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How to analyse your site visitor behaviour

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Your website statistics tell you where your visitors are coming from and how they are engaging with your site.

By reviewing these you can improve your site and ultimately achieve better results.

Google Analytics is really the only tool you need. There are others, but this is free, and good enough, so if you haven’t already, sign up to it now. It only takes a few minutes to create an account, and to integrate it with your website.

Google Analytics will tell you exactly how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from and how they are behaving.

Here are the main metrics to consider:

1. Sessions

This is the number of visits to your website for a selected period. A session is the period between a user arriving and leaving the website.

Why is it important:

This is one of your key metrics and a number you want to increase on an ongoing basis. It’s a good way to measure your marketing efforts on driving traffic to the site.

2. Pages per Session

This will tell you how many pages someone views during one session. A high number means your website has interesting and useful content.

Why is it important:

The more interesting and engaging content you have, the more likely your visitors will visit multiple pages. Use this to measure how engaging and relevant your content is.

3. Session Duration

This is the average duration of a session and can range from a few seconds to a few minutes depending on again how engaging and relevant your content is.

Why is it important:

For SEO purpose, the longer people stay on your website the better ranking you will have on search engines. There are easy ways to improve session durations, and we will come back to this in future.

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4. Users

Not be confused with sessions, users are the number of unique people that visit your site.

For example, one person may have visited your website 5 times over a selected period; this is one user. Whereas 5 different people visiting your site over a selected period is 5 users.

Why is it important:

You want to attract new audiences and want new unique visitors to your website to build your audience list. This is a good way of monitoring how your audience levels are increasing.

5. Bounce Rate

This is the percentage of people who leave the website within 15 seconds from the point they visited.

If the percentage is high, this means the bounce rate is high which translates to your website having irrelevant content and visitors not finding what they are looking for.

There are a number of other issues here related to aligning what you think you do, compared to what Google and other search engines think you do. Again, we’ll revisit this in more detail in future.

Why is it important:

Getting bounce rates as low as possible should be a priority as you want visitors to stay on your website for longer periods, but this can only be achieved by having relevant content.

6. Channels

Channels are sources of where the traffic is coming from. There are many types ranging from direct, organic, paid search, social etc.

Why is it important:

It will help you understand what is working and what’s not for driving traffic to your website. If you are doing paid digital advertising or social media activity, you can see from here how effective your campaigns are.

7. Devices

One of the easier ones to analyse is devices where you can see which device type from PC, tablet and mobile people are using to visit your website.

Why is it important:

Your website should be optimised for all devices anyway, but you can improve your content and layout based on the information about visitors using specific types of devices.

8. All Pages

This is found in the Behaviour section of Google Analytics and displays all of the pages on your site that people have visited.

Why is it important:

It helps you understand what visitors are interested in when they land on your site and which pages are viewed the most.

9. Events

This can also be found in the Behaviour section of Google Analytics and shows visitors’ interaction with your content such as link/button clicks, video plays, downloads, form submissions etc.

Why is it important:

This will help you determine how successful your call to actions are on the analysed page.

This is just the start obviously but it’s an important start. In the future, we’ll go into more detail about some of the points discussed above, as well as start to look at more detailed functions such as user flows.

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    Frequently asked questions

    • Google Analytics develops insightful and simplified reports that give you vital information about your visitor activity. It can also help you make better decisions. Read more here.

    • Site engagement is the actions visitors take while on your website. This analysis includes various performance indicators that allow you to determine if your page offers value to your visitors and which areas to improve. Here are some tips to help you with that.

    • You should regularly update your website and content because websites that update their old content regularly, can see up to 106% growth in organic traffic. Here are some tips to help you boost your website performance.

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