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Google Analytics is one of the most powerful, free web analytics tools out there to provide you with a deeper understanding of your customers. If you are not already, get on it.

There’s a lot of data available in this nifty platform and it can seem overwhelming. Tip: check out Google Analytics Academy for a range of free online courses to bring you up to speed. To get you started, here are five metrics you should be keeping an eye on:

Acquisition Overview

Where to find it:  Acquisition > Overview

This shows you where your audience are coming to your website from. The overview breaks down the traffic sources into the categories of: organic search; direct hits; referrals; and social media. This tool is super important. It allows you to see how your audience is finding you. For example, if 60% of your audience is coming from Instagram but you are only posting three times a week, this presents a huge opportunity to increase your traffic.

Bounce rate

Where to find it: Audience > Overview

This is the number of users that enter your site then leave after viewing just one page. Many things can contribute to a high bounce rate, the most popular being that people are not engaging with your homepage and therefore leaving. This could also be the case if it takes too long for a page to load. On average you have eight seconds to engage the audience, so you’ve got to be quick. Instead of having text-heavy pages, try to incorporate attention grabbing items like videos, images and bullet points.

Device usage

Where to find it: Audience> Mobile > Overview

What are your users using? Desktop vs mobile? Your website should work on either regardless but knowing the source can allow you to customise the users experience. Users expect a personalised experience and with this information you can deliver it.

Average time on page

Where to find it: Overview> Page

This is the amount of time a user spends on a single page. The more time the better. The longer someone spends on your website, the more engaged they are with your content. If you have a low average time, this usually an indication that your audience is not engaging with your content.

Behaviour Flow

Where to find it: Behaviour > Behaviour Flow

The behaviour flow section is one of the best features. On first look, the flow chart can look a bit intimidating but, trust us, it’s really not that bad once you get into it. Here, you can follow the journey that visitors go through when they arrive at your site, step by step. By using this tool, you can see which pages is attracting the most hits, when users leave the site, and the routes they take.

Ready to get started? See how to set up your Google Analytics account here.