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Google Analytics Demystified: 3 Metrics You Need to Know

Your website deserves to be seen by everyone! It’s a digital storefront that can help you reach your goals of working with more clients, selling more products, and focusing on what’s most important to you. When it comes to getting more people to your website, knowledge is power! The more you know about your audience, how they’re spending time on your site, where they’re coming from, and what parts of your site are converting the most, the better you’ll understand how your website is performing so you can optimize your content for your target audience is through Google Analytics, which gives us statistics and analytics related to our marketing efforts and SEO (search engine optimization). 

There are three key performance indicators you can look at inside Google Analytics to get a better understanding of how your website is performing:  

  1. Average time on page
  2. Bounce rate
  3. Conversion rate 

Average time on page 

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s calculated by tracking when a website visitor arrives at your website and when they close that tab or click a link and move to a new page. It’s not quite the same as the average session duration, which is the grand total of all the time spent on your website continuously by one person – no matter how many pages they visit. 

Knowing how long people are spending on your website can tell you two things: 

  • If your site is attracting the right people – if people aren’t spending much time on a page of your website, you might not be attracting your target audience. Looking at the sources of your website traffic, their location, and the SEO keywords your organic traffic is coming from can all tell you what kind of people are landing on your website. 
  • If your content is giving people what they want or not – you might have the most perfect social media presence, but if your website doesn’t have consistent visuals or information that reassures people they’re in the right place, they’re going to move on without spending much time visiting your online home. 

So how do you know which it is?

First, you can look at demographics. If your business has a physical location and you’re targeting people just within a certain distance, see where your website traffic is coming from. 

You can also look at referrals. How are visitors getting to your site? Is it through SEO? Social media? Online directories? Something else? You’ll know exactly where you’re marketing your business, but if the marketing platforms where you have the strongest presence aren’t your top referrals, your site might not be attracting the right people. 

If it seems as though your website traffic is genuinely interested in what you have to offer, then the root of the problem might be your site content. You might need to do some troubleshooting, but make sure that as soon as people land on your website they know who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. Make sure you have a hook that catches their attention and keeps them scrolling. 

Taking a look at your average time on page can also tell you what your top-performing pages are! For example, if more people are spending time on your about page than on your services page, you might not be including enough buttons inviting people to view your services or you may not be personable enough on your services page. 

You can learn more about designing a home page that converts here. 

Bounce rate

Bounce rates come from website visitors that only hang out on one page of your website. It is “the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking an action” (source). The lower the bounce rate, the better that is for us business owners! 

There’s one exception to this rule – if you only want visitors to view one page of your site, a high bounce rate isn’t a bad thing! For example, your blog posts may see a higher bounce rate than the rest of your website, which is to be expected since most people come to your website specifically to read a post and then will leave when they’re finished. This can be true if you have a single-page website, a sales page, or some other landing page (like a freebie email opt-in), where people aren’t expected to hop around. 

A bounce rate is the enemy of your conversion rate because people who leave without doing anything aren’t going to help you reach your website goals! Knowing what may trigger someone to leave your website without moving around can help you lower your bounce rate and increase conversions. This can help you to create an intuitively-designed website that takes into consideration the needs, questions, and circumstances of your audience to create a website that captures their attention and keeps them hooked.

Conversion rate

Turning website browsers into buyers is key! The main purpose of your website is to generate revenue and/or leads. Many business owners tend to focus on the amount of website traffic that they are getting, however a much better indicator of site performance is your website’s conversion rate. This number is figured out by taking the number of goal conversions and dividing it by the number of sessions, multiplied by 100.

Knowing and looking at your conversion rate regularly can help you figure out what marketing efforts are working and which ones need to be improved. For example,

 If 100 people visit your website and only 15 of them purchase something from your site, that would mean you have a 15% conversion rate. 

Knowing your average conversion rate can help you set some quarterly goals as well. We always want to improve the average! We can do this by setting a bit larger goal each quarter and then creating a plan that will help us improve our conversion rates. This might mean one quarter we redesign our website (we can help with that!), next we invest in professional copywriting, then maybe we spend the rest of our year working on our marketing strategy and creating an online presence on different social media platforms – like TikTok, Twitter, or Pinterest where we might not think to market our business in the beginning. 

What it all means

Understanding analytics is no small task, but it can do wonders for your business! When you set time aside often to check your Google Analytics, you’ll be better equipped to reach your target audience and help them along their customer journey to their final destination – investing in your services, purchasing your products, or something else. Knowing your numbers can mean:

  • Clear, intuitive income goals
  • A stronger and more successful marketing strategy
  • A well designed and written website that converts

You spend a lot of time and money on your website, and our team wants to make sure it’s well spent! Website optimization can uncover hidden roadblocks and potential problems that could be keeping browsers from converting into buyers. Our professional website optimization services equip you with a comprehensive website audit and a conversion optimization session and report so that you can confidently update your website to maximize leads and bookings. Learn more about this all-new service here!

Learn More About Our Design Services! 

work with US

15 Things to Do When Business is Slow

5 Easy Ways to Update Your Brand in 2022

9 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Website

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tune into HUSTLE
WITH PURPOSE on
apple podcasts!

I'm Jacinta — branding expert, web designer, and owner behind Social Circle, a full service creative studio dedicated to helping ambitious female entrepreneurs launch the business of their dreams with ease. 

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