If you’re thinking of using Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of your website, I high encourage you to do so right away. It’s the way I find out the basic information about my website that allows me to continue to bring in good traffic. To use Google Analytics, you will need to copy and paste a piece of code into your site’s html. Go to Google Analytics for more information on how to do so.
Number of Visitors
The graph at the top or your Google Analytics dashboard is showing the number of visitors who are visiting your website over time. This is a very satisfying number to watch as you work on driving traffic to your site. You can check it every day and see if your efforts are working. You can also look at it over the span of many months to see the trends in your traffic. This is the way I find out if my traffic is growing or if it is staying the same. If your traffic is not growing, then you know your number one task is to find new ways to bring in traffic.
Number of Page Views
This is different than number of visitors. My website http://quiltshownews.com is currently receiving 8,500 visitors a month. However, it is receiving over 17,000 page views. By knowing these two numbers I can tell the average number of pages a visitor is viewing when they come to the site. You want your visitors to visit more than the one page they landed on. If they are viewing more, that gives you the indication that your content is interesting to readers. My goal is to see if I can increase the average number of views by continually adding more blog posts that readers are truly interested in.
The bounce rate is the number of people who were on your site for a very very short period of time. This indicates that they discovered your site was not what they were looking for and left quickly. I can’t tell you what a good bounce rate would be. But I can tell you that I watch the bounce rate and try to decrease the number of bounces. I do that by continually working to improve the content I put on the site so that it’s not just interesting to me, but that it’s actually interesting to readers.
Average Time on Site
Average time on the site tells you how long your visitors are spending looking at your content. It is a good goal to improve your content to that visitors stay longer. If the amount of time is diminishing, then you know you are not capturing the reader’s attention and you need to work on titles and more interesting content.
Percentage of New Visits
The percentage of new visits indicates how many of your visitors have not been to your site before. My goal is to bring readers back again and again, so this number is important to me. I bring them back by sending e-newsletters that have information about my latest blog posts. They see the post summary in the newsletter, click it, and are taken to my site to read the post. I see a spike in repeat visitors every time I send a newsletter.
Where is Your Traffic Coming From?
The portion of the analytics that tracks where traffic is coming from is very valuable information to me. During the month, I put posts out to all of my social media accounts. By checking this section of Google Analytics, I can tell which networks have the most activity with my audience. For now, Facebook is one of the best places for me to draw traffic. These numbers also allow you to see if other websites have been sending traffic your way. I make it a habit to thank these referring websites on a regular basis. I want them to know I really appreciate their links.
These are the basics of Google Analytics. If you are not using analytics yet, start with these numbers first. Look at them every month and record their movement. As you become more familiar with Google Analytics, there are many other points of data you can track and analyze to give you a good indication of what is working and what isn’t working.
To Your Success,
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like “Is Your Webiste Ready For More Traffic?”