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Ready to learn which Google Analytics metrics are the most important for growing your business? Let’s get stuck in…

1. TOTAL SESSIONS

What is ‘Total Sessions’ in Google Analytics?

A session is recorded each time a user visits your website. Within that session, Google Analytics records other data about how the user behaves on the website. 

Why Sessions Matter

Although comparing ‘Total Sessions’ periodically is a good benchmark when trying to increase your website traffic, on its own, the metric doesn’t tell you much about your user’s behaviour on your website, or your marketing and websites performance. 

The ‘Total Sessions’ metric in Google Analytics becomes an important metric when it comparing with other data. If you want to understand which channel brings the most traffic to your website, for instance, comparing total sessions by channel will help you shed some light on this. 

2. AVERAGE SESSION DURATION

What is ‘Average Session Duration’ in Google Analytics?

In short, average session duration measures how long a user spends interacting with the content on your website before exiting. According to Google, Average Session Duration is calculated with the following formula: 

TOTAL SESSION DURATION (Seconds) / NUMBER OF SESSIONS

Why Average Sessions Duration Matters

Average Session Duration is a useful metric to understand how engaging the content on your website is to your users. If your average session duration is low it could suggest that your content is not engaging enough to your audience, or your site isn’t effectively delivering the information your visitors are looking for. 

3. TIME ON PAGE

Not to be confused with Average Session Duration, Time on Page is the average amount of time users spend on a single page of your website. 

Why Time on Page Matters

Just like Average Session Duration tells us how engaging your website is as a whole, Avg. Time on Page is a useful metric to help understand how engaging an individual page is for your users. If this metric is low on a particular page it could suggest that your audience are not very engaged with the content on that page. 

4. CONVERSION RATE

What is Conversion Rate? 

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors on your website that complete a specific action out of the total number of visitors. Commonly conversion rate will be associated with the number of people who purchased on your site or completing a form to become a lead. 

A high conversion rate is an indicator of successful marketing and positive website performance. 

How to Calculate Your Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is calculated by taking the number of conversions and dividing that by the number of total website traffic from the same time period. For example, if you had 100 conversions from 2,000 interactions, your conversion rate would be 5%, since 100 ÷ 2,000 = 5%.

Why Conversion Rate is Important? 

Your conversion rate is directly linked to the costs associated with customer acquisition, which is especially important if you are spending any money on paid advertising online. By increasing your conversion rate you can increase revenue per visitor, acquire more customers and grow your business.

5. BOUNCE RATE

What is ‘Bounce Rate’ in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, ‘bounce rate’ is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without visiting another page. However, Google’s definition is a little more complex. Google defines bounce rate as single-page sessions divided by all sessions in which the user exits without performing any further action on your website. 

In other words, when a user visits your landing page and leaves without engaging with the page or rest of your site in any way. 

Why bounce rate is important? 

Bounce rate tells us a number of things about the performance of a website, particularly around audience engagement, quality of the content, quality of the traffic and the user experience (UX) of your website. 

How to Lower Bounce Rate

The most obvious way to lower bounce rate is by increasing the engagement on your page and consider the traffic source visitors. For instance, if you experience a high bounce rate from a particular traffic source, such as an ad, it might be worth reviewing your ads to ensure they closely match the content of your site and the page they are being sent to.

6. AVERAGE PAGE LOAD TIME

What is Average Page Load Time? 

Found within the Site Speed report within Google Analytics, Average Page Load Time is the average amount of time, in seconds, it takes to load a page from “initiation of the pageview to load completion in the browser” according to Google. In other words, how quickly the average page on your website takes to fully load for each visitor. Different pages on your website will take different amounts of time to load due to the content, particularly images and scripts. 

Why Is Average Page Load Time Important?

Measuring your website’s speed and making improvements to site and page speed is important for a number of reasons, not least the impact it has on user experience. Websites with slow load times tend to experience higher bounce rates. Research has shown that 37% of visitors bounce when a site takes more than 5 seconds to load. The efforts to get people to your site could be undone by a slow website. When a site has a load time of more than 6 seconds the probability of a bounce increases by 106%

A website that takes a long time to load, experiencing high average page load time, will tend to see a lower conversion rate across the site. Studies have shown, faster sites typically see high conversion rates compared to slower ones, and there tends to be a direct correlation between average page load time and conversion rates. 

Away from your website itself, a faster site can positively impact SEO performance. Google has indicated in the past that page speed is a ranking factor within its algorithm to rank pages in its search results.

Measure Your Sites Page Speed 

Google PageSpeed Insights
GT Metrix
PingDom

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About Rob Bluck

Rob is a growth marketing professional, with a BA Hons in Business Management & Marketing and a wealth of experience within B2B, eCommerce, SaaS and Technology sectors.