One of the most useful things about Google Analytics is the sheer amount of information it provides. From reports to metrics to suggestions on improvements, Google Analytics is a wealth of insight into the inner workings of your business’s website.
For some, though, the strength of Google Analytics can be pretty intimidating. If you’re new to using it – and even if you’re not – it can be tough to discern which pieces of information are most relevant and which can be put on the back burner.
Let’s look at the top key metrics that are relevant for small business owners when using Google Analytics. Rather than being overwhelmed by the information Google Analytics provides, you can master its insights and create actionable steps to improve your web presence with just a beginners level of understanding.
One of the most useful pieces of information Google Analytics can provide you is insight into how users are leaving your web page. Exit pages are the pages on your website that users are leaving from. If you see that a certain page has a high exit rate, this is a clue that the page either doesn’t provide the information your users are looking for, or it does not push them to continue exploring your website through an effective call to action.
Depending on your business, it may not matter where your site visitors are coming from. But for some small business owners, knowing the geographic location of the people accessing your site is very useful. And if you’re seeing visitors from an unexpected location, it might be worth investigating.
If you have a “search” bar anywhere in your website, Google Analytics lets you see what every single query submitted through that search bar is, and what users are getting when they do those searches. If you see that your visitors are searching for a particular service or product that you do not offer, that is useful information. It could indicate that you are not being perceived accurately by your customer base.
From the first day that you install Google Analytics onto your website, you are tracking data that is kept available to you indefinitely. That means if you want to compare how your site traffic is faring now as compared to a year ago, or even longer, you can do that. If you offer a certain promotion every spring, this feature lets you see how each promotion compares to the previous year’s event. If you notice that your site traffic is falling or rising, you can take steps and make goals to address the reasons why.
Monitor Session Length
The length of time your users interact with your website is invaluable information. If your average session length is only a few seconds, that’s not a good sign. It indicates that your users aren’t finding the information they’re looking for, are having a hard time navigating your site, or aren’t the users you had hoped to target in the first place. If, on the other hand, your session lengths hover around the several minute range, that’s a good sign that users are engaging with your site and finding the information they are seeking.
Google Analytics’ biggest benefit – the amount of information it provides – can also be its most intimidating challenge. Yet, you installed Google Analytics for a reason; don’t shy away from diving into the vast sea of information it can provide. By focusing on several key metrics that are particularly relevant to your small business, you can quickly gain a stronger grip over this useful tool and use it to drive more traffic to your site.
If you’re ready to use Google Analytics for your small business site, feel free to contact us here at Connectivity for more information.
Kayleigh Karutis is a contributor to the Connectivity blog.