Google Analytics is Lying to You About Your Website’s Performance

May 9th, 2016 - Category - IT Security, Security

Did you know that there’s a vast amount of untapped data in your website that cannot be retrieved by traditional analytics tools?

Take Google Analytics, for example. It’s free, and gives you lots of information about page views, time on site, bounce rate, traffic sources, etc.

Why Bounce Rate and Time on Site are Lies

A ‘bounce’ is when someone comes to your website and leaves again without accessing any other pages.

Therefore, it is usually considered a bad thing if a website has a high ‘bounce rate’. You would typically want people to stay on your site for as long as possible, viewing lots of pages.

Most people assume a website bounce is a completely wasted visit. This is wrong!

It is quite common these days for website homepages to be long, requiring users to scroll in order to take in all of the information. It has been proven that ‘the fold’ is of lower importance than previously thought, and you don’t have to try and cram everything above it. People will scroll!

With this in mind, it is very likely that a significant number of bounced visits on homepages are from users who still have a good chance of converting. These people could be scrolling slowly down to the bottom of the page, taking in lots of information before leaving to think about what they’ve read!See What People Really Do on Your Website!  Attend the Live Webinar

Take Analytics Data with a Big Helping of Salt!

Likewise, 'time on site' doesn't include bounced visits because this metric is reported by recording the time between a user's arrival, and the time they access their last page.

Consider these scenarios:

User A: 

Arrives on homepage. Spends 10 minutes on the page. Leaves without accessing anything else - This visitor doesn't impact the time on site stat, but increases the bounce rate.

User B:

Arrives on homepage. Two seconds later they click to another page. They don't like this page and leave immediately. This is not a bounce because they performed an action on the site - so the bounce rate goes down, even though the user spent a very short time on the site. This visitor would impact the overall time on site stat - making it look worse, but they would make the bounce rate look better, even though I would argue this is a bounced visit.

User C:

Arrives on homepage and clicks to a blog post after five seconds. They then spend five minutes reading this blog post before scrolling to the top and reading it again, skimming it more quickly this time. They close the tab, leaving the website 7 minutes after first arrival.

This visit would show 2 pageviews and a time on site of five seconds - because Google Analytics doesn't actually time visits, it just takes a timestamp each time a page is loaded, then takes the difference between the first and last pageview.

Data is Money for Marketers

In digital marketing, data and the ability to track the results/impacts of every single action is crucial. You don't spend any money unless you can track the impact of that investment.

Every single response, enquiry, phone call, etc. That comes through a website should be trackable to a marketing action.

Therefore, just using Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of marketing and inform spending decisions is playing with a handicap.

Use the Correct Tools to Impact Your Bottom Line!

Want to know which tools can give you the data you need to make informed spending decisions and put money and time in the right places?

Sign up for the live webinar to learn about:

  • Recording website visits
  • See how long people actually spend on your site, even 'bounced' visitors
  • Know which channels and keywords drive phone calls, the response which has been guessed at for too long! 
  • See which areas of your pages are ignored by visitors
  • See which parts of your website videos are watched, rewatched and skipped!
  • Know who is doing what on your website. Track and compare the actions of existing customers to new visitors.

See What People Really Do on Your Website!  Attend the Live Webinar

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