The Solely 3 Google Analytics Metrics You Have to Monitor

  • January 4, 2023
  • elkenz
  • 10 min read

Google Analytics collects a large quantity of information about consumer site visitors and habits in your web site, starting from acquisition to conversion.

Whereas the quantity of information you may get is superb, you don’t want to trace each single factor. Attempting to take action will ship you down a rabbit gap with no actual consequence. There are solely three metrics you might want to monitor development over time.

However first, let’s ensure that we’re on the identical web page about what a metric is.

What’s a metric in Google Analytics?

Metrics are quantitative measurements that inform you how some facet of your web site carried out. For instance, the variety of instances a selected web page was considered or what number of instances a sure video was performed.

It’s necessary to notice that metrics are totally different from dimensions. Dimensions are what your metrics are measured towards. This implies as an alternative of simply measuring customers, you might measure customers (metric) by channel (dimension).

Three Google Analytics metrics you have to be monitoring

There are over 100 totally different metrics obtainable in Google Analytics (GA), however solely three metrics are helpful for monitoring development over time.

1. Customers

On the most elementary degree, you might want to know if the advertising efforts are leading to website development.

Customers will inform you precisely that. The customers metric in GA tells us what number of distinctive guests an internet site acquired inside a set time period and offers a high-level view of whether or not advertising efforts are leading to website development.

To view all customers by site visitors supply, open the Life cycle > Acquisition > Visitors acquisition report and set your required date vary.

Line graph showing users by session default channel grouping over desired date range

The report will robotically show the session default channel grouping. Default channel grouping is the advertising channel outlined by GA and utilized by new and returning customers to reach in your website or app.

For instance, the screenshot under reveals that we acquired 3,666 customers from Natural Search in This fall 2021:

Table showing key data for Organic search such as "users," "sessions," "engaged sessions," etc

To search out the site visitors’s supply, we will add a secondary dimension by clicking on the blue “plus” signal subsequent to Session default channel grouping and deciding on Session Acquisition > Session supply.

To see the % change, we will add a comparability interval. Within the high proper, click on on the date vary drop-down arrow and choose a customized date vary for This fall > Examine > Previous interval (match day of week) to match efficiency.

Which comparability interval you need to select will rely on numerous components like how outdated the GA account is, if seasonality performs a task within the enterprise, or if the corporate is new to investing within the advertising channel.

We selected the earlier interval for this instance as a result of the location didn’t have GA arrange final 12 months and seasonality doesn’t play a serious function.

The screenshot under reveals an general lower in customers by 18.95%, however Google/Natural Search elevated by 24.75% in This fall 2021 as in comparison with Q3 2021.

Table showing changes in users and Google/Organic Search

2. Person engagement

Now that we all know the place customers are coming from, we have to perceive what content material they’re partaking with and what fails to earn their consideration.

Common engagement time tells us the typical size of time that the location had focus in the consumer’s browser. (That means the consumer was almost certainly taking a look at it.)

By viewing this metric for various pages on our website, we will be taught what articles to put in writing extra of (these with the best engagement time) and which articles require additional evaluation (low engagement time).

To view all customers by site visitors supply, open the Life cycle > Engagement > Pages and screens report and set your required date vary.

Now we have to phase this knowledge to simply the site visitors supply we’re analyzing.

Take Google natural. We will add a dimension by clicking on Add comparability within the high left, including the “session/supply medium” dimension, including the “google/natural” dimension values, and eradicating “All Customers” by hovering over textual content and clicking the “x.”

You’ll be able to change how the information is displayed within the desk utilizing the drop-down arrow. If you happen to favor to see the web page title, choose “Web page title.” Or if you wish to know the URL, select Web page path + question string and display screen class.

Lastly, click on on the Common engagement time column to kind the desk from highest to lowest.

Within the instance under, Google natural search customers are occupied with fixing GA4 lacking or invalid ID errors. Creating extra content material about fixing GA errors could also be useful.

Table showing higher engagement time for topic on fixing GA4 missing or invalid ID errors

Now that you recognize what subjects are resonating along with your readers probably the most, plug them into Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer to seek out related subjects individuals are trying to find.

Matching terms report results

3. Conversions

Crucial metric is conversions. Conversions are consumer actions that contribute to the success of what you are promoting.

A Conversion in GA4 is equal to what we all know as a Aim in Common Analytics (UA).

To view the Conversions report in GA4, open the Life cycle > Engagement > Conversions report. You will notice collected occasions robotically marked as conversions and any occasion that you just manually marked as a conversion.

Table showing changes in conversions

The picture above reveals conversions in This fall 2021 in comparison with This fall 2020 (matching day of the week). You’ll be able to drill all the way down to a selected conversion by clicking on the blue textual content, akin to clicking on buy.

Line graph and, below that, table showing key data on conversions by default channel grouping

Now we will see the advertising channel the place purchases got here from.

Going past the fundamental metrics

The three metrics above are nice for monitoring your website’s development over time, however they don’t inform you a lot past that.

If you wish to know extra about who’s visiting your website, how they’re interacting with it, and what you are able to do to enhance efficiency, you’ll want to research different metrics within the context of what you’re making an attempt to attain.

Let’s have a look at just a few of those metrics and the way they are often helpful.

1. New and returning guests

By viewing new and returning customers, you may perceive which channels usher in probably the most engaged customers and in case your prospects usually tend to convert on their first go to or return visits.

A brand new consumer is somebody who visits your web site for the primary time. GA tracks this by taking a look at whether or not somebody has a Person ID or a Gadget ID out of your website/app. In the event that they don’t, they’re counted as a brand new consumer.

It is very important analyze new customers as a result of understanding the place they arrive from may help enhance inbound advertising efforts and conversion funnels.

Taking a look at returning customers is necessary as a result of it might probably assist you to higher perceive which merchandise or content material pages carry your prospects again.

To view new and returning customers, open the Life cycle > Retention report in GA4 and set a comparability date vary. The report will robotically show new customers, and you may toggle to see returning customers.

Line graph showing changes in number of new users and returning users

Within the above instance, we will see New customers elevated by 181.7% in comparison with the previous interval.

For a extra sturdy report, we have to open the Viewers > Conduct > New vs Returning report in UA.

The UA report will present you acquisition, habits, and conversion metrics by consumer kind: new and returning guests.

Table showing various metrics by user type

Within the above report, we see extra conversions come from new guests, however returning guests convert at the next fee.

From right here, we will phase to Natural site visitors and add a secondary dimension: touchdown web page. This may permit us to see which natural touchdown pages new customers are changing on.

We might discover patterns within the content material that converts and determine pages to A/B check CTAs (name to actions) on.

2. Occasions

Occasions present perception into what customers are doing on the location. This info can be utilized to higher inform A/B testing.

To view consumer occasion metrics, open Life cycle > Engagement > Occasions report in GA4. The report will present the robotically collected occasions and any enhanced measurement occasions you added.

Table showing data on events such as "event count," "total users," etc

Proper now, the data obtainable in GA4 is proscribed. We will click on on the occasion title to see occasion rely by nation, classes, and web page location. However we can’t open the Web page Location tile to get something helpful from the knowledge.

Table under "Page_Location" showing data on "event count" and "total users"

For a extra sturdy report, use UA. The UA report can show income, transactions, and eCommerce Conversion fee knowledge by occasion label. Right here’s how you can do it.

Open UA. Click on on Conduct > Occasions > Prime occasions report. You will notice a desk of all of your occasion classes. Occasion classes will rely on how occasion buckets are arrange in Google Tag Supervisor (GTM).

Event Category table with corresponding data such as "sessions," "revenue," etc

For this instance, we’ll choose the Enhanced Ecommerce occasion class. Now we see occasion actions. Occasion Motion goes to inform us what the consumer did.

Table showing list of event actions and corresponding data such as "total events," "unique events," etc

On this instance, we’ll click on on “Quickview Click on” as a result of we need to know all of the totally different merchandise customers chosen as a “fast view.”

Another step, discover the tab labeled Explorer above the occasions graph and under the phase All Customers, then click on Ecommerce.

Now our desk is pulling in our product pages which have triggered the “fast view” occasion and displaying the eCommerce conversion fee for these particular product pages.

Table showing list of event labels with corresponding data such as "sessions," "revenue," etc

Right here is the place the evaluation actually begins. We will begin to perceive how consumer habits helps or hurting conversions and in the end outline some A/B checks.

3. Pageviews

Pageviews inform us the variety of instances a selected webpage was considered, which by itself isn’t very useful. However when segmented by a advertising channel, it might probably inform us how you can enhance efficiency.

To view pageviews, open Life cycle > Engagement > Pages and screens report. Filter the report back to a supply/medium like google/natural by clicking “Add comparability” and deciding on a session supply/medium dimension with a price of google/natural.

Pages and screens report containing bar graph and dot plot graph showing key data

Scroll down and check out the web page title desk. You will notice views and engagement metrics like common engagement time and distinctive consumer scrolls right here.

Table showing data on views and engagement metrics

If there are loads of pageviews however the common engagement time or scroll depth is low, then it is probably not the content material folks have been anticipating. Attempt rewriting the introduction present in these articles to seize the readers’ consideration.

Within the case of google/natural, you might need to examine how effectively pages with excessive pageviews are performing in natural seek for their goal keywords.

In the event that they’re in positions #2-10, you may get far more site visitors simply by rating just a few positions larger—so which may be a very good focus. After all, you may test rating positions by plugging the URL into Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker.

Ultimate ideas

GA can shortly change into complicated as a result of there are such a lot of numbers and a lot technical jargon.

However for monitoring success, you solely must concentrate on the handful of necessary metrics shared on this article: customers, engagement, and conversions.

Obtained questions? Ping me on Twitter.