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9 key elements you must track in Google Analytics

Posted by Shivali Anand

November 24, 2021    |     6-minute read (1118 words)

Like most businesses, you want to improve your online marketing initiatives, and using Google Analytics to understand how visitors interact with your website is the first step. Google Analytics is a sophisticated tool that may help you determine who is visiting your website, how they found you, which pages they visit, how much time they spend on particular sites, the devices they are using and much more. You can then use this information to generate reports that provide insights into how visitors interact with your website.

While there are many variables to examine, here are nine indicators to keep an eye on in your Google Analytics reports.

  1. Users
When a new user comes on your website, Google Analytics provides them a unique ID, also known as a client ID. This ID is saved in their browsers as a cookie. When someone visits your website using the Microsoft Edge browser, for example, Google Analytics stores a cookie with a unique ID in their Edge browser. When they revisit your website using the same browser, it recognizes them as a returning user rather than a new/unique visitor. However, if they return to your website using a different browser, such as Safari, Google Analytics assigns them a new unique ID and records their two visits as two independent people.

Users refers to the number of distinct persons who have visited your website over time. As soon as you connect to your Google Analytics account, you'll see this data on the dashboard. You may also see the statistics for this measure by going to Audience > Overview.

  1. Sessions
The number of times a person has visited your website is displayed in the Sessions column. Every time someone visits your website, Google Analytics logs a session. When users open a web page, a session begins and terminates after 30 minutes of inactivity.

The visitor can leave your site, then return (using the same browser) and remain in the same session. However, Google Analytics registers a new session if they remain idle for 30 minutes before returning to your website. During this duration of the activity, each click, pageview, and other activities constitutes one session.

If the same visitor returns the next day or many hours later, Google Analytics considers it a new session. As a result, a single user can log many sessions. As soon as you login to your Google Analytics account, you'll see the session's statistics. It's also available by going to Audience > Overview.

  1. Page views
The number of pages visited by a user during a single session is one of the most fundamental Google Analytics indicators. A page view is the frequency or number of times a person visits your website. It also counts as another page view when they refresh and reload the same page. Go to Audience > Overview to get your Page views information.

  1. Bounce rate
The proportion of single-page visits — the number of people that come to your site and then leave after reading only one page — is called the bounce rate. By navigating to Audience > Overview and looking underneath the main graph, you can see your website's bounce rate. Bounces reduce the average session time; hence this is an important indicator to monitor. Because there are no engagement hits after the initial page view, such as another pageview or a transaction, the session duration of a single-page visit is treated as zero seconds to allow Google Analytics to measure the length of the session.

  1. Pages per session 
The average number of web pages viewed by a visitor during a session, including multiple views of a single page, is referred to as Pages / Session. More pages per session mean the user is spending time on your site and seeing many pages.

Divide the sum total number of page views by the total number of sessions to arrive at this value. The greater this score is, the better your website is in guiding visitors through your content and from one page to the next. This metric's data may be found under Audience > Overview.

  1. Average session duration
The average length of time a visitor spends on your website in a single session is shown by this measure. Under Audience > Overview, you may get information about the average session duration.

A high bounce rate might be caused by a brief session, whereas a more extended session indicates that the user is spending more time on your website. The more relevant the material on your website is to the user, the more time they are likely to spend viewing it.

Longer sessions, on the other hand, have a disadvantage. When the average session lasts a long time, and the number of interactions per visit is minimal, it's possible that visitors can't locate what they're searching for or that the content is unclear. The call to action (CTA) tab button should be simple when selling products or services, as it impacts the average session time. The combined measures of bounce rate, pages per session, and average session length show how long people stay on your website.

  1. Percentage of new sessions
The "% New Sessions" metric is crucial for determining how successful your marketing activities are at bringing new visitors to your website. It shows the total number of first-time visitors to your website over a given period of time.

While a high proportion of new users may indicate that your marketing activities bring in new people, it might also suggest many one-time visitors and no repeat visits, meaning that you are not establishing a loyal user base. Navigate to Audience > Behavior > New vs. Returning to see the proportion of new sessions.

  1. Completion of objectives
The total number of times users fulfill a specific objective on your website is referred to as Goal Completions. Goals change from company to company; it is up to you to choose an activity and make it a goal. A goal can be anything as fundamental as a visitor signing up for a mailing list. Google Analytics records every time a user completes a goal as a conversion. Go to Conversions > Goals > Overview > Set up Goals to form goals.

  1. Exit pages
If a user visits your website and looks at several pages, the final one they see is referred to as their departure page. This is not the same as the page's bounce rate. When a page's departure rate is high, it signifies that the page is losing visitors. This is a solid indication that A/B testing should be used to keep visitors engaged for longer by offering a positive overall experience. Go to Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages to see your website's exit pages.

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