Is there a shop in your town or city that you walk past frequently but very rarely go into? And when you do, you just browse and not buy anything? Well this is like some websites out there and it could also be yours!
It would be nice to have visitors who come back on a regular basis making you feel like all your hard work was worthwhile. You can if you:
- Keep your site up-to-date
- Make it interesting
- Ensure it is user-friendly
Using metrics can be very helpful in giving you an idea of what kind of visitors are coming to your site and how this can be improved upon to ensure that you get repeat visitors. After all, repeat visitors means more sales and better visibility, helping your popularity and ranking in the search engines.
This is perhaps the most used and common way to find out what is happening on your site. The features that this facility holds is immense and can be a bit daunting but you can keep it simple at first by looking at the basic data to begin with.
When you first sign in, you will see your overview. This gives just a list of your websites and some basic information about your visitors. This information is certainly not useful as it does not show what type of visitors you are getting or even whether they are human or just spiders/bots.
Clicking on your website name will take you to a screen allowing you to view your report.
The information shown on this page is pretty much self-explanatory and can be quite useful for giving you an instant view of who your visitors are, where they are coming from and which pages are the most popular.
The metrics shown are defined by the date range and this can be changed by clicking on the date in the top right-hand corner and the metrics change accordingly. The graph shows these visitors in graph form (not many in this example!). Then follows the site usage. On here you can see there is a bounce rate of just over 52%. This may seem bad, but for the site in this example all new content is shown on the first page and so return visitors are unlikely to click further as they would have already seen the content.
The bounce rate is visitors that visit the site and leave afterwards without viewing other pages
Based on the average time on the site – 7 minutes and 40 seconds – I can see that the visitors are in fact interested in the content. If this was just a few seconds then I would be worried and consider changing the site to improve the ‘staying power’.
Visitors overview shows us here that there have been a total of 31 visitors and taking this into account with the 76 visits, we can see that we have return visitors. Hurrah! Then we have the map overlay. As this is a global site, I personally am not to interested in this but if you are running a website that where you wish your demographics to come from a particular country this will give an indication whether you need to change your keywords to better gain these ‘local’ visitors.
Traffic sources overview shows where traffic is coming from through the internet. As you can see there is 39% of traffic coming from search engines. Good. This proves to me that my site is listed and people are finding it based on relevant keywords that I am using.
Finally we have the content overview. I can see here that the largest proportion of page views (a whopping 61%) is just on the home page. This is acceptable for this site as, mentioned above, all the new content is on this page.
All-in-all this is just the basics of what Google Analytics can show us and the metrics go much, much deeper and it can feel like you are Alice falling through the rabbit hole. But bear with it and just have a look around. Google is very good with its help and there are many articles online explaining what most of the analysis means.