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Measure Website Performance: A Comprehensive Guide

how to measure website performance in google analytics

Why Measure Your Website Performance?

You have set up a marketing campaign, put effort into your SEO, published some articles, worked on your Online presence or set up some digital ads. What now? Just leave it and hope for the best. Not really! To get an idea of what's working and what's not, it is time to measure the results of your efforts and investments in digital marketing.

Pin-Point What to Do More or Less of

Are you focusing on the proper marketing channels, or should you allocate your budget differently? By finding out what's working, you will also find out what you should do more of, and by finding out what is not bringing in more traffic, leads or sales, you'll know what you should do less of. Sometimes, you may need to tweak a few things to get on the right track.

How To Measure Your Website Performance

There are multiple ways of tracking how successful your digital marketing is. If your website is connected to Google Analytics (which it should be!), you will easily find all the information you need there.

1. Check Your Website Traffic Stats

How many visitors does your website have from day to day and from month to month? Is it increasing or decreasing, and can you see any clear patterns connected with your digital marketing strategy? For example, did the traffic increase when you raised your Google Ads budget and did the numbers peak when you posted certain content on social media?

How-To: Find Website Traffic in Google Analytics
You can find your total number of visitors in your Google Analytics account. Click on Acquisitions - All Traffic - Channels

Woman holding a phone to her ear while measuring digital success on a computer screen

2. Where Is the Website Traffic Coming From?

Keep an eye on the traffic sources. Are most of your visitors finding you organically through social media, search engines, or through a referral (a link from another website)? Knowing where your visitors are mainly coming from makes it easier to allocate your marketing budget and get to know your customers. Keep an eye on what devices your traffic is coming from. If it is mobile phones, is your website mobile phone friendly? Keep this in mind when creating your digital marketing campaigns. 

How-To: Find The Website Traffic Source in Google Analytics
From the Google Analytics Dashboard, click on Acquisition - Overview

​3. What Is 'Session Duration'?

'Session Duration' is the average time visitors spend on your website. If you notice that your website visitors are just spending a few seconds or minutes on it, adding more content and internal links to your website might be a good idea to keep them interested for longer.

Something similar to session duration is Dwell Time. While dwell time measures visitors referred from the search engine result page, the session duration also considers someone's time-on-page after they've arrived from another landing page, social media page, or clicked on an email link. Please read our article on how to increase website dwell time

Long average session duration is good for your website SEO - Google will see this as an indicator that you have relevant content. If they can tell that the users are happy with your site by staying on it for longer, Google will reward you by giving you better rankings.

How-To: Find Session Duration in Google Analytics
Click Behaviour - Site Content - All Pages from your Google Analytics Dashboard. The fourth column will tell you how many minutes your customers are spending on each page on average. 

How to find website session duration in Google Analytics

4. Are Your Visitors New or Returning?

Are you getting a lot of returning customers to your website? Congratulations! It signals that your customers are loyal and like what you offer. Are you getting a lot of new visitors? That's great too, and it can mean that your current marketing strategy is working well.

How-To: Find New vs Returning Visitors in Google Analytics
From your Google Analytics Dashboard click on Audience - Behaviour - New Vs Returning 

How to find new vs returning website users in Google Analytics

5. Analysing Page View & Removing Thin Content

You should monitor how many times your visitors view your website's different pages. It is a good way of discovering which pages provide more successful content than others, what is trending and what your audience is interested in.

If any of your pages, such as a specific blog post, only gets little traffic or none at all, you should consider removing it. You want to avoid thin content on your site as it may lead to a higher bounce rate and a lower dwell time. If you believe a specific page deserves more visitors, you can always play around with internal links, title tags and keyword use and see if more people find their way to the page.

How-To: Find Most Visited Pages in Google Analytics
From your Google Analytics Dashboard click on Behaviour - Site Content - All Pages

​6. Measure Conversions & Website Actions

It does not matter how many people find their way to your site if they need more convincing to take the next step - convert. So, look at your stats and see how many visitors subscribe, purchase, call or download from your website. You can set up multiple conversion goals and tracking via Google Analytics to monitor these numbers. We'll write a separate post about this at a later stage. 

7. What Your Bounce Rate Will Tell You

Do you find that users land on your website only to leave after just a few seconds? That is not great news for your SEO, as Google will pick up on this. It will indicate that your site needs to be of more value to the visitors and that they did not find what they were looking for. To change this, try to figure out why the bounce rate is high - can you create a better user experience, add more valuable content and learn more about your target audience and their interests.

How-To: Find Your Bounce Rate in Google Analytics
From your Google Analytics Dashboard, click Behaviour - Site Content - All Pages. The 6th column will show you the 'percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page'. 

How to measure website bounce rate in Google Analytics

SEO For Long-Term Results

Digital marketing is great as it can lead to instant results. If you also want your brand and online presence to grow long-term, there is no getting around the importance of SEO. While Google ads, for example, offer a cost-per-click solution, optimising your website for search engines will increase your organic search traffic. 

Want to learn more? Read our blog post about SEO

Good Luck!
We hope that you found this list helpful and that it will help you increase your website's success and conversion rate. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or if you need help working on optimising your website and getting more visitors and conversions!