What is a Metric in Google Analytics?

Metrics are key to finding out how your website is performing. Without knowing where you stand, you can’t further optimize your website SEO.  

Metrics are quantitative measurements tracking different events on your websiteThere are many metrics in Google Analytics (more than 200), but not all will be useful to you. 

These metrics are calculated in two ways: 

  1.  overview totals of that specific event, for example bounce rate
  2. a total of the dimension you’ve selected 

What is the difference between dimensions and metrics in Google Analytics? 

All of your Google Analytics reports are made up of building blocks known as dimensions and metrics. Google Analytics is organized in a table format, where each row is a dimension and each metric is a column. It’s important to understand the different between the two and how they work together.  

Dimensions are attributes of the metric. For example, city is a dimension. 

Meanwhile, metrics are quantitative measurements. When paired with a dimension, it can give you more context about what the metric means. Metrics without dimensions don’t provide a lot of valuable information. 

For example, the sessions metric can be used with the city dimension. This information will tell you which cities have spent a certain duration of time on your website. 

Not every dimension can be paired with a metric. Sometimes it simply doesn’t make sense. For example, the session metric wouldn’t make sense to be paired with the pages dimension.  

Unlike dimensions, metrics are reported in Google Analytics under three of the following categories: 

  • Acquisition – how visitors come to your website
  • Conversions how visitors interact with your website
  • Behaviour – how visitors convert on your website 

Best google analytics metrics to track  

While, there are many metrics that you can track, you should focus on key metrics Google analytics: 

A)  Sources for incoming traffic

Where is new traffic coming from? Is it from search results, Facebook, Twitter etc. Learning about where the sources of traffic are coming from will help you determine which platform to invest in more for campaigns and content.  

B) Bounce rate

A The bounce rate is defined by the number of visitors who land on a page only to immediately leave it shortly after, without completing a task. It’s important to note that bounce rate isn’t always a bad thing. Depending on the page, a high bounce rate shouldn’t alarm you and may make sense. However, if your homepage has a high bounce rate, this is problematic, since your homepage is the gateway to other pages on your website.  

C) Average session duration

The amount of time a visitor spends on your website in one session. This metric often increases if the content on your website is relevant to what the visitor was searching for. This is why high-quality content is important.  

D) Cost per conversion (CPC)

This metric is how much you’re spending on converting leads into paying customers. You need to understand how much this cost is, so that you can make money from each conversion and not lose money or break even.  

E) Page views

This metric is a single view of a page on your website. If your page views are increasing this could mean that people believe the quality of content on the page is high. Although, it could also mean that people are poking around on pages because they can’t seem to find the content that they’re looking for. 

F)Interactions

The way people interact with your website, even if they aren’t converting is important to know. The only way you can increase interactions is by understanding what on your website is attracting people. Then you can use this metric as a starting point to work on influencing their behavior to get more conversions. 

G)New or unique visitor conversions

By isolating new visitors to your website from unique visitors, you’re able to see how each type of visitor interacts with your website. Their experience with your site are completely different, so you can optimize their experiences based on what part of the visitor journey they’re at. 

What does the users metric measure in google analytics? 

The Active User metric shows how many users are engaging with your website or app within a given date range. For Google to determine which traffic belongs to which specific user they use a tracking cookie. The single cookie called _ga, stores a Google Analytics client ID. 

You can also find Active Users in the Active user report which is located under the Audience main tab. In this tab you can find many unique active users you have had the past day, 7 days, 14 days and 28 days. 

What are Google Analytics custom metrics? 

Custom metrics are ones that you create yourself. This is usually the result of certain metrics not being automatically tracked on Google Analytics.  

Creating a custom metric is a two-step process that must happen at the property level of your Google Analytics accountEnsure that you have editing permission on the property in order to modify it, if you don’t then the system won’t allow you to make a custom metric. First, set up the custom metric in your property. Then, modify your tracking code. You must complete these steps, in order for custom metrics to work. 

Now that you understand metrics in Google Analytics, get in touch to learn more about how to drive more traffic to your website.  

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