We continue our series of articles which aim to explain the most common reports in Google Analytics to Business owners who are not specialized in digital analytics. This time we try to explain the Behavior Overview Report.
The Behavior Overview report shares some of the metrics we explained in our Audience Overview article. In addition it also shows us:
Unique Page views – This metric represents the total number of page views without counting any repeat visits from the same user in the same session. If during his session a user visits 2 different pages and refreshes the second one 10 times, only 2 unique page views will be counted.
Average Time on Page – This metric is similar to Average Session Duration and you can often ignore it. As all average metrics it is heavily influenced by data on both extremes of the scale. If you have 10 visitors and 9 of them stayed on your page for 1 second but 1 forgot to close the page and left the session run out at 30 minutes. This would give you a 3 minutes average time on page, which looks good on the surface, but in reality most people were not interested in your page. The average time on page can give you some insight, but do not read too much into it for the reason above. If you want to measure engagement then tracking events such as button clicks or video plays can be a better way to do it.
Exit Rate (% Exit in Google Analytics – It shows how often visitors leave the site after viewing that particular page or end their session. The exit rate shows what proportion of visitors to that page leave after visiting it. It is calculated when you divide the number of exits by the number of page views the specific page has. This metric is not very useful if you consider the whole website as it shows an average of the values of all the pages. If your product pages have a high exit rate then it is best to try to improve them so more people go to the next step and add the product to the cart page. But if your order confirmation page has a high exit rate then this is nothing to worry about. After all the visitor has placed an order and has no need to be on your website anymore so it is normal to leave. The exit rate is valuable when viewing a specific page, making changes to it and monitoring if the change improved the rate.
Bounce Rate – This metric represents the percentage of sessions that ended with only one page view. If a user visits a page and then leaves without visiting a second page of your website, it counts as a bounce.
Interpreting bounce rate can be tricky. It is also hard to describe a good bounce rate as it depends on the specific page.
If you have a page designed to guide visitors to visit another page such as the add to cart page or contact us page, you should try not to have a high bounce rate.
If you bring people to a page designed for them to enter their contact details then a high bounce rate does not tell you much about the quality of that page.
If there is a big difference in bounce rates between a desktop version of a page and a mobile version of the same page, then you might want to look into it and make adjustments to the version which is lagging behind.
Page Report – It shows you a list of your pages and their respective page views and what percentage of your total page views each of them have. The higher the percentage the more popular the page is. Usually your homepage, which is shown as a “/”, will have a higher percentage but ideally you will want to see a bigger spread between more pages. This report can help you determine your top pages and blog posts and can help you decide what kind of content you should create for your website.
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