7 Key Analytics Metrics To Watch & How To Improve Them

If you run an SEO campaign, you need to measure what is and isn’t working. Not doing so, can result in a lot of money being put into something that isn’t doing a thing.

So which metrics should you be paying attention to?

  1. Organic traffic
  2. Page load time
  3. Bounce rate
  4. Organic clickthrough rate (CTR)
  5. Page views per session
  6. Average session duration
  7. Conversion rate

Organic Traffic

The most important metric within Google Analytics is organic traffic.

This measures how many people visit your site from a search engine result and is directly relevant to the effectiveness of your SEO campaign.

How To Improve It

If this metric is a little below par, there are some things you can do to improve the figures.

Review that you are targeting the most relevant keywords. If your organic traffic is low, you may be missing the mark with the keywords that you are focusing on. Review your Analytics data to see which keywords are bringing traffic into your site and decide whether you need to rethink your choices.

Create more content. Creating additional, quality content for your site will help improve your organic traffic. Content should be related to your industry and target the appropriate keywords. It has the effect of attracting more visitors who are searching for industry-related information.

Check the fitness of your SEO campaign. SEO is a critical element of generating organic traffic. Using an SEO checker, to see where you stand, can also highlight areas that you can work on improving.

Page Load Time

Users often abort sites that take too long to load. The general expectation is that a page should load in less than 3 seconds. So, if your Analytics shows a time that is longer than 3 seconds, it’s time to take a look at how this can be reduced.

How To Improve It

You can get some guidance on how to improve page load speed by inputting your domain into Google PageSpeed Insights. This will show you various aspects of your site’s page load time but it will also point out ways it can be optimised.

Some standard ways to bring down the page load time include:
  • Optimising your files (especially images) to be smaller in size
  • Reducing HTTP requests
  • Enable browser caching
  • Reduce the amount of redirects
  • Host videos on third party platforms including YouTube
  • Minimise and merge HTML, CSS and JS files

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate shows the percentage of sessions where the user leaves your website without having any interaction with the landing (or any other) page.

This means that if someone clicks on your Google organic listing, your page loads and they immediately head back to the organic results, then they have bounced.

What’s an acceptable bounce rate for your industry?

It depends. For ecommerce, a standard bounce rate is around 40 – 60%. For other industries, it can be much lower. You’ll need to look into your industry’s benchmarks to see what the norm is for your particular business.

How To Improve It

If your bounce rate is too high, there are some things you can do to improve people’s experience of your site.

Review that you are matching a user’s search intent. Search intent is the reason behind a user’s search. If you are not providing what they are looking for, they will likely leave your site quite quickly. Make sure that your content is relevant and engaging so that users want to stick around.

Check your site’s load time. Pages that take too long to load can be off-putting for a user. They will generally leave as they don’t want to wait for the site to load. Review what we have listed above to optimise your site load time.

Inspect your page setup. If your bounce rate is extremely high, it could be due to your page’s structure. Are there broken links, big images or lengthy amounts of text? Each of these can frustrate users and push them back to the search results.

Organic CTR

Clickthrough rate is a measure of how many users saw your listing in the organic results versus how many people actually clicked on it. It’s important because it highlights whether people deem your listing relevant to what they searched for.

This figure wants to be high because it indicates that more people find your site relevant to their query.

How To Improve It

A key way to up this metric is to work on your meta description and title tag.

Title Tag

The title tag is the first thing people see of your listing. It tells a user whether the site is relevant to their query and persuades them to click. Search engines also assess the title tag for relevancy of the search results.

A title tag that gets more clicks should have the focus keyword at the beginning of the wording so that a user can view relevance immediately. You should also stick to the 60 character limit to avoid the words being cut off. Unfinished titles can appear unrefined and subsequently .lose clicks.

Ensure that your title tag is attention grabbing and inviting so that users will want to click on it to find out more. Review attention grabbing words that work best for your application.

Meta Description

A meta description is the excerpt of text that appears below your title tag. It serves as a summary of what is on your page. It doesn’t have an impact on your rankings but it does have an impact on whether someone will click on your listing or not.

To best optimise your description, ensure it is a clear summary of what is on your page. You should adhere to the 155 character limit so that the description doesn’t appear truncated. Your focus keyword should also be used here somewhere.

Pageviews Per Session

This metric tracks the amount of pages that users visit in a single session.

It basically tells you whether users go to your page and then leave or whether they stay and look around for a time.

It also gives insights into your site’s flow and whether it encourages users to go further and stay on the site.

How To Improve It

There are a few things you can do to keep users on your site for longer periods of time.

Navigation should be simple and easy to use. Users can’t visit additional pages if they can’t locate them. A simple and organised navigation allows users to find pages that are relevant and can encourage them to visit key landing pages such as Services, Contact or Product pages.

Use CTA buttons. People may like your site but not be directed to take any type of action. By using inviting and clear CTAs, you help guide users toward taking the next step.

Use internal linking. Internal linking is linking towards pages within your site. It’s a tried and tested way of keeping visitors on your site. If a user isn’t familiar with something that you have mentioned and wants to find out more, they can click on these links to learn more and stay on your page longer.

Average Session Duration

Average session duration is the measure of how long people stay on your site in one session.

You should aim for a lengthy session duration as it means that people are engaged with your content and are finding products or information that is relevant. If users have a more in depth approach to your site and business, they are more likely to become a qualified lead.

How To Improve It

This metric can be improved by adding more interactive content to your site. Interactive content encourages your users to spend additional time on your website by engaging more with your pages.

One of the most enticing interactive elements are videos. Users stay an average 88% longer on pages that have videos so this metric can be improved simply by embedding these into your site.

Quite simply – when pages are more interesting and engaging, users stay for longer.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is a metric that most businesses should be interested in. It tells a business how often a user visits a site and completes a desired action such as a purchase or contact request.

Conversions can be many things. People might buy something, register for an event or make contact through a form. As a business, you’ll need to assess what actions are valuable.

Tracking conversions is a key way of seeing whether a SEO campaign is performing effectively.

How To Improve It

A conversion rate is especially important as it is directly related to a businesses revenue. You can improve this metric through a few means.
  • Use one CTA button to direct your users focus
  • Include images and videos so that users can get a well-rounded idea of what you offer
  • Use whitespace in your design so that your site is easy to interpret
  • Ensure your checkout process is simple and quick

Published on Wednesday, 28 April 2021 under Google Analytics, Online Marketing.