Published on February 22, 2014
though, that not only the function may slow down the users' experience, even insignificantly, but will also increase the volume of hits your site sends to Google Analytics, which might bring your usage over the limit (currently set at 10 mln hits per month). As such, this fix should only be applied when necessary and justified by the concept of the website and the landing pages. 20 KPIs you should monitor in Google Analytics A Key Performance Indicator or KPI refers to a set of measurements reflecting the performance orsuccess of an organization in terms of progress of its goals. In this article we present the most important website KPIs from online marketing perspective and we discuss how to monitor them in Google Analytics. Most online marketing professionals, SEO engineers and webmasters have in their daily routine the monitoring, reporting and data analyzing tasks followed by decision making regarding the optimization of the performance of their websites. Within web metrics, charts and pivots lots of information can be found unveiling new ways to optimize their strategy. Nevertheless all these numbers, metrics and statistics can be confusing. Which ratios should be taken into account during the above analysis? Which are the most important stats? Many of these questions will be answered shortly since in the following lines we will discuss the importance of website goals and we will list the most important KPIs that are used to measure the defined targets. Website Goals & KPIs Setting specific and measurable goals is a vital stage before defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Depending on its type, a website can have much different goals. Common goals of E-commerce sites are the increase of the number of purchases, the number of items in basket, the average transaction value etc while for content websites common goals are the increase of media consumption, subscribers, video viewers, online game players etc. KPIs are: Indicators of Success Can be presented through rates Require comparison Depend on the industry and type of website General KPIs about Website 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Conversion Rate: This ratio displays how many visitors are converted into desired actions. Goals Conversion Rate: Shows how many visitors reached at least one of the goals that you have setup by using the Google Analytics service. Type of Users (user defined): The User defined is a variable that helps you define specific types of users that have completed a goal or a specific action in the website (pageview, form completion etc). Bounce Rate & Time on Site: These are 2 extremely useful KPIs which indicate whether your visitors find what they are looking for in your website or if they leave your site immediately. This metrics can be found in the Visitors section of Google Analytics, nevertheless it is also very useful to focus on them when you evaluate the various channels/sources of traffic. Type of Sources: This is a complex report which is generated by segmenting the traffic by specific sources and mediums such as Search Engines, Referring sites, Direct, E-mail or custom campaigns. Focus not only on the total number of visitors but also on the quality of the traffic (bounce rate, time on site, transactions etc).
Visibility KPIs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Traffic of Non branded keywords: This is the common Keywords Traffic report filtered to excludebrand name combinations. Traffic generated by specific terms: The long or short tail keyword strategy can be evaluated using this segmentation. Usually the keywords traffic report that can be found in Google Analytics returns too many combinations. By using filters you can break down the keyword list and focus on the ones that contain specific terms or you can check for 2 words phrases, 3 words phrases or for terms that satisfy aspecific rule. To generate such a report, use regular expressions in the advanced filter. Bounce rate per keyword: This can be found on the table of keywords traffic report. Focus on the column called “bounce rate” which shows the average bounce rate per keyword. Keyword Ranking: Find your keyword rankings by using the keyword battle tool and then compare the results with the Organic traffic reports of Google Analytics to find out if your keyword selection istargeted and if your SEO strategy is successful. Focus on how much traffic you get from each top ranking keyword and see if you need to adapt/change your SEO strategy by focusing on more popular or more targeted terms. New Vs Returning Visitors: This metric can give you insights about the loyalty of your audience and show you how many new visitors you attract on your website. Depending on various factors such as industry and website type, it is useful to analyze their behavior. This report can be found under the Visitors section of Google analytics. Interaction KPIs 1. 2. 3. Social Media Interactions: Monitoring the amount of visitors that interact with your social media profiles (visit them by clicking on the appropriate buttons of your website or like/tweet/share your pages) can be extremely useful. To monitor this you need to use event tracking or virtual pageviews. Media Consumption: This KPI focuses on how users consume the content on the website, how many of them read posts, watch videos, listen to podcasts etc. This report is under the content section but it requires you to setup special tracking mechanisms in cases of video or interactive flash. Contact/Subscribe: Knowing how, when and how many visitors contact the website owners via e-mail, contact forms, live chat etc is extremely useful. In most of the above cases this action can be tracked easily by using goal tracking in the “thank you” pages or event tracking. Transactional KPIs 1. 2. 3. 4. Cost per Transaction: This metric measures the promotional cost per transaction for specific campaigns (adwords, banners, newsletters etc). It measures how much money you have to spend on each campaign in order to generate one transaction. This is very important when you want to see how to allocate your advertising budget and it is particularly useful in decision making. Average transaction value: This KPI shows the efficiency of the cross selling and up sellingtechniques that you use. The report can be found under the Ecommerce section of Google Analytics. Average items in basket: Similarly to the above this KPI shows how many items are purchased on average in each transaction. Conversion Rate per Medium: This KPI shows the conversion rate of each medium and it is extremely useful to monitor it in order to distinguish your top selling channels. The report can be found under the All Traffic Sources menu by using the “Medium” view option. Geo Targeting KPIs 1. Transactions distribution per Country: This report provides very useful insights since it allows you to distinguish the nationality of your clients. It can be found under the Visitors Section in the Map Overlay Report. The information is located in the “e-commerce” tab of the previous page and it shows you the transaction distribution by country/territory.
2. 3. Bounce rate distribution per Country: This info can be found on the same map overlay table and it shows the distribution of bounce rate by Country/territory. Traffic Distribution by Country/Territory: This information is provided in the map overlay reportand it can easily be found under the Visitors menu of Google Analytics console. Allow crawling of all content User-agent: * Disallow: or User-agent: * Allow: / The sample above is valid, but in fact if you want all your content to be crawled, you don't need a robots.txt file at all (and we recommend that you don't use one). If you don't have a robots.txt file, verify that your hoster returns a proper 404 "Not found" HTTP result code when the URL is requested. Disallow crawling of the whole website User-agent: * Disallow: / Keep in mind that in some situations URLs from the website may still be indexed, even if they haven't been crawled. Disallow crawling of certain parts of the website User-agent: * Disallow: /calendar/ Disallow: /junk/ Remember that you shouldn't use robots.txt to block access to private content: use proper authentication instead. URLs disallowed by the robots.txt file might still be indexed without being crawled, and the robots.txt file can be viewed by anyone, potentially disclosing the location of your private content. Allowing access to a single crawler User-agent: Googlebot-news Disallow: User-agent: * Disallow: / Allowing access to all but a single crawler User-agent: Unnecessarybot Disallow: / User-agent: * Disallow:
Back to top Controlling indexing and serving Indexing can be controlled on a page-by-page basis using simple information that is sent with each page as it is crawled. For indexing control, you can use either: 1. a special meta tag that can be embedded in the top of HTML pages 2. a special HTTP header element that can be sent with all content served by the website Note: Keep in mind that in order for a crawler to find a meta tag or HTTP header element, the crawler must be able to crawl the page—it cannot be disallowed from crawling with the robots.txt file. Using the robots meta tag The robots meta tag can be added to the top of a HTML page, in the <head> section, for instance: <!DOCTYPE html> <html><head> <meta name="robots" value="noindex" /> ... In this example, robots meta tag is specifying that no search engines should index this particular page (noindex). The name robots applies to all search engines. If you want to block or allow a specific search engine, you can specify a user-agent name in the place of robots. For more information, see the robots meta tag specifications. Back to top Using the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header In some situations, non-HTML content (such as document files) can also be crawled and indexed by search engines. In these cases, it's not possible to add a meta tag to the individual pages— instead, an HTTP header element can be sent with the response. This header element is not directly visible to users as it's not a part of the content directly. The X-Robots-Tag is included with the other HTTP header tags. You can see these by checking the HTTP headers, for example using "curl": $ curl -I "http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/search?hl=en&q=test" HTTP/1.1 200 OK X-Robots-Tag: noindex Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
(...) For more information, see the X-Robots-Tag specifications. Back to top Getting started Most websites will not need to set up restrictions for crawling, indexing or serving, so getting started is simple: you don't have to do anything. There's no need to modify your pages if you would like to have them indexed. There's no need to create a robots.txt file if all URLs may be crawled by search engines.
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