Five Google Analytics metrics that you’re probably not using

- September 11, 2008

When talking about Google Analytics or Web Analytics in general, some metrics and reports get seemingly all the attention (and rightfully so). Metrics like Bounce Rate, while loved by Web Analysts on all corners of the globe, are just too popular. In fact, Bounce Rate is now trendy! Do you think it’s become a buzzword as well?

Anyway, while Bounce Rate, Revenue, Goal Conversions, and Transactions are as popular as your local high-school’s starting quarterback / class president / homecoming king, there are other metrics to look at in Google Analytics, you know! These next five metrics are probably some that you’ve seen before in reports, and probably available in SiteCatalyst, WebTrends, ClickTracks, and other Web Analytics programs, although they could be known by another name in those programs.

1. $Index – This metric basically tells you what the average value of each page is on your website. It takes the amount of either Ecommerce Revenue or Goal Value that each page was responsible for, and divides it by the number of Pageviews for each page to give you a financial value in your currency of choice. You can find it by going to the Top Content report in the Content section, all the way to the far right of the report table. Log-in to GA and bring this report up in your profile, and check out what the $Index is looking like for each page. The values may be as small as a couple of dollars, to as high as a few hundred dollars per page. The Goal here is to find that page or two that has a higher $Index than most of the other pages, that also has a good amount of Pageviews. It could benefit you greatly to further optimize that page, or, to create some special offers or promotions directly on that page.

2. % Search Exits – If you have an internal search function on your website (and if you don’t, why not?), this metric calculates the percentage of people who left your website altogether, immediately after they performed a search. These people did not go any deeper into your website, or did not refine their search at all – they simply left. Think of % Search Exits as the “Bounce Rate” of your search function. Now, there is the possibility that they found exactly what they were looking for and they are going to come back later. However, if a lot of people are doing this, chances are your search function isn’t working properly, or serving up relevant results. Our loyal readers of this very blog know that that is a pet peeve of mine.

3. Per Visit Goal Value – Another interesting economics-oriented metric, found toward the right-hand side of the main report table, underneath the Goal Conversion tab. Use this type of micro-analysis to evaluate how valuable each and every one of your website’s visits are (so basically this is $Index for your Visits, instead of for the pages on your site). And, much like $Index, this number can either be very small or very large, depending on your Goal Values and how valuable each visit is to your website.

4. Revenue Per Click – Are you noticing a trend here? If you’re advertising with Google AdWords and if both your AdWords and your Google Analytics accounts are properly synched up, this very small number can tell you exactly what the name of the metric reads – the revenue that each click on your ads generated for you. This will allow you to say “Hey, Ad “C” or “Keyword X” is delivery $0.87 a click!” This can definitely place your click management strategy under a whole new light

5. Abandonment Rate – This metric is available via the Goal Abandoned Funnels report within the Goals section of your Google Analytics profile. Having the ability to view this metric should not be an issue – because every profile SHOULD have Goals and Goal Funnels. This statistic is telling you the percentage of people that are leaving your Goal Funnel at some step along the way. Chances are that they are leaving your Goal Funnel, and not coming back to complete and match your Goal. If this number is very large, you need to evaluate the way people can get to your Goals (every page along the way). Even if this number isn’t very large, you should stay on top of the path that your visitors take to reach your Goals. It’s actually very surprising to me that this metric, and even this train of thought, is very under-utilized in Web Analytics, so I feel compelled to add it to this list.

Now log-in to your profiles and check these out for yourself!

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