A client recently asked me what I thought the key 3-5 metrics are that he should be focusing his Google Analytics reviews on. The following was essentially the answer I gave him:
I think that the most important metrics to track on a routine basis would vary depending upon the type of business, but for B2B service companies like ours and most of our clients, I’d list them as:
(1) Referrers – This metric has a much more frequent ebb and flow, and tends to be a good indicator of the scope of your reach. For B2B service, the currency of referrals is just as valuable as any lead you’d capture. Referrals also tend to explain spikes in traffic if there are any. Learn more about evaluating your referral traffic >
(2) Top Content – This is ultimately a way of seeing which pages on your site get the most traffic. If there are critical pages on a site that are not among the top 10 or 20- pages that define positioning, state pricing terms, thought leadership, etc., then the goal should be to get them there by working on improving their meta titles, descriptions, and even the copy on those pages. For pages already in the top that should be there, this is a perfect opportunity to evaluate where users go from there and whether the page’s popularity can be leveraged with the right call to action. For pages in the top that shouldn’t be there (we had a silly blog post called “national donut day” in our top 20 for far too long, skewing our bounce rate), that is an opportunity to adjust its title tag or delete it outright. Learn more about how to evaluate your top website content >
(3) Bounce Rate – This metric is slower to change but is probably the most effective means of evaluating whether your content is matching search intent. For organic search traffic (the most critical source for B2B service companies that actually care about connecting with potential clients with content), it may be impossible to hit unreasonably low goals for bounce rate, but it is always worth trying to tighten it up. For comparison, our bounce rate these days hovers around 64% – we’ve got a ton of content that would interest people that are not looking to hire a web development company, so that’s ok with us- but my goal is to get us down another 10% if possible. Search terms kind of goes hand in hand with this metric. Learn more about how to evaluate your bounce rate >
For a far more in-depth review of Google Analytics reports, check out our newsletter, How to Use Google Analytics or our webinar, Google Analytics 101.