Firstly, if you don’t have Google Analytics (GA) set up on your website yet – do it today! It’s free and it’s a powerful tool that helps you understand what’s working on your site and what’s not. GA uses a piece of code that gets embedded in your website back end to track what people are doing on your site. A bit like your own personal investigator always in the background, spying on everything that happens. (if you need some help adding GA to your site – give us a shout and we’ll do it for you)
Now, for those of you who do have Google Analytics (GA) set up, you need to be able to understand what the GA data is saying. Once you understand your GA data you can stop guessing and make data-driven marketing decisions. Decisions which will ultimately improve your bottom line.
So how can you use your Google Analytics to improve your site?
The GA data may seem intimidating when you first look at it, but we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll help you understand 3 key metrics of your site analytics that you can use to improve your website.
1. How quickly are people leaving your site a.k.a. The Bounce Rate
Let’s start on the Audience Overview dashboard/report and have a look at the Bounce rate. This shows the number of visitors who land on your website, do nothing on the page they entered and then leave your site. So they don’t click on a button, a menu item or any other internal link on the page. A high bounce rate is anything over 70%. What does this mean for you? Well, either the page was too slow loading, or broken, or the page content wasn’t appealing to them in any way. Address these issues and then see if your bounce rate improves. You may also need to analyse your bounce rate alongside the next metric, Time on Page. If your time on page is good and bounce rate high, your users may be finding exactly what they need on your page and then leaving. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it lets Google know that they found your page relevant to their search query. Which in turn helps improve your ranking with Google.
2. Is your content engaging a.k.a. Time On Page
If you look at the Behaviour Overview dashboard/report you’ll find your Avg. Time on Page. This measures the average amount of time all users spend on a single page. As mentioned in the previous point, this metric is very useful when analysed alongside your bounce rate. So how can you use it? Well, if page X has a higher time on page measurement than pages Y and Z, then you should consider creating more content like X and less like Y and Z.
3. What are people doing on your site a.k.a. Behaviour Flow
The Behaviour flow dashboard shows the path a user follows from one page to the next or from one event to another. Showing where people enter your site, how they move from one page to the next and eventually where they drop off. How does this help you? Are people moving through your site in the way you would like them to? For example, your users are entering your site to read your weekly blog post and you want them to move from there to your store page. But when viewing your behaviour flow you see that they are reading your blog post and moving on to some older posts and then exiting the site. In this case, you need to interrupt their flow and redirect them in some way to your store from the blog post. To do this you could add a highly visible CTA at the bottom of each blog post or add an exit popup that appears when people try to navigate off the blog page.
Understanding the data GA provides and gaining insight into your user activity is only the first step of the process. You need to make meaningful changes to your site if you want to improve your website conversions.
Let me know if you need help interpreting your site’s GA reports so that you can get a site that attracts the right kind of clients who are looking for exactly what you are selling.
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