A website can be a great tool for a small business’s to use. However, having a website can come with a few potential pitfalls. Firstly you need a good website. There are many pitfalls in having a bad website. There a number of reasons a website can fall into the ‘bad’ category. A few reasons to consider would be
- Poor design
- Unattractive colouring scheme
- Poor interface
- Bad functionality.
- Boring content
For people with limited online or web design experience it can be difficult knowing what makes a website good or bad. One of the great benefits of Google analytics is that it can provide you an insight into whether or not you have a good website. The vast range of tools will also provide valuable information on each of your webpage’s. I’ll provide readers with a list of 3 metrics they should follow to help analyse their website in Google analytics.
This is the single most important statistic you will need to keep track of. It tells you the percentage of users who visit the site and leave after only visiting one page. If you have a high bounce rate it means that users don’t like what they see on your site. While you won’t know the exact reason why they don’t like it, it still tells you that there is something you need to drastically fix if you are going to have a successful website. A high bounce rate would be considered anything from 70% and above. If you have a low bounce rate it will generally mean your site will pass the looks test. It will give you a good idea that you have a site that is pleasing enough to the eye and is less likely to have any major design/appearance flaws. It also gives an indication how relevant the content is to the visitor.
Here’s an picutre of the Analytics homepage:
Avg. Visit Duration:
While bounce rate is an essential starting point, it can also be deceiving. A good bounce rate doesn’t mean you have a perfect website. A nice that looks nice might get people to click a few more links on your page but that is where the benefit of a nice look will end. As the saying goes, “Content is King”. If you lack good content people will be very quick to leave your website. This is where the Avg. visit duration stat can be very useful. A low bounce rate and low avg. visit duration could very well mean your website is lacking in good content. People will only be interested is staying on a site if there is good reason to know, this will mainly they are enjoying what they are reading or getting value form the information that is being provided. If you are selling items on your website a low avg. visit duration will be a huge problem as it will most likely mean people leave long before they have time to shop and buy items on your site.
New vs Returning visitor:
This is another great statistic that will provide very beneficial information for optimising your website. As the name suggests, it compares the new and old visitors to your website. Obviously every website will want new visitors, but it is also crucial to have a good percentage of returning visitors. If you are selling items online it’s a big worry if you are really struggling to get visitors back to your website. Generally speaking low returning visitors will mean there is a major issue with your site if people don’t ever want to return. Figuring what the problem is the tricky part. It could be a similar problem to having a high bounce rate or a low avg. visit. For example if you have a low bounce rate and high avg. visit duration it could just mean that they didn’t like your product or service after purchase which could be caused by a number of reasons.
New vs Returning screen shot:
These tips should give you a great foundation for using Google analytics and help understand what statistics you should be analysing first. Once you have good numbers those three areas you should then look to expand your website review process.