If you have ever tried to use Google Analytics, you probably noticed that there are a ton of Google Analytics metrics. We mean… a ton!
And let’s be honest, if you’re reading this right now, you’re probably wondering what a lot of them mean or how to use Google Analytics in general.
That’s because it is a lot to take in at first!
But once you understand how to leverage the data that Google Analytics provides, you propel your business forward a lot faster.
So in today’s post, we’re about to tell you everything you need to know about Google Analytics metrics.
We will be going over what Google Analytics is and how you can leverage it to improve your website and business.
And of course, we will be going over what each of the most important Google Analytics metrics is for businesses.
Read this post, and you’ll become an expert at using Google Analytics metrics to make the most effective website for your small business.
Let’s get started!
What Is Google Analytics And Why Should You Use It
Google Analytics is a very popular analytics software that is used to measure the performance of your:
…and everything else on your business’s website.
On Google Analytics, you are given access to a bunch of unique insights that you can use to ensure your website is producing the results you want.
Here are two of the ways you can put the data you’ll receive to use:
- You can track and measure if you are reaching your desired business goals.
- You can fix the areas of your website that your analytics show needs improvement, and thus, increase your digital marketing ROI.
Don’t those both sound great?
One of the best parts about Google Analytics is that it is completely free and it is very user-friendly.
If you aren’t already, every business owner should be using Google Analytics for their business.
What Are Google Analytics Metrics?
You’ve probably heard the term metrics many times. In case you don’t know what they are, metrics are quantitative measurements of data.
In Google Analytics, metrics are displayed as either a sum or a ratio.
There are a ton of metrics that Google Analytics uses, some more complicated than others.
So, we’re going to explain the best metrics that you can use to leverage your data, but first, let’s go over the GA dashboard.
Google Analytics Dashboard
The Google Analytics dashboard is separated into four main reports:
The audience section is all about your customers.
Here you’ll find out information on their demographics, interests, device, and behaviors.
As a marketer, you can use this information to see how well your marketing efforts are working for different user segments.
Once you know who your audience is, you’re going to use the acquisition section to find out where they’re coming from.
Seeing whether your audience is originating from:
- social networks,
- search engines, or
- website referrals
…will give you insight into which channel’s marketing tactics are the most effective.
This section also provides you with data to determine how well your campaigns are running.
So now that customers have made it to your website, you’ll wanna know what they do once they get there.
That’s what the behavior section is for.
Here you can see which pages they visited, how long they were there for, and a lot of other important data.
Marketers use this data to look into the user experience and see what needs to be done to improve it for their customers.
This last section is essential in seeing how successful your website is.
The conversion section is used to track the number of customers that take the specific actions you want them to take.
Marketers use this section by setting goals, or by creating a marketing funnel that represents a specific flow of actions that a customer must take.
For instance, the checkout process.
Now, let’s get into the specific metrics you should be using for your business.
Audience Metrics You Should Know
1. Number of users and sessions
The users metric is the number of unique visitors that view your site.
Every time a new visitor comes to your site, they are assigned a unique ID.
Every time they visit the site in the future when using the same browser, they will not be counted as a new user.
If they visit your site using a different browser, they will be considered a new user.
The sessions metric measures every time someone visits your site and is actively engaged.
As soon as someone enters your site, a session is started. Each user can have multiple sessions.
2. Average session duration
Next on our list of Google Analytics metrics measures the average amount of time that a user spends on your site during a single session.
You can use this information to measure user engagement, in relation to the content on your website.
If the average duration is low, that could indicate that your content does not pertain to your audience’s interests…
…and you may want to adjust your content strategy.
3. Average pages per session
This metric shows the average number of pages a visitor navigates to before they leave the site or make a purchase.
Just like the session duration, this can also give you insight into user engagement.
And, it can help you develop the perfect navigation structure for your website.
4. Ratio of new to returning visitors
This is a super important metric because it can mean many different things:
- You can see whether your campaigns are attracting new or returning customers.
- It may also show you how many of your site’s visitors are willing to come back to your site.
- If you have a high percentage of returning visitors, that must mean that your business is doing something right for customer retention.
Overall, if you have a high percentage of returning customers, you may be seeing an increase in lifetime value.
If you have a high percentage of new customers, you may be seeing growth for your business.
5. Bounce rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors that leave after viewing a single page.
Having a high bounce rate can indicate many different things:
- There may be technical issues.
- The content on the page doesn’t interest the user, or they may not have found what they were looking for.
- There may not be a clear call to action on the page.
- Your marketing campaigns may not be targeting the right people.
If your bounce rate is high, you may want to segment your visitors to figure out where the specific issues are arising.
In the demographics section, you get to see the gender and ages of your site’s visitors.
These are both super important metrics to know so that you can see who your customers are…
…and who your website is currently appealing to.
You can use this information to adjust your branding and further target your current audience.
And if you want to learn more about targeting, be sure to check out our target marketing example post next.
The geography section shows the locations and languages of your site’s visitors.
Getting to see exactly where they are coming from can help you accurately target your campaigns.
Once you figure out which locations have the highest number of interested customers…
…you can dedicate more of your budget towards targeting campaigns for those areas.
Acquisition Metrics You Should Know
Now that you know all about who your site visitors are, it’s time to find out how they got there. Here are the Google Analytics metrics to keep an eye on:
Under the “All traffic” section of acquisition, you can see which channels are directing the most traffic to your website.
Here is a list of the top channels Google Analytics tracks:
- Organic Search
These are visitors who got to your website by searching on Google or other search engines.
- Paid Search
These are visitors who got to your website from a paid search ad.
These are visitors who don’t have a traceable referral source. They usually come from typing in your website’s URL directly into their address bar.
These are visitors who got to your website by clicking on a link from a different site.
These are visitors who got to your website by clicking on an ad that ran on another website, such as banner or image ads.
These are visitors who got to your website by clicking on a link in one of your email campaigns.
These are visitors who get to your website from a social network, such as your business’s Facebook or Instagram account.
If you are using any UTM parameters to track your campaigns, the website visitors coming from those campaigns appear under Other.
You can dive even deeper into where your traffic is coming from by looking at the source section.
Sources represent the specific domains where traffic is coming from.
For example, for the traffic coming from the “social” channel, the domains would be:
…and any other social networks that directed traffic to your website.
2. Google Ads
If you have a Google Ads account linked to your Analytics account, you will have access to a ton of detailed metrics regarding your Google ad campaigns.
If you don’t already have a Google Ads account, be sure to check out our Google ads for beginners post to learn more about it.
Once your account is linked, you can analyze the customer activity on your website that came from an ad click or impression.
You are able to take a look at all of your Google ad campaigns, and see how well they are all doing.
With the campaigns feature, you are able to see metrics that measure the success of your individual marketing campaigns.
You can see all of the metrics that we mentioned above in the Audience report, like users, sessions, and bounce rate, but segmented into each campaign.
Also, you are able to see metrics involving the specific keywords your campaigns are targeting.
This information will give you insights into which campaigns are the most successful.
As well as which ones need to be altered in some way to produce better results.
Behavior Metrics You Should Know
Now, moving on to the part of the Google Analytics metrics – the behavior report.
This report is focusing on the individual pages of your website, rather than the website as a whole.
In the overview section of the behavior report, you are able to see the:
- average time spent on each page,
- unique page views, and
- the bounce rate for each individual page.
1. Behavior flow
The behavior flow data visually shows the path that visitors take on your site.
The flow begins with showing the first page that the visitor was brought to which is the landing page.
It then shows all of the actions taken and pages visited that the visitor went through before eventually exiting the site.
You can use this information to see which pages of your site are the most engaging.
2. Site content
In the site content section, you can take a look at the specific landing and exit pages for your site.
Under the landing page section, you are able to see acquisition, behavior, and conversion metrics for each of your site’s landing pages.
This gives you insights on whether or not your landing pages are engaging enough, and if they are leading to conversions as you expected.
Under the exit page section, you will see metrics about the last page your visitors viewed.
Utilize this info to see which pages are the main causes of visitors leaving your site.
If you notice a trend of users leaving on the same pages, you should consider updating the content on those pages.
3. Site speed
The site speed section is pretty self-explanatory. It tells you what the average loading times are for different aspects of your website.
Your website’s speed plays a huge part in the overall user experience, so it is really important that you find ways to keep your loading speeds down.
Google Analytics usually provides you with suggestions on how to do so.
Conversion Metrics You Should Know
The last section is the conversion report.
The goals section is used to summarize your conversion performance.
In order to receive any data in this section, you have to predefine your website goals in your Google Analytics settings.
There are the four types of goals you can set:
- Destination: This is when a specific location loads. An example could be when a page thanking a customer for registering loads.
- Duration: This is when a session lasts a desired amount of time.
- Pages/Screens per session: This is when a user views a certain number of pages or screens.
- Event: This is when the desired action is triggered. Examples of events could be playing a video or clicking on an ad.
These events have to be specified beforehand so that Google Analytics knows what to track.
Once your goals have been defined, you will be given the following metrics to track the conversions.
2. Goal completions
This is the total number of conversions.
3. Goal value
This is the monetary value of all of your conversions.
4. Goal conversion rate
This is the rate of total conversions divided by total sessions.
5. Abandonment rate
This is the rate of goals that were not completed, divided by the number of goals that were started.
Track And Measure Your Google Analytics Metrics Today!
Those are all of the most important metrics you need to know how to use in Google Analytics.
Now that you’ve made it to the end of the post, you must be really excited to start analyzing your own website data.
Make sure to pay close attention to the metrics you just learned about, and you will be on the way to becoming an expert at Google Analytics.
If you need more guidance with analyzing your data, our Google Analytics Consultant can help you! Contact us today to schedule a meeting.