Google Analytics allows you to monitor the behavior of people visiting your website. Analyzing your audience’s patterns will help you populate the website with content that is going to keep people coming back – rather than drive them away to another website with similar, but easy-to-access content.
Sites like Huffingtonpost.com and The American Cancer Society have used Google Analytics to draw more readers to their content. Google Analytics is a free program and the tools are certainly comparable to expensive analytics kits you can find online.
Bounce rate is the amount of time people spend looking at your website before they move on to another site. Google Analytics allows you to create a report and see what the bounce rate of each individual page is. If your bounce rate is too high, take a closer look at the content of your pages. Is the content relevant? Is it boring? Switch it up accordingly and watch how the bounce rate reacts to the different content.
Exit pages are the pages where your audience is leaving the website. It is important to find when people decide to leave your site – so you can try and draw them back in with your content.
Does the exit page deliver the content that people are looking for? Is the content too long or too short? Enhance your pages to best fit the user’s needs and keep your eye on new bounce rates. This will ensure your pages are at the most effective state possible.
This report will show you a live view of your page so you can monitor where your audience is clicking. It will help you to determine how people are digesting your website upon viewing it. Are they understanding and reviewing them the way you expected? Do you think they like what they see? After doing this report, you will know which pages have lacking content, and which ones are the most likely to have visitors leave your website.
Sidenote: Online viewers of your website can decide whether they don’t want their patterns tracked and turn off your ability to watch where they click. Unfortunately, this will make for much less accurate reports on your part. Stats are also updated live, although Google Analytics is improving every day. It could take anywhere from a few hours to a day to get real-time statistics on your webpage.
This report tells you how long your pages are taking to load. The fact of the matter is, if your website is slow, you will absolutely lose visitors. And did you know that site speed is now a ranking factor for Google Search? Lower loading pages will rank lower in the search results.
This report tells you your average loading time for every page in your site. Note that if you are running WordPress, and it’s not doing well in this report, check these few key elements:
As always, after tinkering with the content, check the new bounce rate of the site as a whole, as well as specific pages.
This report will enlighten you on the viewer’s visit duration and page depth. You can gather information on how many pages your visitors are looking at. If you find that people are only looking at one page, then it should be evident that the content needs to be much easier to find or engage with. Creating a content banner that draws people to more of your content assets is one way to keep them engaged. Image sliders that link to posts are a great way to accomplish this.
Remember that content that is never viewed does not necessarily mean that it’s bad content. It could just be lost in the “black hole” of your website. Adding a site search may be the answer to this problem. Also consider categorizing your content, better navigation, as well as a sidebar with relevant in bound links.
Using the tools mentioned above will help your website become a more friendly place for your viewers; thus, driving the amount of traffic you want right to your online world. Keep them in mind as well as practice them in your daily site maintenance.