Reading & Interpreting your Google Analytics and Monthly Website Report

Google Analytics is a key component in measuring the performance of your website. As part of all our monthly services we include a monthly website performance report in PDF format.

The video below from our training portal looks at Google Analytics in a bit more detail. I’ve also included a summary of the key numbers you should be keeping an eye on in your monthly PDF report or inside Google Analytics

You can become a member of our Achieve More Online group and get access to detailed business, marketing and technology training and workshops at

Bounce rate

This is a measure of how many visitors came to the site and left after looking at only one page. Its a measure of both the quality of the visitor and how relevant the site content is to that visitor. *Generally* for an effective website this metric should be floating around the 30-40% range (there are some exceptions here). Usually a lower bounce rate is better (too low could also be a problem though)

Time on site & Pages per visit

These are both measures of visitor engagement rates similar to bounce rate – this is more of a soft metric meaning that for each page or section of your website it can be interpreted in different ways but generally speaking a really low Time on Site figure (e.g 10-20 seconds) is not good and Pages per visit we want to have at least in the 2-4 pages/visit range. If the pages per visit is really high, e.g. 15+ pages then this could indicate a problem.

Search keywords

These are the keywords people are using to find the site. The report is split into paid search and organic search so you can view the keywords for these two traffic sources individually. Often we have clients who uncover opportunities or areas where they can improve the website just by skimming through this part of the report and although there is usually a lot of keyword pages its definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Referring sites Traffic

Referring sites are other sites that link to you. For some clients this area of the report isn’t really relevant BUT if you’re paying for listings on industry specific websites then these websites should be showing up in this part of the report and the visitor numbers they’re generating should be in line with what you’re paying for that listing.

Facebook & Twitter reports

If our reporting system is tracking your Facebook and Twitter accounts then you’ll see a section towards the end of the PDF with detailed traffic stats. There’s no hard and fast numbers here but if you are putting time and resources into social media you should expect to see some activity happening here.

Keyword Ranking

If your report includes keyword ranking data then its worth keep an eye on this section too. Don’t obsess over rankings though. With such strong personalisation of search results these days a website that ranks for a keyword for one person may not appear at all for another or may not rank at all in a different city. Traffic and visitor numbers are generally more important than the ranking position itself.

Trends vs the Numbers

Like we teach in our workshops, trends are even more important than the exact numbers themselves. If you’re investing time and effort into your website you’d expect the general trend to be positive. The report will do comparisons with the previous month to give you a small idea of the trend. Logging into your Google Analytics console will give you a much clearer picture of whats happening over a longer time period.

Let me know if any questions re these key metrics – if you don’t have Google Analytics installed then you should! If you need help getting it installed, head to the contact us page and get in touch.

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