Google Analytics Metrics: How to Measure What Matters
We’ve written about why web analytics is the dashboard you can’t live without and how Google Analytics can help your business. Now we’re going to write about what you can measure using this powerful free tool.
How Do I Measure Performance?
Google Analytics is made up of hundreds of indicators that identify and profile your website traffic. However, there are a multitude of possible measurements. You could spend hours combing through the data. One discovery could lead you to more questions, and before long, you’re tumbling further down a dark rabbit hole of information. At some point, you step away from your account, but do you have the insight you came for?
Like a newborn child, your business needs a lot of attention. You can’t be weighed down by useless data. The best case scenario for you is to have a report containing essential information you need to make informed decisions about existing digital marketing efforts.
The first step is to find a select group of key performance indicators (KPIs) that offer only what you need to know this week, this month or this year.
Which Metrics Do I Choose?
It depends on your business goals. Are you researching a new social media strategy? Building your email list? Selling products and services?
Here are some general measurements that can provide immediate value:
- Number of conversions (sales, contacts or other actions)
- Conversion rate of contact forms or sales
- Click through rate of Calls to Action
- % of referral traffic from social media
- What technology people are using to visit your site
- Where people are entering your site
- Where people are leaving your site
- How visitors are interacting with your landing pages
- Amount of traffic from unique search terms
- Which marketing channel drives more sales
- Which websites are bringing visitors to your page
- …and more!
These can make an immediate impact on how you manage your digital marketing, but are they the same for every industry? Can a person who owns a restaurant use the same KPIs as the owner of a B2B publishing firm? You may be surprised by what we’ve discovered.
How Do I Match My Metrics to My Business Needs?
Your KPIs should be based on your macro goals. This will dictate how you track performance and growth.
We’ve broken down the key performance indicators for several industries that can be measured through Google Analytics.
If you have a website for your restaurant:
– Use Analytics to find out how visitors located your site. This can be extremely valuable in your ongoing strategy
– Find out the sources of your traffic. Are you gaining traffic from your Yelp profile/company blog/Facebook page/Word of mouth (WoM)?
– See what pages are receiving the most traffic. Is it your menu page/online delivery/offer page?
If you have a website for your dry cleaning business or clothing store you can:
– Measure top of funnel conversions. Am I getting more email signups? Is social media bringing people to my website? Are my coupons being downloaded when they get there?
– Measure the traffic that lead to conversions. Do I get more converting traffic from social as opposed to organic traffic? Where should I put my advertising dollars?
If you have an e-commerce site that creates online sales you can measure:
– The sources of traffic that drives conversion. Are you getting sales from referral traffic or organic?
– Which landing pages produce the most conversions. Is it your baby clothes page or baby stroller page?
– Which pages produce the fewest sales? Is it getting little traffic or are people exiting after reading the content?
If you have a blog or a online community site you can measure:
– Level of engagement. How long or how deeply are your visitors engaging with your site?
– Traffic sources. Are you getting referral traffic from other blogs?
– Your top pages. Is it your embroidery page or your knitting tips blog?
As you can see, some metrics can be applied across industries. Your choice of metrics will depend on your goals. Consider what you need your website to do for your business and then craft your reporting to deliver the information you need.