Google Analytics can be confusing simply because of the vast amount of information it offers users.
What 5 Common Google Analytics Metrics Can Tell You About Your Website
Separating what’s important from what is irrelevant can be a daunting chore for a small business owner, especially if you’re just starting to invest in your online marketing.
SEO for Small Business:
Many small business owners elect to hire an SEO company that optimises their website and compiles monthly or quarterly reports that lend various insights into important Google Analytics metrics.
What these reports highlight, and how much they actually help you grow your business, usually correlates to the quality of the SEO company you hire.
To help you wade through some of the common metrics you’ll likely see and to help you understand how they relate to your website, here are five common Google Analytics metrics you should know about:
Bounce rate is a percentage of web visitors that come to your website and exit off the same page the entered from. In other words, they never click through to another page, which is an indicator of how well your website is laid out for converting and getting your web visitors to do what you want them to do. Bounce rate can also be an indicator of how compelling your content is, because readers are turned off by fluffy, dull, irrelevant information.
Good content and improving site structure to funnel your web visitors in the right direction for conversions are what you should focus on if you want to lower your bounce rate. Additionally, pageviews are one of the user data metrics considered in ranking your page in the search engine results. Therefore, lowering your bounce rate can also have a positive impact on your SEO efforts.
Keyword Entrance Phrases:
Another often-overlooked set of information that Google Analytics collects is a report of the most common keyword phrases users type into the search engine and use to connect to your website. These are important because they help you understand how well your website is optimized for search engines. If you are constantly seeing your business as a keyword entrance phrase and nothing else, it means you’re not optimized for good keywords and you probably aren’t ranking well. You should reconsider your SEO strategy or the company you hired to perform SEO for you.
Keyword entrance phrases also tell you what users are looking for on your website. If you’re a dentist and you don’t have a pediatric dentistry landing page, but periodically get traffic from people searching for information about paediatric dentistry, then you might consider adding that landing page when you do your next website update. Though as of 2014 a greater set of key-phrases can be obtained via Google Webmaster Tools data.
This metric, located under the traffic sources tab in Google Analytics, can help you understand how your search engine marketing, or SEM, campaign is working. For example, if you recently claimed and verified your Yelp local business listing, check your referral traffic to see how much traffic you’re getting from Yelp. If you have paid business listings in multiple directories, use this metric to understand which ones are the best return on your investment. Additionally, most paid local business listing directories also offer metrics for you to track the success of your listing. Check them often.
Top Referring Cities:
This metric is going to tell you different things depending on how your business is targeted toward any particular market. For example, if you’re marketing your business to a defined local market, you can use this metric to increase your reach by targeting your SEO and SEM efforts toward the cities/areas/regions you want to attract visitors from.
If you’re running an SEO campaign in which you’re trying to target a specific area, tracking where your customers are coming from can tell you how effective your SEO is targeted. Reviewing the amount of traffic from your top referring cities can help you track and measure those SEO goals. Additionally, if you’re running any PPC campaigns, this metric can tell you which areas are most effective to target.
Top Landing Pages:
Many local businesses are surprised to learn that their “Meet the Team” or “Meet the Staff” pages are usually one of the most visited pages on their website. Paying attention to which pages your visitors click on and spend the most time on tells you a lot about your customer. It tells you what services they want to know more about and what aspects of your company they care about. If you’re trying to build a brand, understanding this information is crucial. If you’re updating your website with new content, it also helps to know what content your web visitors want. Pay attention to the pages that attract your visitors.
Knowing which landing pages attract the most visitors also tells you how effective your content and site are targeted for SEO. If you’re paying an SEO company to create content that gets you found for red widgets and no one is entering from your red widgets landing page, you may want to have a conversation with the SEO company. You might be paying for fluffy, irrelevant landing pages that aren’t converting and serving your customers.