In the age of web tracking and data collection, knowing your numbers is more important than ever. Not only can you set goals, but you can also identify areas of your website, marketing and sales strategies that are in need of improvement. This article will highlight the top Google Analytics key performance indicators (KPIs) that your SaaS or e-commerce company should be paying attention to and why.
Before diving too far deep into the pool of web analytics and monitoring KPIs, you should have some sort of goal in mind. For SaaS start-ups, goals often focus on gaining a specific number of new subscribers (to test and determine best the best path to your goal, we’ve outlined how to set up a Google Analytics Conversion Funnel you might want to take a look at). You should also understand that your data points and KPIs can do one of two things: they can simply show you something, or they can prove something.
As far as web tracking is concerned, Google Analytics measures data points like total visits, unique visitors, page views, and session duration. While it’s good to be aware of these numbers, they don’t necessarily give you a clear insight as to what is working and what’s not. In fact, these KPIs can often lead to assumptions like saying, “My website traffic is up 50% from last month – this is great!” Such assumptions can potentially lead to empty advertising and marketing investments. How you might ask?
Consider the following scenario:
Your company puts up a billboard along the highway; in one day, 10,000 people drive by and see it. This doesn’t mean 10,000 customers for your business because not all of the people driving by are within the audience you are trying to reach. Instead, you’d want to focus on the fact that only 500 people called the phone number on the billboard and ordered the free trial (or what would be considered a 5% conversion rate).
The same concept applies to the data from your website. Say your company’s site has 600 unique visitors. The number you should really be looking at is the 100 people who subscribed to your newsletter, blog or purchased a product (about a 17% conversion rate) as a result of looking around on your website.
Fortunately, Google Analytics also tracks actionable KPIs like conversions (as mentioned above), bounce rates, and measures A/B testing as well. These KPIs are great to monitor because they offer insight into your customer base so let’s break them down a bit.
User conversions happen when a visitor turns takes a desired action into your client pipeline. This could be a visitor filling out a form, being highly active on the website, or making a purchase. Essentially, this is when a visitor converts into a customer. Very low conversion rates identify that there’s an issue with your product, or at the very least, a serious problem with the way you present it on your website.
The user bounce rate is a ratio that refers to the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing one page. This can often tell you whether or not people are finding what they are looking for when visiting your site. In marketing terms, a low bounce rate can mean you’re reaching your target audience and bringing in the right group of potential customers (vice-versa).
A/B testing is a method used that compares the success rate of two different scenarios (most commonly testing web pages). When used correctly, this method can guide you away from mistakes with your marketing campaigns. You might choose to test two different landing pages, one of which yields 25% more sign-ups that the other. Moving forward, you would continue to use the landing page with the greater success in order to facilitate a higher conversion rates (and sales).
Keeping an eye on these metrics allows you to better identify how customers are reacting to your over all product, website and marketing tactics. After all, this data is unique and actionable for your company–use it right!
So how can you get all of these metrics that lead to power-decisions for your business?
At Factivate, we’ve created a custom template to help you track all of your Google Analytics KPIs in the friendly form of a cloud-based spreadsheet. Automatically updating 24×7, our spreadsheets and dashboard displays allow for real-time analytics to help you become more informed about your business in the snap of a finger. Click here to check out your very own Google Analytics spreadsheet template!
Have some favorite KPIs or ratios of your own? We want to hear – share and comment below!