Understanding and utilizing Google Analytics is key in helping you also understand your audience. Google Analytics is based on a bundle of dimensions and metrics.
- Dimensions describe data.
- Metrics measure data.
For example, one dimension measured in GA is a user’s browser. You can then measure that browserdimension with different metrics, perhaps gauging how many viewers have browsed your site in Google Chrome.
There are five essential, customizable metrics that will help you understand what traffic your site receives and what visitors do while they are on it.
Visits are interactions that occur on your site within a specific time frame, and helps you understand the traffic your site receives. One visit can involve multiple page views and transactions, so someone browses your catalog, adds items to a shopping cart, and completes a transaction, all of that comprises a visit. Google Analytics allows you to also view unique visitors, meaning how many separate individuals visited your site in a given time. Several months ago I attended the Google Analytics Summit, and Avinash Kaushik, one of the leading minds in the world of analytics, spoke about how we need to change the way we think about analytics and think of these stats as “People”. At the end of the day, people are who buy from you, so think of Visitors as your customers.
Each time a visitor navigates to another page on your site, GA tallies it as a pageview. Multiple visits to the same page count as separate pageviews. This information tells you what pages on your site are receiving the most engagement and can show navigational patterns over time.
Time on Page/Avg Visit Duration
Time on Page measures the time spent on each page. When someone first navigates to a page on your site, GA sets a timestamp and the clock starts running. When the visitor then navigates to another page on your site, GA timestamps it, and so on until the visitor leaves your site.
Average Visit Duration takes the total duration of all visits and divides it by the total number of visits to determine the average amount of time visitors are spending on your site. These two metrics help you see how much total time visitors are staying on your site and what pages engage them the longest.
The Bounce Rate metric shows the number of visits that exit the site after visiting only a single page. Unless there is a good reason visitors would leave after viewing just one page, a high bounce rate is not good and means your visitors are not engaging with your site due to a number of possible reasons such as site design or incorrect tracking code.
This metric breaks down where your visitors are coming from. Some traffic sources are:
- Search Engine: Google, Bing, etc.
- Referral: Third parties such as blogs or other sites
- Direct: The result of a person entering your URL into a browser directly.
- Social: Social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook
This metric helps you understand how your audience is finding you. This information can be very helpful when building an marketing or advertising strategy.
Google Analytics can be intimidating at first glance, but understanding the basic components and how the information can help you is the first step in gaining valuable insight into your audience and their needs.
Hope you fine this “Beginners Guide to Google Analytics” helpful. If you are interested in learning more about Web Analytics, I highly recommend the book below.