How to measure your website effectiveness with Google Analytics.

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Google Analytics is a “must have” thing if you want to monitor users’ behavior and make your website work effective. Once you install Google Analytics to your website, it starts collecting data and you can analyze it in reports. All reports include 2 types of data – dimensions and metrics. Dimensions are characteristics of your users, their visits and actions. Metrics are quantitative measurements of dimensions – they show numbers of users, their visits and actions in your website, and metrics help you understand your visitors’ behavior. Here is just a quick view at some of the metrics.

Page View metric shows the number of times a page is viewed on your website. Using this metric you can define the most and the least popular pages, and take some actions such as changing content or a page structure.

Visit duration metric shows how much time a visitor spends on your website. It counts time from first interaction (opening the first page) to last interaction (before leaving your website). By default Google Analytics stops counting after 30 minutes, if a user doesn’t take any actions. That means that if a user opens a page and goes away from a computer, time session ends after 30 minutes. And after a user comes back a new session starts. You can set up other time interval that is worth doing, if there is content on a page that requires longer time of interaction – for example watching video longer than 30 minutes or completing a game.

One of the key metrics is Bounce Rate – the percentage of visits with only one page view. If the bounce rate is high it’s a sign for you that something needs to be changed. A possible reason for that is bad content – content doesn’t match with what visitors expected to see, content is not unique, or users just didn’t find what they were looking for. Anyway it’s time for content revision. It might be a good idea to have a couple of links further to your website if more information can be found there. Another interesting thing is that it doesn’t matter how long a user interacts with a page – if there is no second interaction (which means that a user didn’t go to another page) Google Analytics counts it as a bounce and time session is zero. This metric is especially important when you are trying to measure your landing page effectiveness. Some more ideas about Bouncing Rate you can find here.

Conversion Rate is the most important metric for a marketer because it actually shows how goals are reached. It shows how many people took a specific action. A conversion may be a transaction, a news letter sign-up, watching video, filling a form, etc. You have to set up a goal tracking in Google Analytics what action to count as a conversion. It’s not something by default. How to create an account and set up goals you can find in this guide.

Google Analytics can show Traffic Sources where visitors come from – organic search, paid search or referrals. Social Reports show from what social networks your visitors come from, and this can be taken into account when doing social media marketing. You can see what social network gives you more potential clients and concentrate on that. More about Social report read here.

There are much more things that can be measured by Google Analytics and be generated into reports, undoubtedly this data will help any business to succeed.

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