The internet provides instant access to information and communications around the world.
In fact 46.1% of the world’s population have an internet connection today and with 89% of internet users purchasing products or services online it is crucial for your business to have a digital presence. When used correctly, the internet can sky rocket your business and increase its visibility to more consumers than ever before. Before you get started it is imperative that you understand your website metrics, what they mean and how to utilise them to your advantage.
Analytics provide key data and statistics to senior management and are used to monitor, measure and evaluate performance against business objectives. If you aren’t using website metrics to measure the number of people visiting your website and the pages they are landing on, then you need to start now.
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool which provides insight into your audience’s demographics, behaviour and more. It measures;
- Website traffic
- Number of sessions
- Bounce rates
- Page views
- Geographical data
By having an overview of the above you can see whether your website is performing to its full potential. The metrics you measure can differ depending on your business objectives. It’s important to define these objectives and base what you measure around these. For example, if your objective is to get a high click through rate on a landing page you have created for a competition, campaign and social referrals to the landing page will be the metrics you want to monitor.
With advances in analytical data, it is possible to better align your metrics with your core business goals. Are you monitoring and evaluating these 5 metrics?
Demographics are often mentioned by marketers as a key piece of data to use within marketing efforts. With a website analytics tool, you can measure demographics such as the age and gender of the visitors to your site. This is extremely useful when positioning your website.
Align what you find from your website analytics to your target audience and ask if your main users are actually those you are trying to target? If they are then well done! Your website is well targeted to your preferred audience.
If they aren’t then it’s not always a bad thing. You might have discovered a brand-new target audience you didn’t know about, if many users of a different age group are converting it may be time to look at why and think about reviewing your target audience.
2. New Vs Returning Users
The New Vs Returning metric allows you to see which visitors are new in comparison to those who have visited your site before, as well as other statistics on their behaviour and conversions. For example, you can easily see if visitors new to your site stay for a longer duration than a returning visitor or vice versa. You can also measure goal conversions like if more returning visitors download content or click on a certain landing page than new ones.
You can then use this to target your content. If you have a very low number of new users converting the first time you may want to think about the navigation of your site, can they find what they need easily? Of course, this may just be the nature of the business sector you are in and it’s important to take this into consideration when measuring certain metrics.
3. Browser & Operating Software
The browser and operating system metric allows you to see which browsers visitors are using to access your site. Long gone are the days where you could get away with your website only looking good on Internet Explorer, in fact there are now many different browsers for internet users to choose from. In 2016, Chrome is the most used browser with Firefox, Internet Explore and Safari all still popular choices.
You may be surprised by some of the browsers or operating systems that appear on the list. If you see a high number of browsers it may be a good idea to make sure your site is optimised for the top 5 most used by your visitors. If you haven’t made sure your website is fully optimised on these many visitors may be seeing hard to navigate and un-styled pages.
4. Users Flow
The Google Analytics user flow lets you easily see how visitors navigate through your website and importantly where they land and drop off. Users might not always navigate through your website in the way you expect. However much you try to plan the journey for your users you will never be able to predict it for every user. Despite this you must make sure whatever journey they take, visitors can easily navigate and understand your website. With the users flow you can pick out the main ‘flows’ users take and optimise these pages to help users convert.
The user flow also lets you see drop offs, the point in which visitors leave your website. This can be useful in determining high bounce rates on your website. For example, if a high number of users drop off immediately after reaching a landing page it’s possible the page wasn’t what they were expecting or wasn’t fully optimised for them.
5. Campaign Acquisition
If you aren’t already adding campaign parameters to all the links you share to important campaigns on your site, you should be! Campaign parameters or tags allow you to identify the campaigns that send traffic to your site and importantly the source and mediums that send them there. This is great for social shares, links in email newsletters and advertising campaigns. If you’re unsure how to create campaign URLs, Google Analytics has a great URL builder that generates one for you.
Once you’ve added campaign parameters to your URL’s you can use these in multiple ways. For example, discovering which of your marketing efforts in the most effective in generating traffic to your website, improving future campaigns and better focusing your marketing spend to gain a better return on investment.
These are just 5 of the numerous metrics available for you to measure to discover the visitors to your site and their behaviours. Remember, it’s important to first set goals and base the metrics you measure on these. Don’t spend time analysing a metric such as gender or age if these don’t impact on your goals and objectives.
If you don’t have a Google Analytics account or would like help discovering your website traffic & visitors we can help. Our team of professionals have an extensive knowledge of Google Analytics and can help you discover the metrics you need easily and quickly. Find out more about our analytics services here or contact us to discuss your requirements.