Since the birth of the internet and the rise of digital marketing, having a solid online presence has never become more critical. But today, having a website isn’t enough, as it’s equally important to understand how your website performs and how you can make significant changes to improve it. To do that, you need Google Analytics.
Google Analytics can be an incredibly effective tool for business owners. It collects large amounts of data about user behavior and traffic on your website. With it, you can make better business decisions and take your business to the next level.
This critical tool also allows you to measure your website’s performance by generating key performance indicators relevant to your website’s execution. This can help you achieve your business goals. Whether to scale, expand, or become the gold standard in customer experience, an analytics tool can assist you.
Many companies also opt for website optimization software like Hotjar besides the integrated web analytics tool. It gives a more detailed and comprehensive report with more advanced features like heatmaps, session recordings, and user feedback.
It’s ideal for enterprises that want to elevate their user engagement on the website since it helps identify areas of friction and optimize the user experience. If you’re contemplating between Google Analytics vs. Hotjar, you may check online reviews comparing them to get the best recommendations.
However, while the amount of data you have access to with Google Analytics is impressive, you do not have to track every single thing it can present you with. In fact, attempting to do so is likely to end up being a waste of time and energy with no tangible results.
So, what key metrics should you pay attention to in Google Analytics? You will find the answer to that question in the article below. Once you are done reading, using Google Analytics to grow your business should become a whole lot easier!
First, it is essential to establish what a metric is. According to search engine optimization experts at Widoczni, a Google Analytics metric is a quantitative measurement of a website’s performance. For example, it could be how many times a particular page was visited or how much time people spent on it.
While Google Analytics gives you access to more than one hundred metrics, only three types of the said metrics are actually helpful for tracking growth.
Google Analytics metrics that you should track
In short, conversions are actions that convert website visitors into subscribers, leads, or customers. These might include making a purchase, submitting a form, or signing up for a newsletter.
In the latest version of Google Analytics, GA4, these key actions are labeled as conversion events.
The Google Analytics interface makes it possible to categorize existing events as conversions, set up different conversion events, and dig into conversion metrics with the help of detailed reports.
By keeping an eye on them, you can easily track where your customers are coming from and what paths they tend to follow once they reach your website.
Later on, you can use that data to monitor whether your website visitors are successfully moving through your sales funnel.
To better track conversion, you can set up conversion goals on your analytics tool, which will automatically track it. The insights you generate can be beneficial in helping you adjust your strategies accordingly to help you meet your goals.
In Google Analytics, user engagement metrics help monitor visitors’ actions on your website. By studying these actions, you should be able to develop a much clearer understanding of their customer journey and develop better ways to keep your customers engaged.
There is a wide range of metrics related to user engagement you could track. Ideally, you should go for the ones that match your business type and goals.
The most valuable metrics to track include average session duration, bounce rate, sessions per user, and conversion rate. Aside from these, you could also track cart abandonment rate, customer churn rate, and traffic sources.
When deciding which metrics to track, consider your target audience and campaign objectives. Doing so should help you determine which metrics are of utmost importance to you and which ones are not worth paying attention to.
The users metric in Google Analytics tracks the number of people who visited your website during a specific period of time. These people are then divided into new users and returning users.
Tracking this metric should give you an idea of whether your marketing campaigns are bringing in website traffic and contributing to the growth of your business. Just keep in mind that the data it gives you might not be as accurate as you want it to be.
The reason for that is simple. The first time someone visits your website, they are assigned a unique identifier. This identifier helps Google Analytics differentiate between new and returning users. If they revisit your website later, they will be labeled as a returning user.
However, there are some instances where a returning user can still be counted as a new user, although they have already visited your website. For example, they might have visited your website on different devices or browsers.
Nevertheless, the data that this metric can provide you is quite valuable. While it is not one hundred percent accurate, it is a reliable indicator of how successful you are at generating website traffic.
Tracking Google Analytics metrics — best practices
Have a reason for tracking something
One of the most common mistakes people make when using Google Analytics is tracking metrics without a clear reason for it. If you generate reports on a regular basis and have no way to relate the said reports to your business, you are wasting your time and energy.
So, before you start tracking a particular metric, explain to yourself why you are doing it. Aside from that, you should identify potential ways in which it could help your business grow.
Configure everything properly
After setting up your Google Analytics account, you should make sure that you are tracking all the essential metrics. It will make the data you are getting more accurate, as well as give you access to additional tools that you could use to analyze your website traffic better.
Here is a short list of things that you should configure:
- set up and start tracking events,
- start tracking campaigns,
- set up e-commerce analytics,
- set up the site search feature,
- enable interests and demographics reports,
- start tracking site speed and keywords.
Create custom dashboards
You should create a few custom dashboards to get the most out of using Google Analytics. For starters, create one or two that focus solely on the metrics important to your business goals.
That way, you will no longer have to waste time looking for the data you need most, switching between different tabs and tools. Everything you need will be compiled into one tab, making it easier for you to stay on top of things.
To sum up, Google Analytics is a handy tool for business owners. Still, it can also be quite confusing and off-putting. The amount of data it can provide you with and its technical jargon can make you feel overwhelmed, to say the least.
Luckily, you do not need to know the ins and outs of each and every metric in there. Instead, to grow your business, you could focus on just a few key metrics, such as the ones related to conversion, user engagement, and users in general.
While keeping track of that data can be tiring and boring, remember that it is definitely worth the effort. It will aid you in making better decisions as a business owner and give you a quick and easy way to monitor the growth of your business.