Almost 60 per cent of all live websites use Google Analytics.1 This powerful tool is now a digital marketing standard for good reason.

Google Analytics offers a deep dive into how your website or app is performing. It merges with Google Ads, Search Console and Data Studio to give marketers access to a huge amount of data.

Making sense of this information allows you to better understand the people on your site and what motivates them. With these insights you can adapt and optimize your strategy to convert more leads into sales.

The hard part? Getting to that point requires having a good handle on Google Analytics and its key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics offer an objective way to monitor, analyze and optimize how users behave on your site. They also help website managers deliver on marketing goals.

Understanding Google Analytics and its hundreds of KPIs is no easy task. There are all kinds of detailed stats and metrics that provide insight into how users are interacting with your site. It’s a lot of information; too much if you don’t know what you need.

Finding the relevant KPIs will help you achieve marketing and business goals. Getting it right is a critical competitive advantage. Research from McKinsey shows companies that make the most of data and analytics are five to six per cent more productive and profitable than their peers.2

Here are the top five Google Analytics KPIs you need to know:

Bounce rate.

This is the number of users who exit your website after viewing one page. People leave websites for two main reasons: they aren’t finding what they need and the site is not easy to navigate.

By keeping an eye on your bounce rate, you can determine how engaging and effective your content and design are and make changes that will help keep users interested.

Tip: Bounce rates vary by industry. That said, a bounce rate of 40 to 55 per cent is generally accepted as average.3 Google Analytics allows users to enable benchmarking for their accounts.

Sessions and users.

Google Analytics defines sessions as the total number of visits to your site. This includes both new and repeat visits.

Each time someone visits your website is counted as a session. If a visitor is inactive on a site for 30 minutes, Google Analytics starts a new session. It does the same at midnight. So, if a user logs in at 11:59 p.m. and leaves at 12:01 a.m., Google counts that visit as two sessions.

Users are the number of unique visitors to your site. If the same person visits your site 50 times on the same device or browser, Google counts 50 sessions but only one user. Google does make a distinction: it categorizes these repeat users as returning visitors.

How do these numbers help you? They provide a window into how your website traffic develops. Bounce rate, sessions and users are the starting point for understanding what’s working and what’s not. Of the marketing initiatives that are working, you can see which are performing best.

This information can help you fine-tune your marketing efforts for maximum impact.

Top 5 search queries.

Knowing the search queries most used to find your site will help you see if your search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) plans are working. Comparing top organic and paid search queries and keywords will tell you if the majority of visits happen by design or as a result of unrelated search terms. You can see whether your paid search campaigns are generating the high purchase intent queries they were created to attract. Search queries will also show you if your SEO strategy is helping buyers find you when they start researching online.

Tip: Link your Google Analytics account to Google Ads and Google Search Console to directly pull all search queries.


This comprehensive category is home to all reports related to the people coming to your website. You can learn your visitors’ demographics, what they’re interested in, how they behave on your site and the types of devices they’re using to access your website. This data will confirm whether the people you’re targeting are finding you. If not, it’s important to discover why.

You can also use this information to zero in on who to target in other campaigns. For example, if the majority of your visitors are male, you can build that into the definition of your demographics and marketing initiatives to drive better results.

Conversions/conversion rate.

Ninety-five per cent of leading marketers agree that “to truly matter, marketing analytics KPIs must be tied to broader business goals.” That’s why setting marketing goals is so important. Achieving them will drive your business forward.

The conversion rate tells you the percentage of visitors who are delivering on the goals you have set for your website within a given period. For example, you will learn the percentage of visitors who purchased a product, read a blog or signed up for a webinar. These actions represent a conversion or the achievement of a specific goal.

Knowing which conversion targets you’re missing, as well as those you’re reaching and whether they lead to sales, will allow you to troubleshoot problems and optimize your website.

Tip: You can create up to 20 conversion goals in Google Analytics. Each goal is tracked from the moment it’s created. Be sure to clearly define and align the actions you want visitors to take to your business goals.

Google Analytics is a dynamic tool that will help you track, analyze and use your web data. You can learn who is visiting your site, how they are finding you, and what aspects of your SEM and SEO strategies are working. These metrics tell the story of what’s happening before and after someone clicks onto your site. When you know this story, you can assess the performance of existing online marketing efforts and build better, more effective digital campaigns.



[3] analytics/#:~:text=As%20a%20rule%20of%20thumb,%2C%20news%2C%20events%2C%20etc.