If correctly used, Google Analytics can provide incredible insight to enable marketers to plan an effective marketing strategy and change tactics to achieve the best results.
However, the rule of thumb when tracking online performance with Google analytics is to only track what’s important to you. Tracking too much can be overwhelming and make you lose focus and time.
So we have gathered the 10 major metrics that a marketer should track to discover the strengths, shortcomings, and opportunities of their website. But first, let’s look at how important Google analytics is to marketers.
Does Google Analytics Really Help Marketers Achieve Their Objective?
Marketers can use Google Analytics to figure out how their marketing campaigns works and how user experience of a website affects things like conversion and retention.
GA helps marketers in achieving their objectives by enabling them to make informed decisions based on campaign performance in real-time. You can track your marketing strategies, tweak them, and improve your campaign over time for better outcomes.
How Marketers Should Use Google Analytics.
There are four areas to the Google Analytics dashboard:
Audience: this allows you to learn more about your clients by looking at demographics, geography, retention, and device technology. You may interpret the impact of your marketing activities on distinct user segments using these data.
Acquisition: this allows you to see how customers arrive at your website. You can visualize which channels (organic traffic, email, social media, advertisements, and so on) give the most traffic under the Channels area. You can also assess the efficacy of your SEO efforts on organic search traffic and discover how effectively your email campaigns are doing by comparing incoming visitors from different platforms.
Customer Behavior: This shows you what your customers do on your website. Which pages do they go to? How long do they stay? These metrics can help you understand the overall user experience and how it affects retention and engagement.
Conversions: this allows you to see whether clients perform the actions you want them to. This usually entails creating funnels for crucial behaviors like purchases to examine how well the site encourages them over time.
10 Key Metrics to Track with Google Analytics
Users are people who visit your website. Google Analytics divides users into two categories: new and returning. Those who have never visited your site before are referred to as new users, whereas visitors who have previously visited your site are referred to as returning users.
GA tracks your site visitors using cookies, so if a returning user uses a different device, erase or block their cookies or browse in private mode, they might be counted as new users.
As a marketer, being able to distinguish between new and returning customers will help improve your offerings, thereby increasing the possibility of a sale.
- New Visitors vs. Returning Visitors
Comparing your new visitors to existing visitors is an important metric to evaluate the performance of your website over time. Multiple visits could suggest that you’re offering products that people value so much that they keep returning.
One way to increase your returning visits rates is to get collect your customers’ emails once they arrive at your site. This way you can send them product offerings to get them to come back.
- Top Search Queries
Examining the search queries customers use in the website search box will tell you what your visitors are looking for. You’ll know the products that they expect you to have, and make provision for it.
To see this information, click on ‘Site Search’ in the ‘Behavior Section’ of your Google analytics dashboard.
You can also use this information in refining your marketing strategy. If users type in a specific search term on your internal site search, chances are that they use the same term on Google. So you can target those keywords in your campaigns.
- Average Session
The amount of time people spend on your website before leaving is referred to as session duration. In general, the more time a visitor spends on your site, the more likely they are to convert and complete the desired action, whether it’s to make a purchase or provide their contact information. As a marketer, Keeping track of how long people spend on different pages can help you figure out which pages are most effective and which ones need to be reworked.
- Channel-Specific Traffic
This allows you to see where people were before they came to your site. A channel is more like the door that your customers use to enter your site.
In order to measure full-scale digital marketing campaigns, it’s important to look at your top channels. This allows you to see what’s causing a drop in visits (if overall traffic is down), and where your campaign shines.
What You Should Look Out For:
- Referral Traffic: These are visitors who arrived at your site via a link from another website. It’s external traffic from display ads, and others. To get to your site, the visitor clicked on a link on a different domain.
- Direct Traffic: This refers to people who visit your site by typing in your URL or those who started searching in the omnibox but most likely previously visited your site.
- Organic Traffic: These are people who found your website through a search engine like Google or Bing and clicked on the organic (non-paid) search results.
- Social Media Traffic: Visitors who arrived at your website via a social media platform. It’s also a good way to assess the overall effectiveness of your SEO, social media, content, and integrated marketing campaigns.
- Goal Conversion Rate
Specific interactions with the website that define a target objective are referred to as goals. A purchase or user registration are common goals for marketers. You can determine how well marketing efforts lead to goal conversions by tracking conversion rates over time.
To see your conversion rate, click on the conversation on your Google Analytics dashboard, then Goals > overview.
- Pages Leading To The Exit
The last page a user views on a website before leaving the site or before the session ends is referred to as the exit page. You can identify opportunities to optimize these pages to not only keep users on your site but also to increase conversions, by looking at which pages they most frequently leave from.
For example, if your Checkout page has a rate, there may be an issue with it that is preventing users from moving forward in the user flow. You can work to optimize the page to push them to complete their orders.
- Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the average number of visitors that departed your website after only visiting one page.
Bounce rate can tell you if your site’s content is relevant or if you’re running a paid campaign on the proper landing page. However, the figure is highly subjective. On the one hand, a high bounce rate for a single page may indicate that users left the site after seeing the single page and had little interest in continuing. After bouncing off a contact page, they may have called in and become a paying customer.
But overall, the Google analytics bounce rate metrics allow you to better optimize your website to retain more customers.
- Search Trends
Search patterns might reveal a lot about things you don’t have control over. If you’re an apartment rental company, for example; search trends for “apartments in city X” may decrease in the winter and then rise again in the spring.
When you compare this to your overall or organic traffic, you’ll see why Q4 traffic is so low in comparison to earlier quarters in the same year. Tracking search trends is a good approach to see if you’re focusing on the proper keywords for your campaign at the right time. If you’re chasing a keyword that was hot five years ago but isn’t as popular now, you might be wasting your time.
- Costs of Obtaining Leads (Cost per Conversion)
This is one of the more essential metrics: the effect of a value per visit. It makes little difference if your website has a high conversion rate or a high value per visit if your cost per conversion is excessive. Your website will be too expensive to operate, resulting in a net loss. When aiming to boost conversion rates on your website, keep the cost per conversion and total margins in mind. Take a step back and assess where the costs are damaging your brand if the cost per conversion is too high.
Although Google Analytics has many more metrics than those listed here, these top ten are essential for practically any marketer to track, organize and optimize their strategy.