Google Analytics is immensely helpful in tracking user behavior and attribution in websites. But, it’s also notoriously confusing and almost incomprehensible to the average online business owner.
With hundreds of different metrics on full display in your dashboard, along with 100 different things you can click that changes everything, trying to gain insights from your data can be overwhelming.
Thankfully, you don’t have to spend weeks trying to go over page after page of analytics reports.
You only need to track the metrics that will show you how your website is performing.
Here are the 5 most important metrics to measure your website’s success:
1. Website Traffic
The lowest hanging fruit but also the most useful metric in measuring your website’s performance. The number of sessions, page views and users are indicative of how well your brand is improving in terms of audience reach. This is important because the more traffic your site is getting, the more opportunities there is to convert prospects into paying customers.
Traffic figures are also helpful in measuring the success of your marketing efforts. You can easily attribute an uptick or even a sudden decrease in your traffic to the marketing campaign you’re currently implementing. That also means monitoring your website traffic is a clever way to identify which of your marketing efforts are paying off – and which ones you should retire.
2. Traffic Sources
As a busy entrepreneur, prioritizing the right things is crucial. And that applies as well to your marketing efforts. Tracking your traffic sources basically answer one vital question:
Which of your marketing efforts are actually bringing people to your website?
Luckily, Google Analytics can accurately track which platform your visitors are from. My favorite report to view these metrics is in the source/medium. You can track the number of visitors you’ve gained across different platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Emails, Youtube and among others. I highly recommend combining referral traffic to make viewing your reports easier.
Again, this is useful if you want to do more of the things that are working for you – and less of those that are just draining your resources and energy.
To learn more about how to track where your site traffic is coming from check out my blog Google Analytics Acquisition reports.
3. Top Posts
Not sure which of your content assets is the most effective in attracting site visitors? Google Analytics also tracks that. In fact, it even ranks your posts according to the page views each receives.
Measuring and ranking your content pieces will help you craft a content strategy that attracts more traffic to your site – simply by knowing which posts resonate the most with your prospects.
A great place to start is in your Audience reports.
4. Bounce Rates
Let’s first define what a “bounce” is.
A “bounce” happens every time a user visits your site and immediately leaves. Think of this user like a person who entered the wrong room and then quickly exits.
Your bounce rate, therefore, is simply the number of bounces in your website divided by the total number of website visits.
Having a high bounce rate could mean that your website content doesn’t match most of your visitors search intent. It could be caused by other factors like – having an ugly website that turns off visitors or a slow page loading.
While bounce rates don’t exactly define what’s problematic with your site, it’s still worth trying to find ways to lower it. The reason? A high bounce rate negatively affects your search ranking, making your site less visible in organic searches.
5. Organic Keywords
Before you open your purse for some expensive keyword research tool, it’s worth knowing that Google Analytics offers some of these keywords for free.
With organic keywords, you’ll have an idea what specific words and phrases your visitors are using in google search to land on your site. Apparently, using more of these keywords can boost your search ranking.
Lastly, keywords can also help you craft better content and offers, which is quite significant if you want your website to better match search intent.
While using the 5 most important metrics to measure your website’s success helps you identify what metrics actually matter, it can still be overwhelming finding these data points in an analytics report that’s full of other stats cluttered all over the place.
The best remedy? A dashboard.
Dashboards are visualization tools that curate the key metrics in your business in one place. Instead of a huge wall of numbers, what you’ll see instead are bar graphs, pie charts, ranked lists that show you “what your data looks like.” If you want to “clean up” your data first and get some of the basics down check out our workshop.
Luckily, making your own dashboard also won’t cost you a single dime. You can build them using a free tool called Google Data Studio.
If you’re in a hurry, you can also buy ready-to-use dashboard templates available at Nimble Co’s shop.