Google Analytics Visitors Overview

You’ll get the most out of custom variables if you understand the basic visitor interaction model used in Google Analytics. Just getting started with Google Analytics because Google Analytics is the free analytics tool from Google.

In the default screen of the visitor overview you get a graphical expression of your web site’s state of growth over the last month. In this specific graph you can see the wave movement of weekend drops in traffic. You also get the numbers that give you an expression of how well your site is built to get people to read more than just one page.

In this case there is work to be done as Average Page views for the site in question is not good enough. If it was a blog, then it would not be a problem as blog post readers tend to read one article and then move on.

As you can see, the numbers are very different. This site has many returning visitors and a very low bounce rate.

What to look for by numbers

The visitors:
The numbers you saw in the preceding google analytics tell you how often the site is visited. You can see how many visitors you get (in both cases for a month), along with the number of unique visitors. A unique visitor is tracked by a cookie that Google places on the computer of your visitor. These cookies have a long lifespan, some up to five years. This means if a visitor revisits your site in a month or two, he/she is seen as a returning visitor. If your visitor clears their cookies or has cookies disabled, his/her next visit is counted as a unique visit. The last option is an indication of whether your site attracts people who are coming back to your site to read more over and over again, or if they are just one day flies who move on and never return. If your site is an e-commerce site, then you really want more returning visitors because they are more willing to buy after a few visits to your shop.

The page views:
While the number of page views is a traffic indicator, the number of page views per visit is a quality indicator. A page in this respect is not a reload of the article your visitor is reading, but it is the page displayed if the visitor moves to read a new article on your site. The more page views per visit, the better the site is at retaining visitors and encouraging them click through to other pages on the same site.

Time on site:
The time that a visitor spends on your site is also a good quality indicator, but it can also have a different meaning. If your site is very fast loading (which it should) and mostly picture based, you can go through relevant pages very fast. If you have a long loading time, few pages, and short content per page, you need to check your loading time. It is very likely you will see fewer returning visitors as well.

Bounce rate:
A high bounce rate means that people will come to your site, read a page, and will move on to the next site. This can also be seen as a quality score. In most cases a low bounce rate means people have a higher interest in your web site and find the information good enough to browse around. A high bounce rate can also be an indication of good quality it depends on what kind of site you have built.

A site that wants to capture the visitors and keep them on the site has bounce rates and time spend on the site different as compared to a site made for AdSense or an affiliate site. The last two ( AdSense and an affiliate site) want their visitors to click on an advertisement or move to a vendor’s site. So, if they do that well, visitors won’t stay long! If you have a site that presents people with solutions for their problems, then a high bounce rate could also mean that they have found the information they wanted right away and they are off to implement it.

In all the previous four cases, you need to take the actual purpose of the website into consideration. An e-commerce website has to have a different visitors’ overview than an affiliate web site. The first one needs returning visitors to do well, he second one needs to get their visitors to act and buy the product from another web site.

If you find very large discrepancies for your site, you know that the layout of your site and the articles need more work to capture your visitors. A very good indicator is the Benchmarking function, which you can find a link to, in the visitor menu. To get those benchmarks you need to share your data (anonymously) with Google.

The question is: Is it worth it? Well, the answer is yes. just look at the analytics account and you will have some good indicators, which will show whether your site is doing above or below average.

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