What are the most important numbers for your business?
At Art Unlimited, our top four are:
- Traffic Sources
- Time Spent on the Site
- Goal Conversions
You can find all of these metrics in your Google Analytic account under “Acquisition,” and “All Traffic.”
This metric tracks the origin of your website traffic. Did a visitor find you organically, through a paid ad, or via your social media channels? Tracking this metric helps you figure out which avenues of your marketing spend you need to increase. If you are spending time and energy on ads and social media, you need to know if they are working!
There are a few choices under Traffic Sources, and they can be a little confusing.
A medium (or source) is a way of grouping where your traffic sources came from. Under this menu option, you will see groups such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
A channel breaks the medium down a little further; it’s a group of several traffic sources with the same medium. Examples of channels are organic search, paid, referral, and social.
This metric is in all of your traffic menu options, and it tells you how many people have viewed your website. This metric can be further broken down by which people were returning visitors and which are new users. These are good numbers to compare as you want to make sure people who have been on your website keep coming back to it.
How does Google know if you’re a new user or not?
Each time someone visits your website, Google assigns them a number. This is a unique and arbitrarily-assigned number that is stored in that browser’s cookies.When this customer goes onto your website (using the same browser) a second time, Google recognizes their assigned number and doesn’t count them as a new user.
Time Spent on Site
This is another important metric because you want users to be engaged on your site for as long as possible. You want them to read the information you worked so hard to craft and look at the products you worked so hard to build! Then you want them to purchase your services or buy your awesome products.
If you see the time spent on site is just a few seconds, that means that you are not delivering the information they want and they’re leaving the site right away. This is called “Bounce Rate.” This is another important metric to track. When users get to your website, you want them to look around and click around. A high bounce rate means they are not doing this; they’re coming to your website, and “bouncing” right off.
According to research done by Cho Liu and his associates at Microsoft Research, the first ten seconds of a user’s visit to your page are critical to determine if they stay on it or leave it. Think of it as your first impression. If you get a poor first impression from a person, you usually don’t want to hang out with them much longer. The same principle applies to your website. You need to grab their attention right away, and then make your site easy to use and navigate and offer up helpful information so they stay on longer.
These are user actions that you set up and tell Google to track. The most common actions are form fills, resource downloads, blog or newsletter subscription requests, and phone number clicks from your click-to-call phone number button. For a service-based industry, these are your leads.This is the whole point of your marketing efforts! You want your users to stay on your site long enough to realize they need your services, and then call you up.
There’s more to explore and keep an eye on in Google Analytics (and you should!), but traffic sources, users, time spent on site, and goal conversions should be the foundation of your tracking.