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In this article we will go through some uses for Google Analytics, as a base for your goal tracking data. We will go through different ideas for KPI’s to set – and therefore goals to set – and how to measure them using Google Analytics.

Of course this article will assume that you have a website that you are tracking using Google Analytics, but it can be applied to any kind of website.

Visit duration

Using Google Analytics, you can track how long people spend on your site.

The visit duration can help you answer whether the website visitors are relevant, finding what they are looking for,  and think your website is informative. This can be useful in marketing to know whether you are reaching the visitors you want and for the development of your website and its content.

 

When valuating  the visit duration there is no true goal for every site. The goal for the visit duration will depend on your websites purpose. If you manage an online newspaper or blog, you will be looking at a higher average visit duration than if you are, for example,  managing a physical store where people are mostly entering your site to find your contact information.

 

When setting a goal for this metric you will therefore have to take into consideration the purpose of your website and how long you imagine the optimal visit would take.

 

How it this data made?

Google Analytics calculates the duration of each visit from the time stamps they send when entering a site. When someone enters your site, a time stamp is sent to Google Analytics. When they click to go to another part of your website, another time stamp is sent. This part is pretty exact, but there is no time stamp for when they leave your site. Google Analytics handles this by setting these durations to 00:00:00, which will very rarely be correct. This means you might have more of this duration time stamp than you expected and that your average is dragged down a bit.

 

Which actions can I set to improve this?

When you have set a goal for the visit duration you would like to achieve,  you should set actions that you and your team can do to achieve your goal.

 

But how can we affect visitor duration? To answer this you will need to ask yourself why people are leaving your website. Did they find what they were looking for? Or did they give up?

Your visitors might leave your website because it isn’t relevant for them. One way to correct this is to make sure you are advertising to the right people. Another way is to check out your choice of words and how they might find your website on search engines – look for SEO.

 

You could also check whether it is easy to navigate your website and find what you want.

Make sure to set your goal to a specific duration so that you are more motivated to reach it and have a chance to evaluate and set a new goal. The best work is iterative and builds on prior experience.

New visitors

You might be interested in reaching out to new potential customers, who have never visited your website before. This is useful if you feel that you have not reached all of your potential clientele yet.

Google Analytics tracks whether a user has visited the site before and therefore has two different groups for visitors; new and returning. While you would ultimately want to have people return to your website, you might for a while be trying to reach out to a new group.

 

How is this data made?

When a new person enters your website they are given a unique random number and a first time stamp. These two put together is what Google Analytics call a Client ID. 

Using cookies this is stored so that Google Analytics can recognize your user when they enter your website the next time. 

This of course means that the same person then viewing your website on another device will count as another person. The same goes for when the user deletes their cookies before entering your site again. This can happen and often does, so this metric is not exact, but it is a good indication of whether new people are getting to your website. 

 

Which actions can I set to improve this?

This is mainly a goal that is relevant for marketing , and therefore they are the ones that can do actions towards reaching the goal.

Usually this goal can be reached through advertising, word of mouth, and SEO.

Make sure to set your goal to a specific duration so that you are more motivated to reach it and have a chance to evaluate and set a new goal! The best work is iterative and builds on prior experience.

 

Sessions per user

While new visitors can help you see if you are attracting new people to your site, it will not give you any information on whether these new people open your site once for a short time, or use your site every day. For this, you can use sessions per user.

 

Social media and news sites like this number to be as high as possible, and you might think that someone visiting your site just once lowers the number, however this means you have just reached one more person. Reaching out to new people who see your site is never bad, but will ultimately lower the number – at least at first.

 

How is this made?

Each session is every time the web page is opened on a browser. Sessions per user is calculated as; sessions divided by number of users. How Google Analytics tracks unique visitors, can be seen in the previous segment about new visitors.

 

You might have a specific goal of making your visitors come back daily or weekly, which means you will have to take the into account numbers for that time period specifically. Google Analytics give you this number already made.

 

Which actions can I set to improve this?

This really depends on which kind of website you are running. For some, this might be a task for social media, to remind customers you exist. It might be a question of customer service, and making sure your customers have a good experience working with you. Or just a question of making sure you have more great content on your page. Ask yourself why someone might only enter your site once and then not come back. Did they forget you? Did they have a bad experience? Or did they get everything they need from you?

 

Make sure to set your goal to a specific duration so that you are more motivated to reach it and have a chance to evaluate and set a new goal. 

These are just a few examples of which metrics to follow in Google Analytics and what they say about your website’s development and performance. There are so many, that they would never fit in an article, but if you have any thoughts, questions or ideas feel free to contact us on contact@cobraid.dk or in the comment section below.

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