Everyone tells you you need analytics. So, you read some blog posts, you squint at Google Analytics and half-heartedly click through a few pages of metrics. If you’re like a lot of other marketers, you eventually decide that it’s just too overwhelming and that you’ll look at it again some other time. Only 22% of marketers consider analytics vital to their strategy. 44% never look at them at all.
But, to assess and improve your website performance, you need to be able to measure. If the idea of analytics gives you a headache, start small by watching these five metrics and ignoring everything else:
1. Unique Visitors
This one’s simple to check out. In Google Analytics, you can see this figure under the Audience>Overview section. You’ll see “Users” and “Sessions.” Sessions tells you the total number of visits, while Users shows the number of unique visitors.
2. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the portion of visitors who came to your site and then left after viewing a single page. If this number is high, it means that you are expending a lot of effort to get customers to your site, but that they aren’t seeing what they need once they get there. You can view it in Google Analytics under Behavior>Site Content. This gives the bounce rate for each page.
3. Time on the site
Often, people will need to engage with a few pieces of content before they make a decision to buy. You can see whether your content strategy is effective at building engagement by looking at how long each visitor is on the site. This can be seen under Behavior>Site Content and Audience>Overview.
4. Traffic Sources
Where are your surfers coming from? Knowing the answer can help you decide how to spend your social media marketing time. For instance, if Pinterest is sending a ton of traffic but Instagram is flat, it would make more sense to invest your time and effort more heavily in the first. To see where your visitors come from, go to Acquisition.
5. Your conversion rate
And, here’s the big one: is your marketing getting your visitors to do what you want? This is one metric you will need to put in a bit more effort to find. You can find your conversion rate by setting Goals in Google Analytics. If you are doing a campaign where you collect information in exchange for a free ebook, see how many people complete the process. An ecommerce site will count sales.
Once you start looking at analytics, you will find that the subject is less intimidating than you originally believed. By gradually adding new things to study and by watching your figures regularly, you can make your efforts more effective, increase your sales and improve your content marketing ROI.
Writer Bio: Lara S is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.