Do you know a key difference between a true CEO versus someone who is running their business like a hobby?
A true CEO is always analysing her numbers. She’s looking at her stats to see what’s working and, more importantly, what isn’t. This allows her to pivot if needed. Or ramp up what’s converting well and dial down what isn’t.
It means she’s really listening to her audience; not just what they may be saying when she speaks to them 1-on-1, but hearing how their money speaks – are they choosing to pay for your services? Or are they leaving your site without committing to the next step with you?
So, which one are you? CEO or hobbyist?
If the answer is CEO, then you must have a Google Analytics account that you’re using to track your site’s traffic. Your trouble may be that, with all the different metrics you could be analysing, you’re not sure what are the key ones to monitor. Keep reading for my top 5 metrics to monitor, and where to find them.
SIDE NOTE: if you’re not yet using Google Analytics, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you. It’s completely FREE to sign up for an account. Do it now, here.
So, how do you use tools like GA to benefit your business? Primarily the key questions you’re going to be asking yourself are;
- Is my website growing?
- Is it converting my visitors?
You can track just about anything with Google Analytics but today I want to focus on the metrics that will help you the most.
Bounce rates measure the percentage of visitors that leave your site after just visiting one page. I think of such users as my ‘one-hit wonders’. In many cases, they’ve landed on a page on your site and left, because they didn’t find what they were looking for, or your value proposition didn’t quite hit home.
You should aim for a bounce rate of between 40-50%, as this is considered ok for most sectors. A bounce rate higher than 80% will indicate that your site has some serious issues that need addressing.
Monitoring bounce rate certainly has its uses, but don’t panic just yet if this number is high. You need to take it into context with the content on that page, and how long they spent on the page. For example, a high bounce rate is not bad if it’s a sales page with one clear call to action, and your audience takes that action.
If you need to fix a poor bounce rate, start by looking at the structure of the page. Is it so busy that your users don’t know where to start? Are there so many call to actions that it leaves them with analysis paralysis? Do you have unprofessional looking photos that are at a discord with the expert persona you’re trying to portray? These are easy enough things to address.
FIND THIS: Audience > Overview
The number of visits and average session duration
When you’re trying to build a following, sell or offer a service then understanding this key metric is crucial to determine if your business is experiencing growth.
As well as looking at the number of visits, also look at the average time they’re spending (the session duration). The session duration is a great way to assess what works and what doesn’t. When your visitors click around to different pages or spend a little longer on your site; this can be a sign that you’re providing your visitor with the information they came looking for.
Having said that, you want to look at this metric in context with the other activity on your site (and perhaps using additional tools like Hotjar to track user behaviour on a page level), as a high duration could also mean they couldn’t find what they were looking for! A little confusing, I know! It simply emphasises that you can’t look at only one bit of data in isolation.
FIND THIS: Audience > Overview
New vs Returning visitors
Both the number of new and returning visitors are important metrics as they tell you different things. You want to see the number of new visitors increasing, as this indicates growth, and a good number of returning visitors can indicate an increase in lifetime value of each visit.
FIND THIS: Audience > Overview > Behaviour > New vs Returning
There are a couple of things you want to look at with regards to your pageviews. You want to see:
What pages are getting the most traffic/views?
What pages are most people landing on?
What pages have the highest bounce rates?
If there are certain pages that are under-performing, then depending on how important they are in your funnel, you may want to revisit the page’s content, and the number and/or placement of the CTAs.
FIND THIS: Behaviour > Site Content > All pages
Here you’re looking to see what channels attracted the most traffic. Was it direct traffic (people who know you just typing in your URL), or organic search (people finding you via Google), or via social media (and which ones).
You can then further analyse the channel breakdown to see if one channel performs the best in terms of engagement or conversions.
If you have a channel that gets lots of traffic but not a lot of engagement or conversions, then perhaps your content is not well-aligned with the link or ad they clicked on. Maybe the page has a technical issue that’s preventing them from converting?
Alternatively, if you have a channel that doesn’t have high traffic, but the traffic that does come is high converting, then perhaps you want to invest more into that channel, in terms of marketing efforts.
FIND THIS: Acquisition > All traffic > Channels
By now, you should be convinced of how powerful a tool Google Analytics is, and why it’s crucial for your business. The 5 areas above are really only scratching the surface; there’s so much more to dive into but this is a good starting point if you’re a newbie to looking at your numbers.
If you’ve looked at your numbers but you’re still unsure of how you can utilise them, book a strategy session with me here. We’ll take a look at your data and work out an actionable roadmap that personalises your business, so you can start getting those conversions and banking revenue.