Saturday, January 26, 2013

Google Analytics for Beginners: Top 4 Metrics to Start With

If you are like a lot of people, you've probably heard about web analytics and you know that it is important. Web analytics is especially important if there are certain goals you want to accomplish with that website. So where does one start when it comes to web analytics? Perhaps you've opened up a Google Analytics account and are a bit overwhelmed by the number of available tools and reports available to you and don’t know where to start. I've compiled a list of some of the basic tools that experts from the industry recommend starting with to a beginner of Google Analytics.  If you are wondering on where to begin, start by using these 4 tools.

Bounce Rate

In the article, “3 Basic Google Analytics Metrics You Need to Watch” Clancy Clarke suggests looking at the Bounce rate for visitors. He states that the “Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who looked at only a single page on your site before leaving”. He goes on to say that “visitors will stay if they find what they are looking for and enjoy the experience. If not they will immediately ‘bounce’ from the site. A high bounce rate can indicate that the content on your site is not relevant to the search term the visitor used or the visitor is not enjoying the experience on your website”.

Time on Page/Site

Time on Page and Time on Site measures the amount of time a visitor spends on a specific page or site. Clancy Clarke also recommends using this metric. He writes, “The ‘average time on page’ data is also helpful for determining whether your site is providing value to visitors. As the name suggests, this data provides information on how long, on average, visitors stayed on the site and how long they remained on each page. If visitors feel happy with your site and believe they are receiving valuable information, they will no doubt stay longer.

Visits & Visitors

Carrie Hill mentions in her article, “3 Metrics Google Analytics Beginners Should Watch”, that knowing how you site is being used and how to make it better begin with the sites visitors. She states, “Knowing who is coming to your site, how long they spend on the site and each page, and how many pages they look at before leaving or buying can give valuable insight into improving your subscription or checkout process”. By looking at this metric, you’ll be able to determine how many people visited your site, the number of unique visitors, and how many pages per visit each person looked at.


There is great value in knowing how visitors are locating and being directed to your site. Carrie Hill suggests using this metric and using the Traffic Source report. She writes, “If you drill down a bit into your Traffic Source report, you can see which sources sent the most traffic. You might use this to determine whether a directory listing is worth the cost, or if your paid advertising is lucrative”.

Please realize that every person’s goals in doing analytics is different and you may find that some tools may not be relevant for your own situation. After gaining some experience in using Google Analytics, you’ll know what information is most useful and what tools are best for you and your site.

3 Metrics Google Analytics Beginners Should Watch -

3 Basic Google Analytics Metrics You Need to Watch -

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