The Five Google Analytics Metrics That Matter

When it comes to marketing metrics, the best way to keep tabs on your progress is by using Google Analytics.

If you’re still in the early stages of bringing your business online and need to familiarize yourself with Google Analytics, here’s a great post to start with.

On the other hand, if you already have your website up and running, and have Google Analytics installed, what you should really focus on now is figuring out how to use it!

Here's 5 things you'll find useful…

1. Bounce Rate

Bounce rates show you how many people go to particular page on your website and leave—literally bouncing off—to another site. Ideally, you will want to keep your bounce rate low, but this really depends on what kind of page you are tracking.

For instance, if you're running a sales page where the site visitors are expected to check out after they make their purchase, then a high bounce rate on that page will totally make sense.

Now, if your visitors land on a blog page where you expect them to explore more articles, a high bounce rate might be an indicator something can be improved with the content on your page.

Offhand, I’d say you should check for the following:

  • Is your landing page organized and easy to navigate?
  • Do you have the necessary information your site visitors look for available and visible on the page?
  • Are your headers optimized to be catchy and prompt interest?
  • Does your page have a good balance of visuals and text?

Look into improving these elements and you should expect that bounce rate start to drop.

2. Exit Rate

Check out your visitors exit rates to determine site interest.

Track which pages on your site are getting the highest exit rates. These are the pages that your site visitors are viewing last—which means you can now easily check if there are things on these pages that are prompting them to leave.

Similar to bounce rate, you have to look into:

  • how organized the page is,
  • how relevant your content is to your audience, and
  • how else you can optimize your website to pull those numbers down.

3. Time Spent On Page

This tracks the amount of time your visitors spend on a particular page.

For certain pages, low numbers don’t necessarily reflect negatively on your site. Cart pages for instance, where the goal is to offer a streamlined process for purchase, lower time spent means that your site works efficiently for its desired purpose.

On the other hand, for blog sites, where you will likely have articles, videos, infographs—essentially material that requires time to get read—you will want your audience to spend a significant amount of time on these pages.

Now, what you can do is check to see which blog posts are getting the highest numbers. Take the top three posts where your visitors spent most time on and determine what these posts have in common—

  • Is it the way it was written?
  • Did you have visuals that worked to attract readers?
  • Do they share the same topics and subjects?

Once you figure that out, it would make sense to replicate them across different posts in an effort to increase engagement.

4. Traffic Sources

Traffic sources is technically referred to as a “dimension” in Google Analytics.  Tracking your traffic sources tells you where your site visitors are coming from. Finding this out means you can now tailor fit your strategy in the interest of getting more traffic on your blog or site.

Review your sources and review which source is sending your most traffic. Knowing that, you now have the option to focus your marketing campaigns on a platform that proves they can drive traffic to your site.

5. Unique Sessions

Sessions are the page views that a site visitor makes on your site. What you want to track are the unique sessions (since the same visitor might view the page multiple times).

Take a look at the page and try to pinpoint what made people visit —

  • Did you run a campaign or special promotions to draw visitors to the page? It might be worth replicating then.
  • Do you have other forms of content, maybe a video or a slide share that prompted more engagement?
  • Was it the subject of your article?

Seriously Simple Marketing Hack

Let me end this with a Seriously Simple Marketing hack that can get you started on translating your Google Analytics data into something useful—

  1. Go to your blog and take the post with:
    • The highest number of unique sessions, the lowest bounce rate, the lowest exit rate and highest number of time spent on site. (Your benchmark)
    • The lowest number of unique sessions, the highest bounce rate, the highest exit rate and lowest number of time spent on site.
  2. Note down the differences between the two.
  3. What can you learn from the benchmark sample that you can apply to the other post?

This one of the simplest ways that you can apply your Google Analytics data and translate it into something tangible that will improve your site’s performance. Try it and let us know how well it worked for you.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below!  If you felt this post was useful in any way, would you mind sharing, tweeting or liking it to help us spread the word?

– Mercer

About The Author


Chris Mercer, who typically goes by "Mercer", has a sales and marketing background that stretches over 20 years. He began his online marketing career in 2009 and has become a sought after analytics & conversions expert, helping other top-marketers to improve their own offers and sales funnels. Now decades of real-world experience are brought to you post-by-post as he delivers Seriously Simple Marketing tips that you can use to build your own business!