How to Understand your Google Analytics data
Google analytics is a fantastic tool but it can be a little complex decoding the data for some of us. Here we’re going to share some of the most important features of Google analytics and how you should use them.
If you work with us we will supply you with data studio reports that simplify reporting and provide all relevant data in graph format but we still think it’s a great idea for you to delve deeper into your data to guide business decisions.
Audience Traffic Overview
The overview traffic page gives you a breakdown of your current traffic for the last 30 days. This gives you a good indication of what is going on with your website right now. One of the most useful aspects of the audience overview section is being able to compare month by month data.
Year on year comparison is one of the best ways to analyse the success of your digital marketing campaigns. Most businesses go through busy and quiet periods – for example gardening is at its peak in the spring and summer months whilst shopping reaches its peak in December. Comparing year on year data allows you to analyse the improvements in your marketing much more effectively than month to month comparisons.
Within this section you also need to pay attention to pages per session and bounce rate.
Pages per session shows how many pages visitors to your website engage with before leaving. If people aren’t engaging with multiple pages of the website it may mean that your content isn’t engaging them.
Bounce rate shows how many people leave the site very quickly after arriving. Whilst this can be a sign that people can quickly find what they need from your website more often it is a sign that you aren’t attracting the right audience or that your website is putting visitors off.
Average bounce rates across the web are 30% so anything around this mark is often acceptable – though these figures do differ by industry.
The demographic data section of your analytics gives you access to information about the age and genders of people visiting your website. For most businesses, this is something you already know and use for marketing your company.
The interests section of analytics shows the interests your customers have. Like demographics this is often something you are already aware of. However, it can provide useful insights for how you should shape your content and blog posts to appeal to the widest sections of your demographics.
The geo section shows you where in the world search traffic is coming from. The majority of your traffic should come from the areas you operate in and it can be an indicator that the website is not optimised correctly if more traffic comes from outside your core national area.
The acquisition section of your website provides details of WHERE your traffic is coming from. This is broken down into organic search, direct and referral.
Organic search is search engine traffic excluding paid for advertisements.
Direct traffic is when people input your website address directly into the address bar or return to your site from a bookmark.
Referral traffic is traffic that comes directly from other sources. This can be other websites, business listings or social media. Over time you hope to build referral traffic to mitigate the risks of solely focusing on organic traffic for business delivery.
The most important sections of behaviour are all within site content. This breaks down into sub-sections showing you how users relate to your content.
All pages – provides a breakdown of your most popular website pages including information on number of visitors, time on page and bounce rates.
Landing pages – provides a breakdown of the entry points people are using to get to your website. This lets you know which pages are performing well and attracting organic or referral traffic.
Exit pages – shows the most common pages people leave your website on. This is useful to ensure that you are using sales funnels effectively and that the majority of people exiting the site are doing so because they have found the information they needed, made an inquiry, or made a sale – we want to try and ensure our most popular exit pages are sales and inquiry pages.