Measuring Site Performance with Google Analytics

I have recently become more interested in Google Analytics over the past few years. I think its a combination of the improvements/availability of better features within Google Analytics coupled with my curiosity of trying to figure out how to drive more conversions/goals on a website. Specially where I work, we manage 3 ecommerce websites – so the data that we receive through Analytics is really interesting.

One of my goals for the new year is to really dig into Google Analytics and decipher that data into something the business can really use. We have been collecting basic metrics for about 6 months, visits (new vs. returning) and conversion rate (new vs. returning). We are overlooking many other important metrics such as bounce rate, average time on site, pages per visit, top landing/exit pages, traffic sources, etc. Im going to explain a few metrics that are definitely great to track and why you should be paying attention.

Bounce rate is a too much of an important metric to overlook. The bounce rate is the rate at which users come to your site and leave immediately without clicking to any other pages. So the higher the bounce rate, the less engaged your users are with your site. Check out this Great article on Bounce Rate.

Time on site refers to the average amount of time users are spending on your site.

Pages per visit is an average of how many pages per visit users are clicking through before exiting your site.

Top landing, entry, and exit pages show you which landing pages your users are landing on, entering on and exiting from. Exit pages can be deceiving though because users do have to exit your site at some point.

I would also like to point out its important to focus in on where you get your traffic from, and if you are measuring conversions or goals – find out which traffic converts the best for you and which doesn’t.
When using all these metrics within custom reports in Google, you can get a pretty good idea of how engaged people are within your site.

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