Your Website Visitors Are Talking to You

Continuously improving your Web presence to increase ROI should be the goal, right? OK, but how do you get your potential customers to talk to you so you know what to improve? If you are willing to dig into a little data, you can find out how people interact with your site and where the problems are that need attention. Here are a few pieces of Google Analytics data that you can use to interpret what your visitors are trying to tell you.

Bounce Rate

With a high bounce rate, the visitor is saying, “This site isn’t relevant to me – I’m outta here.” The bounce rate number is just the percentage of single page visits, meaning that all those people left your site without looking past the page they landed on. It’s possible that this means your landing page just isn’t interesting. More likely, it means the people landing on your site were led to believe they would find something different when they clicked on your paid advertisement or organic search listing. If you are getting a high bounce rate, look at what your ads are promising. Make sure your landing page fulfills the promise in the ad.

New vs. Returning Visitors

A high number of returning visitors says, “Your site is engaging enough that I think I’ll come back for more.” New visitors are a good indicator that more people are finding your site, but getting them to return is the part that takes work. Ask yourself what you are putting out there that will bring people back again and again. A really good blog is one great way to do this.

Time on Site

A higher time on site tells you your site keeps visitors from leaving. This could mean you offer plenty of things to explore. But be careful. When I logged into analytics on one of my sites this morning, I found most people were staying for three minutes or so. Then there was this one visit that lasted for three hours. I’m guessing that somebody left their browser open on my site while they left the house for a while. So I obviously didn’t give that visit much attention.

Pages Per Visit

This says, “The first point of contact was interesting enough to make me want to look around.” If you have high average page views, you have done a good job of sending the right people to the site and presenting the information in an interesting way. It might also mean you have created a page structure conducive to further exploration.

Traffic Sources

This is very valuable because it shows you the ways customers come to your site. If they are all coming from Google, then your search engine optimization campaign is working. If you see a huge influx of website traffic from a partner site, you could look into ways to increase your visibility on that partner site.

Content

This is where your visitors tell you which content they like best. You are also able to see how they interact with their favorite content by looking at bounce rate, how many of them left the site from that page, etc. If you notice a certain topic always trends to the top, it should probably be a main focus of your content.

The best companies are those that listen to the customer. Google Analytics provides all this wonderful data to help companies do just that. We just have to be willing to dig in a little.

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3 Comments

  1. Josh says

    Nice article, Nate!

    One other consideration when evaluating time on site is that most analytics platforms can’t accurately measure the time spent on the last page before you leave the site.

    Other pages are measured more accurately because the javascript just measures the time between the entrance onto one page and then the entrance onto another page on the site.

    If the visitor only visits one page, those visits aren’t factored into the overall metric, either.

    Here’s my source on that point.

  2. Anouk says

    Nice article! I love Google Analytics and getting every single piece of usefull data out of it. Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming, your article clarifies things a little more.

  3. edsbali says

    Is there anyone could tell an average value for each of indicators?
    For example :
    “Website is very poor if bounce rate more than aa%”

    My site have bounce rate about 73%. Is that so poor?
    How yours?

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