Web Talk

Analytics basics: what to focus on!

One of the keys to running a successful website is learning how to read the analytics. Analytics track visitor movements on a website and though there is a lot of information available, there are several key factors to focus on as a beginner.

The more you use analytics to study what is happening on your website, the more interested you'll likely become in learning more about the website's performance and the visitors who use it.


When you first log into your account you would normally be presented by a dashboard. The dashboard contains the top level numbers that provide a snapshot of how the website is performing and can be viewed over set periods of time as well as compared to other periods. There are various numbers contained here that are worth noting.

Visitors, unique and returning

The number of visitors a website gets is critical. Websites getting more visitors will get more engagement, whether that is sales or enquiries and the goal of any website is to grow quality visitor levels. Unique visitors are the record for each individual, the remaining visits are returning visitors and it is always useful to see the percentage of new to returning visitors.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors that don't browse a website beyond the page that they land on.

Ideal bounce rates are below 30%, certainly below 50% to demonstrate engagement. Unfortunately there is a lot of software operating online that causes bounce and the better the website performs the more vulnerable it is to bounce.

Traffic sources

The traffic sources are the various channels and links that visitors have used to find your website. You can compare the traffic source to other metrics such as keywords to give you an indication of the keywords that were mostly used to find you on the various contributory channels.

Traffic sources present a detailed view on what is working well for you so that you can try and do more of the same.

There are hundreds of different metrics available within a good analytics package and with experience highly detailed information can be gleaned.

Once you understand the basics, exploring the activity on your website is one of the best ways to improve efficiency and make better marketing decisions going forwards.

To read more on this and other subjects, click here to visit the Ascensor blog

Ascensor are a digital agency in Leeds

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