We’re obsessed with our website stats. We aim to increase the number of quality, engaged visitors to our website each week. So we spend loads of time in various analytic tools, with Google Analytics being one of our faves.
If you don’t use it already, it is absolutely worth setting it up [it’s a free tool, yay!] and start tracking your website. It may be a little tricky to set up to begin with, so you may want to reach out to a professional [or a tech-savvy friend!] to get you started.
So, how do we use Google Analytics? We check the numbers, see what we can learn, make some changes, optimise and repeat.
It’s good to ask yourself – ‘Why is your website important to your business? What do you want people to learn from your website? What action do you want them to take whilst visiting or after visiting your website? At what stage of the purchase funnel are they finding you online?’
Below are just four [of many! So many] key metrics that we obsess over in Google Analytics. I think it would be really valuable to take a moment to read and understand how they may apply to your website in relation to your specific objective[s] of your site.
A snapshot of our April 2021 stats for www.thefoldsouthernhighlands.com.au:
USERS: 32,481. [An increase from last month, so tick!] – This number reflects the number of individual users visited the website. Is it important to you to have a high volume of visitors to your website? How can you increase the number of visitors?
SESSIONS: 41,978 – This is how many times those individuals have visited the site in total.Is this important to your business? Is there a reason you want them to visit often?
PAGEVIEWS: 79,105 – This number reflects how many pages were viewed in total.This may or may not be important to your business. Is there a reason they would need to view many pages?
Here are some other stats that are good to know:
AVG SESSION DURATION and TIME ON PAGE – knowing how long people stick around is important to us – we’re digital publishers, so we want to make sure people are reading the content we are creating. This may not be as important to your small business. Is there a reason they would stick around, or can they get the important info they need quickly?
AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS – Google Analytics can tell you the gender, age, location and online interests of users. Great stuff! Knowing who your online audience is can be super-helpful for you.
BOUNCE RATE – This can mean different things to different businesses. A ‘bounce’ means a user landed on your website, then left before taking a look at another page on your site. So if your bounce rate is high, this means a high proportion of visitors to your website are leaving after seeing the first page they landed on. For some businesses this may be absolutely fine – perhaps you offer up all the information they need on that one page. For others, this may indicate that the audience they are attracting to their website may not be the most relevant or engaged audience.
GOALS – This is gold! Goals in Google Analytics will recorded each time a goal is achieved and you can learn how it occurred [and keep on doing that!]. For instance; if a primary goal of your website is online purchases, a menu download, a contact up form lodged or an event booking you can set theses up as ‘goals’. Once a goal is achieved [purchase made, menu downloaded, event tickets purchased etc] you are able to see how that person arrived at your site and the demographics of the user. How good is that!?