November 1, 2016 by

Are you a company owner, marketing coordinator, sales associate, or in charge of website results? Are you wondering if there are metrics in Google Analytics that you should be paying attention to?

During the start of a SEO marketing campaign, it is common for a client to want to understand Google Analytics enough to know what metrics they should be paying attention to and how to go about finding that information easily.

Analytics provides a great deal of information and can be overwhelming (even for an expert), but especially for someone who doesn’t work with it every day nor wants to.

Below are key metrics that are essential to monitor, even for the untrained eye.
(Of course, this is assuming that you have Google Analytics already set up on your site) If not, check here to get started.

Select Date Range

Google Analytics Date Range

The date range sector is located at the top right corner of each page on the Reporting tab.
You can also choose to show data for a predefined date range or create a custom view.

To choose a predefined view click on the arrow by date range and select one of the choices from the dropdown menu.

• Custom: See below

• Today: Current day

• Yesterday: Previous day

• Last Week: Sunday through Saturday from the previous week

• Last Month: First to last day of previous month

Setting a Custom Date Range

You can select your own dates by selecting Custom from the date range menu.
Select your desired range of dates by selecting the start and end date from the calendar. (Click the days directly from calendar or enter your beginning and end date in (mm/dd/yyyy) format.

Compare to different date ranges:

• Click the Compare to checkbox and choose desired comparison view or enter your own dates.

• Click Apply

Generally, unless you’re looking to compare something specific, I like to use year over year to eliminate any seasonality, etc.

Select the desired users to track. By default ,"All Users" is selected. You can break it down more granular by selecting the users you want to track. For SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you should click on “Organic”. (This is traffic coming to your website via the search engines)

User Selection in Google Analytics

Audience Overview

The Audience Overview tab gives you a complete overview of the traffic to your website within the predefined date range. You can drill down even further within the sub-sections.
The key element within this page is the graph that displays your visits. You can change the graph view by choosing hourly, day, week, and month. (See below)



Below the graph that displays your visits you are given a table of statistics. The list below explains the meaning of each of these statistics.


Sessions: Total visits to your website in the given date range.

• Users: Based on IP address. For example, I can account for 1 user, but count for multiple sessions.

• Pageviews: Total number of page visits on your website.

• Pages / Sessions: The average number of pages visited during a user’s session.

• Avg. Session Duration: The average time a user was on your website before leaving.

• Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of users who only visited one page and left.

• % New Sessions: Percentage of first-time visits compared to the total number of visitors

Landing Page Report

Your homepage isn’t always the first page a visitor lands on. Visitors come from many different sources and locations. The landing page report shows you which page that a visitor first lands on (First page they see) 

Behavior>Site Content>Landing Pages

Understanding the most popular landing pages and checking some of the key factors is important.

• Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of users who only visited one page and left. If certain pages have a high bounce rate it’s worth a second look. Try to figure out why a user left. For example: Take a look at the page and ask yourself:
o Why did they not find what they were looking for?
o Do I need to add more informative content?

• Pages / Session: The number of pages that a user visits after landing on your website

• Avg. Session Duration: The average amount of time that a user spends on your website after landing on a certain webpage.

• Goal Conversion rate: If you have goal tracking set up correctly you will be able to see what I feel is the most valuable metric on this page. Here is where you can see how the landing pages are converting. 

Goal Conversions

Goals measure how well your website fulfills your objective. A goal tracks a completed activity such as filling out a contact or request for quote form or making a purchase.

Having properly set up goals provides critical information such as the total number of goal completions and the conversion rate.
To evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns this is a critical step not to be ignored.


Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments