The final stage in your marketing strategy is not execution: it’s assessment. To make sure your website is drawing in visitors and keeping them there, keep track of these Google Analytics metrics that you need to know.
4 Essential Google Analytics Metrics
1. All Pages (For Top Pages)
The all pages report provides essential insights on many different aspects — such as average time on page and bounce rate — but one of the most significant findings is which pages receive the most pageviews. Assessing your top pages provides insight into the web pages that are most popular among your visitors, whether it’s a product landing page, your home page or your “about us” web page.
This metric allows you to see the webpages that are most valuable to your users, as well as web pages that may not be performing as well as you’d like, which you can use to make changes that will increase performance.
For example, if you find that your “contact us” page is frequently visited and the outreach comes via form fills, you should categorize the reasons why visitors are reaching out. It may be that they’re not getting the information needed from your website. On the other hand, if a landing page for a product is seeing very few visitors, there may be SEO or other technical issues that you need to fix.
2. Pages per session
Pages per session reports the average number of pages a user views during a session (a 30-minute period of time during which a user is active on your site). This metric correlates to how engaging your web pages are and how long a user stays on your site.
Because many visitors come to your website via the home page or perhaps a landing page, you want to make sure they are taking extra steps to explore your content, assess your offerings and eventually make a purchase. The more pages per session that a user visits, then the more likely they are to complete this journey with you.
To improve this metric, make sure your web pages are easy to navigate and have clear calls to action or “next step” instructions that they can follow.
3. Average Session Duration
Average session duration is the companion metric to pages per session. It represents the amount of time a user spends during each session and is also a good indication for how engaging your website and your content are.
To increase how long users spend on your site, make sure your content is educational, engaging and aligns with your users’ needs. For example, include videos or interactive content on product landing pages that only relate to the product itself. Anything unnecessary may cause users to leave the page altogether.
While technically different metrics, these are often presented together and provide a complete view of where exactly your website traffic is coming from.
The source metric in Google Analytics represents where your traffic comes from, such as search engines, social media, emails or direct traffic (in which users usually type your url manually or click on a bookmarked link). Medium refers to how your traffic comes to your website, such as organic search, email, paid traffic or referrals (in which an external link takes a user to your site).
Each source and medium represent the effectiveness of different strategies or campaigns, such as organic traffic and SEO strategy or social traffic and your Facebook marketing campaign.
You should never stop watching the results of your hard work. Make sure each marketing strategy is effective by looking at the source and medium of your website traffic. To track online user engagement, pay attention to pages per session and average session duration. Round out your metrics with top pages, so you know which web pages are your visitor’s favorites and which lag behind.