How to Read Your Google Analytics Report
When used properly, Google Analytics can help you understand how your customers are finding your site, what information they find most useful on it, and at what point those customers are leaving the site.
Total Visits: This is the number of visitors that have been on your site. It is the combined number of new unique visitors and returning visitors that have been on your site in the past.
Visitors: The number of people that visited your site in a specific period, broken down into “new” and “returning” categories.
Page Views: This is the total number of web pages your visitors saw during their time on your site. For example, if someone viewed 3 unique pages on your website, their count would be 3. Google adds up the pages each visitor looked at and comes up with the Page Views figure.
Average Time on Pages per Session: This stat tells you which web pages people spend the most time on. What this really tells you is what customers that visit your site are looking for, and potentially what information you should expand upon to keep them on your website longer.
Average Time on Site: This shows the average amount of time people spend on your site. This stat can be a little misleading because of how Google calculates it: the time is only tracked if a customer is active on the site (i.e., clicking from your Home page to your Services page). If someone lands on your site and doesn’t stray from the page they are brought to before leaving, they are considered a “Bounce” and no time will be tracked. Even if they spent 10 minutes looking at that first page, the time will not be factored into their Average Time on Site.
Bounce: This tells us a few different things: if you have a high “bounce” rate, say 75% or higher, you may need to adjust what is on your site. People are finding it, but once they get there they don’t seem to like what they see. This could be the content on the site just isn’t what they are looking for. As we talked about earlier regarding “Average Time on Site”, it could also mean people get to one page, find the information they need, and then leave without doing anything else on the site. If you think this is the case, you might want to adjust your content to entice people to go deeper.
Searches: This is a list of the search terms people typed into their search engine to find you. Very valuable information, these search terms let you know what your customers are looking for, and what terms helped lead them to find your site.
Search Engines: This is a list of the search engines that were used to find your site. You will also see “(direct)”, this is a count of people that typed your web address directly in to their browser. These are people that already know you or found your website some other way – maybe your business card or other advertising.
Referrers: This is a list of other websites that have your web address on it. Common examples include Facebook.com, your local Chamber of Commerce’s website, or online directories. This information is useful because it gives you another glimpse of how people are searching for your business.
A Google Analytics report contains a multitude of valuable information about your site’s visitors and can help you shape your website marketing strategy. As always, if you have any questions about your Google Analytics report, please contact Pinnacle Marketing Group’s digital team at 800-343-8086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.