Google Analytics provide valuable insights and intelligence in terms of how visitors get to your website and what they do once they arrive. Your product or service offering is what draws traffic to your site; someone has a need for what you do or sell, and they visit your site to learn more. Once on your site, you want the visitor to remain there—to look around, to read your content, and to eventually call, email, complete a contact form for additional information, or best yet, make a purchase. Those actions—conversions—are indicators of how well your website is performing.
While the larger goal of every website is to increase revenues, to reach that goal you need to drill down and look at ways to continually increase traffic and conversions. There are myriad ways to do that, starting with some of the most basic conversions you should be tracking.
- Sources of incoming traffic – Are visitors from direct traffic, meaning they entered the url of your site in their address bar? Are they being referred from another site? Did they perform a search query and find you that way?
- Bounce rates – Are visitors reaching your site and then quickly clicking away without interacting on any of the pages? If bounce rates are high, you need to figure out why, and take steps to correct.
- Page or step at which visitors leave your site – Understanding the point (page, step) at which a visitor leaves your site may tell you why they left your site without further interaction or purchase.
- New vs. returning visitor – Returning visitors behave differently on a site from the way new/first-time visitors do. Do new visitors remain and interact on your site or do they bounce off because they don’t like what they see or don’t find what they’re looking for?
- Return visitor activity – Understand what this visitor did on their first visit and why they returned. The key is to now increase the return visitor conversion rate.
- Visitor behavior – What pages do visitors view and for how long? Are these visits resulting in conversions?
- Cost per conversion and value derived from each site visit – You need to understand the dollars behind your conversions and value you derive from the traffic to your site. Ideally, costs per conversion are low in relation to the overall value you gain.
Insights into site visitor activity, preferences, and conversions provide key information regarding your site’s functionality and usability. When you understand the most basic metrics regarding user activity on your website, you can easily address each area individually to influence user behavior, increase conversions, improve bounce rates, lower your costs, and increase your margins.