Customize Google Analytics to focus on the metric that counts.
Frustrated by Google Analytics? We can help! We’ve asked Jana Sedivy of Authentic Insight to help you tame this complex app. In this post she describes which metrics are crucial, and which are overrated. Want to contact her? Her info is at the end of the post.
If you are using Google Analytics tools out of the box with no customization, you are probably focusing on the wrong metrics, and your marketing and brand is suffering as a result.
Most people use page views (number of visitors) and bounce rates (the percentage of people who leave after a very short time) as fundamental web metrics. In general, higher page views and a low bounce rate are good. It means that lots of people are coming to your site and are finding a reason to stay.
However, frequently these are not the most important metrics for your organization.
Conversions are more important than page views
Where people often go wrong is in not focusing on their transactional conversions. Surprisingly, even conversions related directly to revenue are often ignored.
For example, on a recent project, a client was spending a lot of resources to increase their page views, because that is what they reported quarterly. But at the same time they were not monitoring a key conversion metric: how many people were successfully paying their bills online. In fact, only 20 out of a 1000 people were able to do this successfully (a 2% conversion rate). This cost them a lot of money in tech support and accounts payable. It also damaged their brand because they offered a poor experience for their customers.
Usability is more important than bounce rate
More time spent on a web page is not always a positive sign. Think about how much time you spend when you start the checkout process on Amazon. You want that process to be quick, right? If users are spending more than a few seconds on a registration page, that’s a warning sign that something is amiss. Sometimes a low bounce rate means that users are confused, not engaged.
When you set up your Google Analytics, make sure that you think carefully about which metrics will mean a stronger brand and healthier organization. Most of the time, it won’t be page views.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jana Sedivy is Founder and Principal of Authentic Insight, a consulting practice specializing in Voice of Customer research and strategy for B2B tech companies. Over the past 17 years, she has worked at the intersection of people and technology and holds 21 patents in this area. She helps tech companies take the guesswork out of product decisions by helping them understand their customers better, providing market insights throughout the product life cycle. She is also deeply uncool but has finally made peace with it.
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