How To Read Your Google Analytics Report

  1. Visits – you can quickly see how many visits (not to be confused with unique visitors) were reported in that time frame.
  2. Pages/Visit – this gives you an idea of the ‘stickiness’ of your site, or the effectiveness of your navigation, depending on your site. With a hobbyist/informational site, having a higher number here means that each visitor viewed more pages on your site, so it was quite ‘sticky’, it kept them stuck there. With a business site, where your goal is to get people the information they need and convert them as quickly as possible, you want a lower number here, as it tells you that people were quickly able to get to where they need to be.
  3. Bounce Rate – while there may be some exception to this rule, your goal should be to continually lower this number. A bounce rate is the number of people that have come on to your site and jumped off (bounced) on the first page. To quote the Help button for this report:
    Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page). Bounce Rate is a measure of visit quality and a high Bounce Rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. You can minimize Bounce Rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy.
  4. Pageviews – this one’s pretty self-explanatory. This is a basic traffic indicator, not usually that powerful as a marketing report.
  5. Avg. Time on Site – this measures the time visitors spend interacting with your site, and can be a good determinant of visitor quality and site usability. The only difficulty here is that some users leave the site open in a browser window while doing something in another.
  6. % New Visits – A higher percentage of new visitors indicates that you are successful at driving traffic to your site, as opposed to a higher number of return visitors, which means that the site engaging enough for visitors to come back. Depending on the nature of your site, one of these two metrics will be preferred.