Many of our clients use Google Analytics to help them track how their website or Google AdWords accounts are performing. Google Analytics provides a wealth of information, and if you don’t have a lot of experience using its interface, it can be a challenge to decide which reports you should close attention to.
While all the data that Google Analytics provides is useful, we understand you may not have enough time to sort through it all. Here are our top 5 must-see Google Analytics reports:
1. Mobile views vs desktop views
- What it is: This report will allow you to compare the percentage of visitors who accessed your website from a mobile device to the percentage of visitors who accessed your site via a desktop computer.
- Why it’s important: With more and more people accessing the internet on their mobile devices, it’s important that your website look great and be easy to navigate across all platforms. If a large portion of your customers are visiting your site via mobile, it may be time to consider a responsive web design for your site.
2. Bounce Rate
- What it is: The percentage of visits to your website in which the user navigated off of the site from the entrance page without interacting with it (no clicks, form completion, etc.)
- Why it’s important: Your bounce rate can tell you a lot about the content of your website. For example, if your visitors are landing on your homepage and almost immediately clicking the “back” button to leave it, it could be that it isn’t intriguing or relevant enough to entice them to stay.
3. New vs returning visitors
- What it is: New visitors are those who are coming to your site for the first time. Returning visitors have been to your site multiple times.
- Why it’s important: Depending on the type of business you have, you might be trying to expand your audience by gaining new visitors, or it may be all about getting repeat business and increasing customer loyalty. Comparing these two metrics can help you ensure that you’re on track to meet your marketing goals.
4. Direct, search, and referral traffic
- What it is: How users are getting to your site – either by typing a url into the address bar (direct traffic), clicking a link on another site that brings them to your site (referral traffic), or by typing a keyword into a search engine (search traffic).
- Why it’s important: Traffic reports are a great way to see how people are getting to your website, and where there’s room for improvement. For example, if the majority of your visitors are coming from direct traffic sources, they are most likely repeat customers. If your goal is to increase conversions on your website, you might want to think about increasing your search traffic using a pay-per-click marketing strategy like Google Adwords.
- What it is: The Visitor Flow report is a graph that can show you the different paths (pages visited, buttons clicked), users took when exploring your site.
- Why it’s important: This report can help you measure customer engagement on your site, see which pages lead to conversions, and which pages may need some extra work to help meet your goals.
Using Google Analytics reports can provide a valuable look into the lifestyles and habits of users visiting your website, as well as how the site is performing. It may take a little practice to get into the routine of running analytics reports, but once you get the hang of it, it can be one of the most useful tools in your online marketing arsenal.
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