Originally posted on Whole Whale.
Did you know that 4 out of 5 Americans zone out when people talk about Google Analytics?… No they don’t, but that may as well be the statistic. That’s why in this Google Analytics training video we’ve made Google Analytics (GA) easy and understandable for you all!
“How Good?” vs. “How Many?”
So, to gain a basic understanding of GA there are 2 buckets of metrics you want to look at – the “How good?” and the “How many?” In other words, the qualitative and quantitative metrics.
Within these quantitative metrics, there are 3 stats you should be looking at:
These are the unique number of visitors who visit your site. Google Analytics is trying to tell you exactly how many individual people were there.
Let’s think of this as meals. Within a day, you (hopefully) will eat multiple meals. Though you may be one unique visitor, your breakfast is one session, and your lunch is another session, etc. Sessions are typically refreshed after 30 minutes of inactivity.
- Page Views:
Just as a user can have multiple sessions, a session can have multiple page views. Think of it like going through different plates of food (page views) during lunch (session).
Moving on to the qualitative metrics:
- Bounce Rate:
If you enter a site on a certain page (the landing page), and then leave the site without visiting another page, you have technically bounced. The bounce rate tell you what percentage of your visitors do this dreadful act. Think of landing pages as your front door. You want people to be coming inside!
- Exit Rate:
Exit rates are similar to bounce rates. They tell you what percentage of people leave the site after visiting a certain page – whether or not they entered the site on that page. Thus, it is helpful for letting you know which pages are causing visitors to lose interest in your site.
- Average Session Duration:
This metric is pretty self-explanatory: it tells you how long, on average, visitors spend on your site. Note: this metric is likely a bit underestimated since Google averages in visit durations of 0 for visitors who bounce. Silly Google!
In case the data stresses you out, Whole Whale created AllGoodText.com, a free tool for nonprofits that texts key Google Analytics data weekly.