News and insights • Posted on 16 May 2016

Get started with Google Analytics Metrics

Google Analytics collects a whole host of data that can be overwhelming at times, and often it’s hard to know where to start crunching the numbers in order to improve your website. Knowing where to look and what to look for can help improve the performance of your website. We’re going to show you two key metrics to start with when analysing your Google Analytics account:

Bounce Rate

What is it?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate is an indication that certain pages on your site are inaccurate in terms of their content.

Generally speaking, a ‘good’ overall bounce rate would range anywhere between 30-50%. Anything above that would suggest there is an issue that needs closer analysis.

Where do you find pages with the highest bounce rate?

Make sure you have a decent enough time scale in order to get an accurate set of data (a minimum of 3 months should do the trick).

In Google Analytics, navigate to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages.

Then click on the bounce rate column to filter from high to low. To weight the data by highest bounce and page views, go to Sort Type and selected ‘Weighted’ from the drop down list.

It’s quite normal to see a high bounce rate on your blog posts, as they may have answered the question the searcher was looking for. Instead, prioritise pages with high sessions (over 100) that are within the main structure of your website – keeping in mind pages that you know are important to your website.

What do you do with the data?

Firstly, there could be lots of reasons as to why the bounce rate is so high. Key things to analyse would be:

Slow loading time

Poor design & usability

No calls to action

Check your competitors’ sites – is their page more compelling than yours, or does it provide more value?

If one or more of these issues are present, you should spend time testing each one and measure the result.

Site Speed

The loading times of your web pages are a hugely important factor in how successful your website will be, and often, this is the most overlooked metric. A recent study by Amazon identified that one second could cost amazon 1.6 Billion in sales.

Where do you find the slowest pages?

Navigate to Behaviour > Site Speed

In here are 4 different sections:

Overview – This is a brief overview of the average load time, redirection times, and connection and server response time.

Page Timings – This shows you the average load time of each of your website’s pages, ranked by the number of page views.

Speed Suggestions – This allows you to see suggestions of how you can speed up each individual web page.

User Timings – Shows you the loading time of different kinds of users using different devices.

The best place to start is the overview page, as load times in general can differ between industries – initially, you should compare yours to 2-3 of your top competitors’ websites, and ones you know are good from a design/usability point of view. You can use tools like Pingdom to compare with other websites. This will give you a good benchmark on what the average load time should be.

You should then go to Page Timings, and any pages that are slower than the website’s average should be the priority to improve. For suggestions on how to improve, go to the Speed Suggestions tab.

Analysing data from your website is important to the success of your website. Why not contact us for a chat, if you’re looking to improve your websites’ performance.

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Written by Ewan Burkinshaw

Digital marketing manager Ewan is behind all SEO strategy and works tirelessly to help clients achieve significant organic growth.

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