What is it that you want from your website? Are you looking for leads, are you selling a product, do you want visitors to read your content? You need to have a clear idea of the purpose of your website before we proceed.
Once you’ve determined why you want traffic you need to look at the sources of your current traffic. There are three primary sources of “free” traffic.
- This is the traffic that comes to you because of the search engines.
- This traffic comes to you from your social media posts.
- This traffic comes from instances where your URL is typed directly into the address line of the browser but can also come from direct links in other content on the web or visitors bookmarking your URL.
Your objective should be to be improving traffic from each of these sources month over month. The easiest place to see this information in Google Analytics is under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. You will also want to look at your data over a 30-day period compared to the previous 30-day period so you can track your progress.
In addition to your traffic sources, you will want to look at your overall traffic sessions as well. View this under Audience > Overview, and again you should compare current 30 days to previous 30 days.
Your organic sessions should be in a direct relationship to your impressions and click through rate. These KPI’s need to be accessed from your Search Console so let’s head over there for a bit. In Search Console look at Search Traffic > Search Analytics and select Clicks, Impressions, CTR, and Position. Select Queries and under Dates select to compare last 28 days. The objective here is to see an improvement in each of these metrics month over month. You will also want to review your queries and look for the relevant queries that are bringing you the best CTR. These are terms for which you should be optimizing pages.
Okay, back to Analytics > Audience > Overview, let’s look at some more important KPI’s.
- When a visitor comes to your site, the objective is to keep them there long enough to complete your site’s purpose which we addressed earlier. That is to give you their contact info, buy something, or read your content. Usually that requires the visitor to visit multiple pages. If they just visit one page and leave, that will be recorded as a Bounce. Your websites job is to lead the visitor from the landing page to the conversion page.
- Avg Session Duration
- How long a visitor stays on your website is obviously a key indicator as to how effective your website is at performing it’s stated purpose and it’s really important for this number to be getting longer over time until it reaches the time required to convert. If you’re not reaching your conversion goals this metric needs to be improved.
- Bounce Rate
- For Bounce Rate to improve, visitors need to visit more than one page. If your site is a Blog, this number is tougher to improve because visitors will come to read your current article and head onto the next. In those instances, it’s important to encourage visitors to read more of your content. If you’re using WordPress there are several plugins that list related and most read articles which encourages the visitor to read on. There is also a Bounce Rate plugin that will trigger an event after a specified amount of time that many believe will give you a more accurate measure of Bounce Rate.
- New vs Returning
- When the objective of the website is to build a following, this metric becomes most important. You will obviously want to be attracting new visitors but you will also want to see improvements in visitors who like your site enough to return again and again.
By tracking the metrics listed you will gain a clear insight into how your website is performing and if it’s meeting its purpose. Improving these metrics is a whole other discussion which I hope to get to in the future.
In the meantime, here are some other great articles that should improve your knowledge and implementation of Google Analytics.
Read the 10 of the most important Google Analytics metrics to track if you are optimizing your website
As a digital marketer, you can measure the success of your work in several ways. One of those ways is by examining key SEO metrics.
In this post I’m going to give you the most valuable metrics for evaluating the performance of your content.
The Website Marketing Pro is based in Hillsborough, NC and has a virtual team of experts located throughout the world with expertise in internet marketing, pay per click campaign management, search engine optimization and reputation management.
Originally posted 2018-05-30 09:00:21.