The world has more than 2 billion websites, 200 million of which are actively posting new content. If you're trying to get your business's site noticed in this sea of competition, you'll need to take steps to improve your search engine ranking and increase your Google web traffic.

Investing in marketing strategies like SEO and content creation can get expensive, though. How can you be sure you're spending money on things with a high ROI?

The best way to do that is to keep a close eye on your Google Analytics metrics. If you aren't sure how to start, read on for some of the most important website metrics to track.


1. Unique Visitors

The number of your website's unique visitors is probably the most basic Analytics metric, but it's a good place to start. When used in combination with other metrics, this stat tells you more than it appears at face value.

Comparing your number of unique visitors month-to-month will tell you whether your audience and reach are growing. If you see a sudden spike in traffic, take a look at what things you changed that month and see if you can replicate them. Likewise, if you notice a rapid drop in visitors, try to identify and repair the variable that went wrong.

2. Page Views and Heatmap

Tracking website visitors is helpful, but to get more value out of the statistics, make sure to track individual page views as well. This metric lets you see which pages perform the best and which don't attract any visitors. Google Analytics also allows you to track a sort of "heatmap" on your site, showing what parts of the page users spent the most time interacting with.


Once you've identified the most popular parts of your site, see if you can apply those principles to other pages to boost their views as well.

3. Average Time Spent on a Page

Now that you know where people are going on your site, it's time to figure out how long they spend on a page. Also known as dwell time, tracking the average time your visitors spend on a page gives you more insight into whether they're invested in your content or just skimming through.

The average dwell time on most sites is between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Anything lower than that is not good, anything higher is fantastic. This time will vary depending on the content of each page. 45 seconds is plenty of time spent on a menu or navigational page, but it isn't nearly long enough on a 2000-word piece of pillar content.

4. Bounce Rate

When people visit your website, do they stay long enough to at least skim the content? If they're clicking off a page as soon as they enter, it will show up in your bounce rate.

The ultimate goal of tracking bounce rates is to keep them as low as possible. No active site can expect a rate of zero, but it's best to keep this value well below 50%. A number higher than this could mean your site isn't attractive, is hard to navigate, or has slow loading times.

5. Key Terms

If you're working to improve your site's SEO, you've probably spent time placing keywords and key phrases throughout your site to rank higher in SERPs. Just because you're focusing on a certain set of keywords doesn't mean your visitors are, though.


Google Analytics can give you insight into which key terms and phrases people searched to find your site. If these don't line up with the ones you're promoting, it may be time for a shift in strategy.

6. Specific Conversion Goals

Every business has unique goals in mind for their website. Some want to hit a certain number of downloads on a lead magnet, while others hope to sell a certain number of products in a month. Whatever your goal, Google Analytics will let you set up a system to track your progress.

7. Cost Per Conversion

Even a high-value, high-conversion site can leave business owners in the hole if the cost per conversion is too high. Take the conversion metrics you tracked in the last step and compare them to your investment in each customer. If you're paying more for leads than they're paying you, it's time to switch up your strategy.

8. Referrals and Backlinks

If you're hoping to grow your digital footprint and get found online, you'll have to grow your presence beyond your little bit of web real estate. Backlinks, or links on another reputable site that direct visitors to you, are a great way to do just that.

There are a few ways to get backlinks. One of the best is to create top-tier content that people link to of their own accord because it's so helpful. This strategy can take a long time, though, so many website owners write guest posts for other sites in exchange for having their link inside.

Do you know how many backlinks your site already has? If you're looking for a way to find out how many sites are sending visitors to yours, SEMrush is one of the backlink checker tools you can invest in.

9. Audience Interests

Wouldn't it be nice if you could optimize your content to match the things your audience is already interested in? With the "interests" feature on Google Analytics, you can.

To get started, select "interests" from the "audience" dropdown menu. The overview section will show you a bar graph based on user data that tells you what kind of content your visitors interact with most. If you struggle to come up with ideas for new content, this information can give you a leg up in coming up with topics your audience will enjoy.



Keep Track of These Google Analytics Metrics for Online Success

From SEO to content and PPC advertising, there are countless ways you can invest in your online presence. If you want to make sure your efforts pay off, though, tracking them carefully is crucial.
The best way to start is by monitoring these Google Analytics metrics. As you pay attention to what works (and what doesn't), you can streamline your web strategy for optimal results.

Are you looking for more ways to help your business get noticed? If so, make sure to check out the other articles on our site.