Pages Per Session
Similar to bounce rate, it’s a good idea to compare “Pages Per Session” values to the previous month and year to monitor growth. Another helpful piece of insight is on the Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels page where you can see the pages per session breakdown per channel. This is a great way to analyze visitor engagement depending on the channel they used to get to your website. While the length of time and pages search will vary on industry, most businesses are looking for their website visitors to stay engaged and move around the site towards a specific goal—contact forms, shopping pages, etc.
Device Type and Behavior
Audience > Mobile > Overview
Here you can find a breakdown of the types of devices visiting your website: desktop, mobile or tablet. You can get even more specific (down to device name) in the “Devices” section, but we find that the Overview page usually does the trick. Make sure to check crucial metrics like bounce rate and pages per session per devices. A low bounce rate for desktop and tablet, but high rate on mobile likely indicates a design/responsive issue that’s preventing users from exploring your site from their smartphone. As we become more and more “mobile first” it’s really important that you’re optimized for all device types.
This was definitely a quick and dirty intro into important Google Analytics metricsThe list could go on and on. Every tool in Google Analytics serves a valuable purpose, but for those just learning the ropes it’s best to start with the most important.