If you look to monitor the performance of your website, then there is no better place to start than by installing Google Analytics. For  a business owner new to website analysis, Google Analytics can be somewhat overwhelming and that is often the reason why many choose to ignore it. However, this is most definitely a mistake and the more astute business owners will embrace Google Analytics and the information that it provides as a critical way to measure how your website is performing, and more importantly, what you need to do to make it even more effective.

When you first install Google Analytics, you will certainly be witness to “information overflow”. There is quite literally nothing relating to your website that Google Analytics will not monitor and report back on. It is this level of detail that is the main reason why most website owners either din’t install Google Analytics, or do install it and never really interrogate the information it offers.

We have tried to clear away the fog and confusion surrounding Google Analytics and have listed 5 key reports within Google Analytics that you should monitor to give you an idea of how your website is performing, and also how powerful this tool can be for you.

5 Key analytics reports to monitor

Search queries – Whilst it is true to say that Analytics does not show as much keyword data now as it used to, it still remains the most effective free way to get  a good level of information about what key phrases people are using to find your website. To get the most out of this information, you should link your Google Webmasters account to your Google Analytics account. Once you have done this, you will be able to see the keywords people are searching for, the number of times each keyword has been searched, and most importantly, the position that you appear in Google for each keyword term. You will also see the click-through rate for each keyword term, showing how many times your website is clicked on in the organic search.

Mobile usage – It would be fair to say that, as a business owner, you would have to have had your head in the sand for the last twelve months if weren’t aware of the importance of mobile usage for your website. The percentage is rising on a consistent basis and being aware of how your website, and specific pages within your site, are performing is critical data to know.

Referral data – Knowing how your visitors actually find your website and where they come from is crucial in forming your marketing strategy. If Facebook delivers visitors to your website, then it will be important that you ensure your Facebook page has quality information on it.

Session data – The amount of time (or bounce rate) is a key metric that Google use to determine the quality and authority of your website. A higher figure here will shop that your visitors are engaged on your website and interested in what your website is presenting. Videos are an excellent way of keeping your visitors on your site and keeping Google impressed!

Raw page views and exits – It would be optimistic to expect that every page within your website is equally engaging and interesting. After all, nobody spends a long time on the privacy page do they! Seeing which pages are of the most interest to your visitors will drive what content you create on an ongoing basis. Seeing which pages also act as the emergency exit to your website are also important and you may be able to padlock this exit by adding most interesting content.

Google Analytics is your friend, and used properly, can help you make significant improvements to help optimise your website. Keep an eye on these reports and they will provide you with the basic groundwork to show you how your website is performing.

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