Does your company use Google Analytics to track your website activity? If so, have you noticed the recent transformation of Google Analytics? According to Google Analytics Product Manager, Phil Mui, the new design comprises three core metrics: acquisition, engagement and outcome. Read on to find out how you can get a deeper look into your traction online through Google Analytics…
The first metric, acquisition, analyzes your visitors by displaying their key characteristics, including but not limited to whether they are a brand-new visitor (coming to your site for the first time) or a returning visitor, and how they accessed your site (i.e. computer, tablet, or mobile). It’s always interesting to see where your visitors come from and how they got there, but you also need to know if they’re engaged with your site, which brings me to the next metric…
The engagement metric examines the actions of your visitors and there are three actions a visitor can take: 1) read the content on a specific webpage, 2) click to your other webpages, or 3) leave your site altogether.
Google Analytics will show you three important engagement metrics:
Pages per Visit: This signifies the average number of pages a visitor views on your website. A high number here means your visitors are pretty engaged on your site.
Average Time on Site: This symbolizes the usual amount of time your visitors spend on your website, and this doesn’t take into account whether a visitor stayed on one page or viewed multiple pages.
Bounce Rate: This exemplifies “the percentage of single-page visits to your site. It gives you a sense of how many visitors left your site from the entrance page rather than clicking further into your site as compared to total visitors” (Peters).
If these three engagement metrics seem low, then you should consider the overall design of your website. Ask yourself, “is it easy to navigate my site? Is the content on my site informative and interesting?” Now let’s move on to the final core metric, outcome…
There is an area in your Google Analytics called Goals. Within Goals, you can organize your business objectives and track your progress. So ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish with my website? More purchases via the online checkout system? More registrations for my company newsletter? More views on my blog?” After you’ve defined your goals, remember to enable Goals in the Account Settings page once you login to Google Analytics.
There are four types of goals in Google Analytics:
1) URL Destination – If your goal is to get visitors to a specific page of your website, then this would be the best fit.
Time on Site – If you’re focused on the engagement metric, this type of goal is the most suitable for you. It tracks visitors spending a defined amount of time on your site.
Pages per Visit – This is another significant goal to measure if you’re focused on the engagement metric. It tracks a defined number of pages visitors view during a visit to your site.
Events – This allows you to track precise actions your visitors take once they land on your website. Pretty informative, huh?
In addition to the three core metrics mentioned above, the new and improved Google Analytics also has an alert system built into it so you can see anything unusual regarding your site traffic and explore any issues further. Along with the alert system, the Real-Time data is very informative since it allows you to see how your visitors react to your content as soon as it’s posted online.
If you haven’t set up your Google Analytics yet, I highly suggest you start now. First of all, it’s free, so why not? Who knows how much information you could be unaware of and how much information you could be using to improve your website’s quality and even sales.
Have you already set up Google Analytics for your company’s website? If so, how has it made a difference?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1.4 million in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
For a complete look into Google Analytics, check out Meghan Peters’ article from Mashable at http://mashable.com/2012/01/04/google-analytics-guide/