Written by Jessica Ann on September 11th, 2013
If you run a website, you should know about and be using the free Google Analytics tool. With Analytics, you can measure a number of key metrics to really understand how the people out in Internet world are interacting with and finding your website.
Google Analytics is a very robust program that you could spend hours learning about. However, there are a few key parts of the program that are quick to learn. Here are four of them.
1. Bounce Rate
This doesn't have anything to do with trampolines, but check out this link for some good bounce rates of the trampoline type. In Google Analytics talk, bounce rate is very important. It's the rate, or percentage, of people who visit one page on your site and then leave rather than visiting a second page. This isn't always a bad thing. If the visitor was looking for specific information and found exactly what he needed on that one page and clicked away to go celebrate his new-found knowledge by drinking a glass of champagne and watching some funny YouTube videos, that bounce wouldn't be a bad one. However, if people find your site and then leave immediately, you may have an issue. A good way to tell if people are spending much time on that one page before leaving your site is the Time on Page metric. We'll talk about that next.
2. Time on Page
This metric tells you how long visitors to your site remain on the pages they visit. Consider the content of your page and the time spent on those pages to see if visitors are actually reading your site. For example, if your home page is full of text and would take at least three solid minutes to read but the average time spent on this page by your visitors is seven seconds, you can safely assume that nobody is actually reading the content of that page. You should consider breaking down that text into something far more approachable by your visitors. People are far more willing to spend 45 seconds reading something than three minutes. The longer people spend on your pages, the better, especially if you're trying to get people to buy something or sign up for a program or product. Here's where the next important metric comes in: Conversion Rate.
3. Conversion Rate
If you're trying to get people to do something on your site, be it sign up for an email newsletter or make a purchase, the Conversion Rate metric in Google Analytics helps you keep track of and measure how often and how much these goals are reached. To fully utilize the Conversion Rate feature of Analytics you have to do a bit of set-up. Check out this Beginner's Guide to Conversion Goals in Google Analytics. This metric is well worth the set-up time.
One of the most insightful metrics in Google Analytics is the Keywords metric. This shows you all of the terms and keywords that are used by people who find your site through search engines. With this metric and the others described above, you can see if people who found your site based on certain keywords were far more likely to interact heavily with your site than those who used other keywords. This information can be useful when you are creating new content because you can tailor your content to match the most favored keywords.
Check out the other features of Google Analytics to get priceless data about the visitors to your website. Analyzing this data can help you improve your website drastically.
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