Understanding the analytics behind your web presence is essential to understanding is your business reaching the right people. Hence, behold, Google Analytics, a free (hurray) and powerful tool that provides information on how well your website in functioning.
Here are the key metrics that you can best use as information to monetize your website better:
1) Unique Visitors: First things first, before we begin analysing the source of our traffic, we need to quantify the Unique Visitors on any website. This is the number of unduplicated visitors on your website over the course of a specified period of time.
This helps quantify the number of new visitors the website is getting and how fast is it’s digital presence growing. Unique Visitors are also an indication of the effectiveness of our digital activities, for example a successful SEO strategy should reflect growing unique visitors over a period of time.
2) Average Time on Page & Page Views: Once we know the number of unique visitors on our website, we need to analyze their time expenditure on our brand. How long on average do visitors stay for on our website and how many page views are committed to by each visitor. This can help a business understand the effectiveness of the content on the website. The longer they stay and the more pages they view, the better the chances of conversion. If you have 50 blog posts on your website about your product and people stay for 44 seconds only, they are unlikely to be reading your content at all!
3) Traffic Sources: In my opinion, this is the holy grail of my marketing efforts. Google Analytics gives you a percentage breakdown of where the traffic on your website is coming from. Knowing where your visitors come from will help you streamline digital marketing budgets to those activities and therefore generating maximum ROI for your marketing expenditure. Is inbound marketing like your blog driving most of the traffic or our Facebook Ads doing the trick? Google has all the answers.
You’ll also find data in the traffic sources section on keywords and phrases that lead to your website through search engines. This will help better assess the effectiveness of your marketing with what people are searching for.
4) Content Drilldown: Evaluating content on your website can help shed light on which pages your business has created that gather the most attention from your ideal demographic. Content Drilldown puts in perspective what content is most popular on your website by views and time spent on a particular page and after prolonged analysis you discover a pattern of what type of content is engaging to your customers.
5) Bounce Rate: This is essentially the percentage of people that leave your website from the same page they landed on. In case, the bounce rate happens to be very high then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. If visitors are leaving after landing then there is a disconnect with our products/content/business and what they are searching for. And we need to fix this. Pronto.
Ideally keep your bounce rate low with an In-Page Analysis (a feature that shows you where visitors are clicking and interacting before losing interest). Here are some benchmarks I found on the world wide web relating to the type of website and the type of expected bounce rate:
- Content sites: 40-60%
- Lead generation: 30-50%
- Blogs: 70-98%
- Retail sites: 20-40%
- Service sites: 10-30%
- Landing pages: 70-90%
5) Demographics: Basic information like geographical data, gender, age, IP Addresses, etc. should also not be overlooked due to other shiny analytics available. The program will track geographical data, gender, age, IP addresses and much more. This is ideal for discovering if you are actually hitting your target audience and if not then how should we alter our keywords and content to do so with pages like Queries, In-Page Analysis, Content Drilldown etc. in the program.
In Summary, use Google Analytics as a Business Intelligence Tool to examine the effectiveness of your website. The Queries (organic search terms leading to you), the impressions your website gets on search engines, the clicks and unique new visitors, the average ranking of your website against search terms and how your web pages/content are responding to this.
Beginners Questions Google Analytics Helps Answers:
Is our content reflecting the business, the brand, the niche, the search terms?
Is marketing expenditure directed to the correct resources?
How are we ranking on Search Engines?
Our we getting the right Target Audience Traffic?
If yes, then are we engaging this traffic?
And what content on our website interests our Target Audience and leads to desired call to action?