Analysing website analytics data is helpful to see how visitors are engaging and to help make decisions to increase engagement. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if your visitors are not engaging well, you’re missing out.
To analyse this data, you need to have an analytics system installed and capturing data. Popular options include Google Analytics and Fathom Analytics. We like Fathom, as it’s privacy first and more respectful of data.
When analysing data it’s best to do this over a reasonable amount of time – i.e. many months, as you will get meaningful data.
Average Time on Site
Average time on site indicates how long on average a visitor spends on your website.
This metric indicates how much useful information people found on your website. A low average time on site means people aren’t spending much time – to improve this, you can look to add more or improve relevant content, add additional internal links and ensure you have good call to actions (CTAs).
Average Time on Page
Average time on page is similar to average time on site, but applies to a single page. It will vary and pages with more content (e.g. a blog post) will have a longer average time than landing pages (e.g. a service home page) which usually funnel people off to other more detailed pages.
You can use this metric to look at specific pages and see how long people spent. For example, if you focused on a particular blog post page you can see the average time people spent on that page. If it takes about 3 or 4 mins to read the full post, but the average time on the page is under 1 min, this means most people are not reading all of the post. So consider making the post more engaging or relevant.
Bounce rate is percentage of people who visit one page of your site and then leave.
If your overall bounce rate is high, it can indicate that although you may have interesting content, your site could internal linking and/or call to actions to encourage people to visit other pages.
With bounce rate, it’s also useful to drill down and look at this for specific pages or traffic sources.
Event Tracking / Conversion Rate
Event tracking or conversion rate is a crucial metric to track. It can be used for determining when users take actions – e.g. submit a form, complete a purchase (on an ecommerce site), join your mailing list etc.
Traffic Sources / Referrers
Traffic sources / referrers let you see where traffic is coming from. Some common sources include organic traffic (e.g. Google, Bing), social media (e.g Facebook, LinkedIn) and other websites.
It’s useful to filter by traffic source and then examine the other metrics. You can then see how a particular type of traffic behaves on your site and make decisions based on that.