Do you have Google Analytic’s on your website to track your activity, but do you look at it and think ‘I don’t actually know what this means’?

This is actually the majority of people as there is a lot of information that can be gained from Google Analytics.   For instance we can see how visitors arrive at websites,  how they interact on websites, where they drop off from a website, there is a a whole lot of data and figures that sometimes we just do not know what to do with.

The task is to understand what you are looking at and to know what you want to gain from your analytical reporting, so we have taken Google Analytics and put some short snippets of information together to hopefully explain in a quick reference way.  The 5 basic stats that as a business you should be looking at are: Google Analytics screen view

Traffic Source tells you how visitors have arrived at your site.  The analytics will split your traffic reporting into how your website was found and display it in a simplified pie chart. The split is between referring traffic, direct traffic and referring sites which are the main ways visitors come to your site.  You are then able to drill into each section to see more and more information on where visitors are coming from.  By grouping the sources into categories such as search engines, direct traffic referring sites will give you more of an insight into how visitors arrive at your site and what is working best for you as a business.  So consider the areas that are showing good results and work closely with them to improve the results and look at the strategy you have for the ones that are not giving you good results.

Bounce Rate is a very rough percentage of the number of times a page is visited and then immediately exited.  This usually means that a visitor has found your website and for some reason exited from the page as soon as they have briefly viewed.  There are many reasons that you can put to such a quick exit for instance, it was not the page they thought it was, it did not load quickly enough or it indicated there was a problem with the website.

So for reporting, look at pages that have a higher bounce rate than others, refer back to the page and investigate why this could be happening.  Could it be something as simple as the page not looking attractive to the visitors eye, there maybe bad navigation on the page or it is just not informative enough to the visitor.

Referral Keywords link to search engine marketing, both paid and natural, and the reporting will show the keywords, which are driving the most visitors to your website. This is important to analyse, as it will show you:

  • which keywords are the most relevant and which are driving traffic to your website
  • are all opportunities being maximised or could you being doing more
  • are there any further areas that need to be worked on

Average Page Views is dependent on the set objectives of your website and can like bounce rates.  For example if you are a website selling advertising by the page view then the more page views per visitor is great, but if your company is a leads based website looking to drive enquiries, you want to get the enquiry through as quickly as possible whilst maintaining quality therefore requiring a lesser number.  At the most basic level a larger number of page views indicates a higher level of engagement and relevancy with visitors.

Average time on site in most cases is linked to the number of pages, the average time spent on a site is another measure for how useful your website content is.  If a visitor is spending time on your website then it does suggest that there is interesting content, so long as this is not linked to users not being able to find the information they are looking for.  Over time business owners will want this figure to increase, so improving a website page layout, content and usability will need to be included into your website strategy.

Google Analytics, once mastered and understood can give you comprehensive reporting.  The next step, is to set goals and conversation metrics which helps to understand where your business is and to use this information for on-line marketing metrics and campaigns.


Do you use Google Analytics for your business, do you understand the reporting or are you still learning?