Google Analytics is an important tool to discover how people are finding your website – and once they are there, how long they are staying and which pages they are looking at.

What Information Will I Get?

Looking at the Google Analytics dashboard will give you a graph of visits to your website over time (by day, week or month).  You can choose which reports to display on your dashboard.  You can also set up reports to be delivered to you by email.  Use Google Analytics to see which pages were viewed, how long people spent on the page and whether they left the site from that page without clicking on another page (bounce rate).  Identify which websites people came to the page from and how many repeat visitors you had.

It is generally better to look at trends rather than individual visits.  Using the information from Google Analytics you can identify trends – for example, which pages are ‘sticky’ (keeping visitor interest), which pages encourage visitors to explore other areas of the site and which pages are generally entry / exit pages.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your site without visiting any other page except the page on which they arrived at the site (the landing page).  A high bounce rate can indicate that the landing page is not relevant to the visitor, but it is important to put this into context.  A high bounce rate on your ‘contact page’ may simply mean that the visitor has obtained the information that they need.  In general, it is a good idea to keep an eye on bounce rate, in conjunction with the number of new versus returning visitors and the content of the pages that have a high bounce rate.