What is a Metric in Google Analytics?
A metric is a unit of value to describe various elements. The various elements are referred to as dimensions.
Metrics vs Dimensions
Metrics are values. Dimensions are descriptors or categories. In Google Analytics, metrics are displayed in columns in the right hand side. Dimensions are listed in rows on the left hand side.
Important Google Analytics Metrics to Track Content
Any time you’re reviewing Google Analytics data be sure to answer a question. Know what question you want to answer before you dig into the data. That will help guide you.
Question: Is traffic growing?
Reviewing the users metric will indicate if the traffic is growing. The more users you have the more traffic.
Question: Do users like what they see?
Metric: Bounce Rate
You want your bounce rate to be low. If your bounce rate is at 100% that means every single person that visited the website immediately left. Meaning, it wasn’t a good fit for their needs.
Metric: Pages / Session
You want the pages / session metric to be higher than 1. If it’s higher than that means people are looking at more than just the initial page they landed on.
To encourage readers to view multiple pages remember to include internal links towards the top of your articles.
Metric: Avg. Session Duration
The longer your readers remain on your website the more likely they are a qualified visitor. If they spend more time it shows the content is relevant and useful to their needs.
Metric: New vs. Returning Visitors
Gaining new users is great, but if those users don’t return then you have a problem. Either the new users you are getting are not the correct demographic, or they don’t understand how you can help.
Question: Where are users coming from?
Okay, so this is best answered with more than a metric. If we look at the report under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels we can view the users by acquisition source. This helps you understand not only how many users visit your website, but where they came from.
Question: Are they converting?
Metrics: Goal Completions and Goal Conversion Rate
Having traffic and long sessions is great, but if those users aren’t converting they’re doing you no good.
Make sure you set your goals in Google Analytics. Then you can view the goal metrics in the Conversions > Goals > Overview report to track the results.
Tracking your data in Google Analytics is a great way to understand the value of your website. Don’t let the data overwhelm you. Start with these basic metrics and questions.
What is your go to metric to measure the success of your blog? Please share it in the comments!