If you’re new to Google Analytics, it can seem overwhelming. There are a number of charts, graphs, reports, and metrics that allow you to track your ad campaign performance. There are a few key performance indicators that you should (almost) always be keeping tabs on.
Sessions & Users
Sessions are essentially "visits" to your website. Session data tells you how many people are currently navigating to your website and where they're spending their time.
User data dives into a user's website behaviour: what pages they're spending time on and what features they're interacting with.
Tracking your session and user data gives you a ton of insights into how your website is performing, who is visiting your website, and where those visits are coming from.
Bounce Rate & Session Duration
Bounce rate and session duration are important indicators to pay attention to for the sake of your website's quality.
The bounce rate can tell you whether or not the website visitor has found content that they're looking for or if their needs have been met. A "bounce" happens when a visitor only views a single page on a website before leaving.
The average session duration evaluates the quality of your website traffic. The lower the bounce rate and the higher the average session duration, the higher the quality of traffic and probability of conversions.
Behaviour flow gives you a visualization of the path that users take when visiting your website, travelling from one page or event to the next.
The behaviour flow can tell you what content on your website is keeping users engaged and also identify any potential issues with your content that may be causing users to bounce.
Acquisition channels show you where website visitors come from, allowing you to identify the most profitable traffic sources to your website.
Identifying the strongest and weakest channels will help in improving your strategy, expanding or rearranging your budget, or redirecting your focus to specific channels that may be requiring more attention than others.
Although there are plenty more metrics offered by Google Analytics, this guide should help lay the basic foundation for tracking important metrics. Having an understanding of your GA metrics will not only help you develop stronger strategies and improve the user experience on your website, it will also help to give you that competitive edge.