March 26, 2019

Ask IH: What Google Analytics metrics do you check?

Junaid Ansari @JunaidBhai

What are the important metrics do you check on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to understand the traffic on your website.


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    We've had some difficulty with Google Analytics and conversion tracking because frequently one user will sign up for our service for the free trial, and then another user from that organization will enter the payment details and convert them to a paying customer. So we couldn't figure out how to trace this two-level conversion with Google Analytics.

    The first level is easy, the second level is harder. So what we've done is to set all this up in Segment and Amplitude, and we use UTM tags to track this.

    We're a SaaS startup, so the metrics we keep an eye on are: conversions, conversion funnel (where are we losing people during signup), time spent on our website, bounce rate, referral sources, and audience metrics such as location and technology used.

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      How many customers fall under two-level conversion compared to all your paying customers?

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        A lot, because in most cases, HR managers or project managers test out the product, and then the COO, CEO or CFO pays for it when the trial expires. I don't have an exact statistic to share with you, but I would guess anywhere between 40-50% of our second-level conversions are like this.

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    @JunaidBhai This is a great post. Our team asks this same question every week. What we look for in the data changes almost every day. While our true north is overall traffic, time spent, source and events we always go deeper on trends and attribution to understand what influenced those metrics.

    We got so interested with solving this we created an internal tool that alerts us as key change happens in our data this way we get view a feed of analytics-happenings rather than a dashboard. We're going to make the tooling available for others soon.

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      What actions do you take when certain metrics peaks or dips?

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        It all depends. For instance when there is a positive gain on traction of a particular keyword our action is to support that keyword with more content on site to increase the yield of organic traffic.

        When a referral source shows promise we may follow up with social support to influence domain authority for SEM.

        When there are dips we investigate. It's important to understand what caused the dips to prevent them from occurring again.

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    Referrals, bounce rate, time spent.

    On a related topic, any good, free GA alternatives?

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      These are good metrics. What do you do with them? What action X you do if metric is Y?

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        Referrals - The source of my users. What communities are they coming from and what are they talking about. I can then participate in those community and/or promote my product there.

        Browser specs - Use this to determine how much time should be spent refining mobile vs desktop experience.

        Bounce Rate/Time Spent - Not sure the action here. Just use it to see how boring my site is :)

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          Good point on referrals! Makes total sense.

          Browser specs -- this is a good idea to check your site on most used browsers time to time.

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      Countly isn't bad.
      Depending on your needs Piwik isn't bad.