5 Google Analytics Metrics To Measure Customer Engagement On Your Site
Perhaps one of the most insightful and underused of all free digital marketing tools out there is Google Analytics.
It allows you to measure the results of campaigns in real-time, compare data to previous periods, and learn more about your online audience and how they behave.
At first glance, Google Analytics can be a bit overwhelming, but getting started with some of the basics is easier than it looks.
Know How Many People Visit and When
Knowing how many visitors your website gets over a certain period is good insight, as is seeing when your traffic spikes. If you are a seasonal business or tend to run digital ads only a few months of the year, you might see some peaks and valleys in your report. Understanding how your traffic flows through the year organically can give you a better idea of when customers have an interest in your product or service.
Try it: What does your traffic look like? Log into your Google Analytics account, then on your Dashboard, select the Audience tab and click Overview. This will pull up your stats. They should look something like this. Adjust your dates so you can get a full year’s worth of data.Digging into Customer Engagement
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The first page a visitor is sent to on your website.
While your homepage is commonly the most popular landing page, it’s not always the page of your website that users are sent to. Search engines like Google have a goal to deliver the best answers and recommendations for the searches users make. Often, that answer is a page on a website other than the homepage.
Over the years, Google has hidden from their analytics the actual search terms used to drive traffic to your site. However reviewing landing pages can help you better understand what users are looking in Google.
Other reasons landing pages can be a key metric to review:
- Specific pages used in emails
- Specific pages used in paid campaigns or social media posts
- Specific pages used on other sites or online directories
A key reason for having individual pages for your key services on your website is to increase the opportunity to attract visitors to that specific page. Reviewing landing pages can help you make better decisions how well that is working for your business.
How your visitors found your website link.
Channels are groupings of sources or mediums that show you where visitors came from.
- Organic Search
- Paid Search
You’ll find others in your report but these are the main categories.
Why are channels important to you? To understand if the marketing efforts you’re using are delivery traffic to your website.
- Are you social media posts bringing traffic to your site? If so, which posts from which platforms are working best.
- Is your email marketing program bringing traffic to your site. If so, which links are working best.
- What’s happening with the traffic coming from your paid ads? Are they engaging and converting into leads and customers or are they leaving without engaging?
The average amount of time spent on the website by each visitor
The goal of a website is to add value to your customers and engage in some meaningful way. The longer a person stays on your website, the more likely you’re doing just that.
Conversely, there are fake traffic factors that can distort your analytic reports. If you see traffic on your pages that have average session durations of a second or less, it’s most likely robots, or fake traffic caused by spam or computer scripts.
The average number of pages each visitor has viewed
The difference between landing pages and pages in your analytic reporting is this:
- Landing pages only measure the first page someone lands on and measures no further activity
- Pages measures all pages that user visited during their time on your site no matter what page they started on
Pages per sessions gives you an idea of what your users are doing once they land on your site. If they are going no further than the initial page, you may want to look at ways to improve their overall engagement.
The percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing only one page.
Bounce rates can vary greatly by industry and by device. If you use Google to search for “what’s a good bounce rate”, you’ll see articles and studies with numbers for every type of industry, browser, and equipment type. The numbers can get confusing and there are no absolutes.
However, here are some key points to help put some context into the data you might find:
- General rule – the lower the bounce rate the better. Think of what a high bounce rate means – someone found a page on your site and left without doing anything else.
- However – if that page was your contact page and found what they needed and left, that’s not a bad thing right?
- If you have a high bounce rate on your blog posts, that’s pretty common. In fact, according to a variety of studies, the average bounce rate on blog posts can be above 70%.
- If you’re a service company and focus on B2B, you’re going to see higher bounce rates on average than a B2C company selling a product.
So how can you improve your bounce rate?
The best way to lower bounce rates is to have high-quality content that is meaningful and valuable to your customers. Other ways include:
- Review the pages that get the most traffic and have higher bounce rates. Edit the copy to make the pages for easy skimming and make them easier to read.
- User links and call to actions for other pages in your website, especially for content that would be relevant to the content of the page.
- Look at your pages on both desktop and phone. Chances are, your bounce rates vary by device. If a majority of your traffic is coming through mobile devices and your mobile bounce rate is high, you know you have some work to do.
- Edit your content over time to make sure it’s current and valuable to your core customer.