Main Metrics and Dimensions Without Which Your Business May Fall Apart

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It’s scary to find out that you’re missing an important metric, isn’t it?
Whether you’re the head of a marketing department in a big company or a ppc specialist, it’s important for you to constantly carry out the right analytics on your site in order to meet the demands of your potential customers and fix problems right away.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to:

  • learn more about your website users with relevant metrics and dimensions in Google Analytics 
  • monitor how users interact with your website
  • understand whether your e-commerce website is successful 
  • compare ad costs and revenue across your paid marketing channels
  • automate the process of collecting data and making reports based on this data with OWOX BI.

What are metrics and dimensions in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful website analytics tool that allows you to track your site’s audience. For your convenience, reports in Google Analytics consist of two types of data: dimensions and metrics.

According to the Google Analytics Help Center, dimensions are attributes of your data. For example, the City dimension indicates the city from which a user accesses your website. The Page dimension indicates the URL of a page that was viewed by a given user.
Metrics are quantitative measurements: for example, the Pages/Session metric shows the average number of pages viewed per session.

Dimensions and metrics help you better understand the behavior of your target audience on your site. They make it possible for you to understand who your clients are, what interests they have, from what channels they come to your site.
By analyzing this data, you can see if you’re on the right track and adjust your goals and marketing budget .

Seeing as there are lots of metrics and dimensions in the Google Analytics, logically, a very important question arises: What kinds of metrics and dimensions should you look at for your business?

What questions can metrics and dimensions answer in standard reports?

When you open up your GA account, you can find data in the following types of reports:

  • Audience. Learn more about your users, where they’re from, what devices they’re using to view your website, what kind of interest they have, etc.
  • Behavior. Find out how well your site engages users by looking at the bounce rate, pages viewed per session, and time spent with your content.
  • Conversions. Monitor whether users are completing transactions and goals and generating revenue at the rate you want. 
  • Acquisition. Learn from which sources visitors come to your website: search engines, social networks, or website referrals. This is a key metric when determining which online marketing tactics are bringing the most visitors to your website.

Now let’s take a look at each type of report and define its main metrics and dimensions.

Audience

The most important reports in this group are Overview, Demographics, Interests, Geolocation, Mobile traffic & rankings, and Browser & OS.

Overview

Where to find the Overview report:
Click on Audience in the left panel, then click Overview.

report on Audience

Metrics

  • Total users and new users. Knowing how many page visitors a website received during a given period helps give an idea of overall performance. Using a graph to show the number of visitors over a time period also shows spikes in traffic.

  • Sessions. A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. A single session can contain multiple page views, events, social interactions, and e-commerce transactions.
  • Avg. session duration. To calculate average session duration, Google Analytics adds the duration of each session during the date range you specify and divides that sum by the total number of sessions.
  • Bounce rate. The bounce rate tells you how many people bounced from your site after only viewing one page. It’s measured as a percentage of visitors, with a lower number meaning fewer visitors bounced.
  • Number of sessions per user. This metric shows you the average number of sessions per user (how many times a user enters your website on average).
  • Pages/Session. The Pages/Session metric shows the average number of pages viewed per session.
  • Pageviews. A pageview (or pageview hit or page tracking hit) is an instance of a page being loaded (or reloaded) in a browser. The Pageviews metric shows the total number of page views.

Demographics

This data provides information about the age and gender of your users.
Where to find this report:
Click on Audience in the left panel, then choose Demographics.
As an example, we’ll look through the Age report.

Demographics report

Dimension:
Age — shows the age ranges of your website visitors

Metrics:

  • Users
  • New Users 
  • Sessions
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/Session
  • Average Session Duration — the average session time for users 
  • Transactions
  • Revenue
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate

Interests

Find out the interests your website users express through their online travel and purchasing activities. You can create segments based on this data and use those segments to create remarketing audiences.
As an example, let’s take a look at the In-Market Segment report. Users in a given segment are more likely to purchase products or services in a particular category.

Geolocation

It’s important to track where your organic traffic comes from. This is especially true if your marketing efforts are meant to target specific geographic locations or if you’re planning to expand your business to new markets. First, you should track organic traffic by country. You might be surprised to learn that you have a strong fan base abroad.
If you’re seeing heavy organic traffic from countries that aren’t profitable for your business, you may want to figure out why that is. It’s possible that you may need to adjust your SEO strategy to focus more on your target countries.

Dimension:
Country — shows a list of countries from which your users access your website

Metrics:

  • Users 
  • New Users 
  • Sessions 
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/Session
  • Average Session Duration 
  • Transactions
  • Revenue
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate

Mobile traffic & rankings

This report helps you to monitor differences in mobile and desktop user behavior.

Dimension:
Device Category — identify from what devices your users interact with your website

Metrics:

  • Users 
  • New Users 
  • Sessions 
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/Session
  • Average Session Duration 
  • Transactions
  • Revenue
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate

Pay attention to the Bounce Rate and Average Session Duration metrics. If the bounce rate is quite high and the session duration is quite short on a specific device, it might mean that this device has some trouble displaying your website’s text or design, or it might mean there’s some other technical issue you need to fix.

Plus, you can look at the Mobile Device Info dimension to identify the most used devices and see what mobile operating systems your audience uses.

Browser & OS

In addition to Mobile Device Info, you can monitor what browsers your audience uses.

Browser & OS report

Dimension:
Browser

Metrics:

  • Users 
  • New Users 
  • Sessions 
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/Session
  • Average Session Duration 
  • Transactions
  • Revenue
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate

Pay attention to the Bounce Rate and Average Session Duration metrics. If the bounce rate is quite high and the session duration on a specific browser is quite short, it might mean that you need to fix technical issues with this browser.

Behavior

The more you know about your users, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart choices about your investments in website application development.

Dimension:
Pageviews

Metrics:

  • Unique Pageviews — This metric aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. Unique pageviews represents the number of sessions during which a page was viewed one or more times.
  • Avg. Time on Page
  • Bounce Rate
  • % Exit. This indicates the percentage of users who exit the site from a particular page or set of pages.

Exit pages

You can learn more about the last pages people visit before they leave your site in the Exit Pages report. It’s important to track the top exit pages, as they’re the pages that cause people to lose interest in your site and go elsewhere. See what you can do to improve those pages so that visitors hang around a little longer.
How to find exit pages: Click on Behaviour in the left panel in your Google Analytics account, then on Site Content and Exit pages.

Dimension:
Page — see exit pages

Metrics:

  • Exits — the number of times visitors exited your site from a specific page or set of pages 
  • Pageviews 
  • % Exit

Landing Page Metrics

Don’t only look at these metrics across your entire site; you also need to have a clear understanding of how each page performs.
Additionally, tracking landing page metrics is an opportunity to uncover your most valuable pages.
How to find landing page metrics: Click on Behavior in the left panel in your Google Analytics account, then on Site Content and Landing pages.

Dimension:
Landing Page — monitor your main landing pages

Metrics:

  • Sessions
  • % New Sessions
  • New Users
  • Bounce Rate 
  • Pages/Session 
  • Avg. Session Duration 
  • Transactions 
  • Revenue 
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate

Conversions

Conversions show how many conversion events and purchases — along with how much revenue — were driven by each aspect of your marketing (campaigns, ad network, creative). The main conversion reports are Goals and Ecommerce.

Goals

Goals will help you understand how many target actions (orders, completed callback forms, requests, questions, document downloads, etc.) were made for a particular source.
How to find: Click Conversions in the left panel and then Goals.

Conversion Goals report

Metrics:

  • Goal Completions
  • Goal Value
  • Goal Conversion Rate
  • Total Abandonment Rate

How can I track the state of my e-commerce website?

The E-Commerce report in Google Analytics allows you to see data on transactions purchased, store revenue, average order value, and the time and number of sessions before a purchase. There are two types of reports: standard and enhanced.
Standard e-commerce reports in Google Analytics contain data on purchases made on your website or application, including product information, transactions, average order value, rate of transactions, and time to purchase.
With the help of enhanced e-commerce reports, you can find out when users added products to the cart, proceeded to checkout, and completed orders. Expanded e-commerce reports also allow you to determine which segments of customers interrupt the purchase sequence.

Before you can play with data from your e-commerce website, you’ll first need to enable e-commerce reporting.

Reports you get after setting up e-commerce tracking include Overview, Shopping Behavior, Checkout Behavior, Product Performance, and Product List Performance. Now we’ll take a look at the Ecommerce Overview report:

Metrics:

  • Revenue & Conversion Rate. Revenue shows total revenue from your e-commerce transactions, and may include tax and shipping. Ecommerce Conversion Rate shows the percentage of sessions that resulted in a transaction.
  • Transactions. These metrics show the total number of completed transactions on your site, Average Order Value, and Average Quantity (the average number of products sold per transaction).
  • Avg. Order Value — the average value of transactions

Acquisition

If you’re using not only Google Ads but also other ad platforms and you want to monitor their main performance metrics, the Cost Analysis report is exactly what you need as this is one of the most important reports for marketers. 

This report shows session, cost, and revenue performance data for your paid marketing channels. It compares the cost of each campaign with its associated revenue (from e-commerce and/or goal value) to calculate ROAS (return on ad spend) and RPC (revenue per click).

To find this report: Click on Acquisition in the left panel in your Google Analytics account, then find Campaigns and choose Cost Analysis

In order to build this report, you first need to import cost data from all your ad platforms. With OWOX BI you don’t need to do it manually — just set up the process and get the needed reports automatically.

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Now let’s take a look at the main metrics and dimensions that you’ll find in the cost analysis report.

Cost Analysis report

Dimension:
Source/Medium — describes where your traffic comes from. The source is the place users are before seeing your content, like a search engine or another website. The medium is a type of traffic you get from a specific source. Values for medium include «organic» for unpaid search traffic and «none» for direct traffic. Custom values you define for source and medium will also be included in this dimension.

Metrics:

  • Users
  • Sessions 
  • Impressions — An impression is counted each time your ad is shown on a search result page or a site on the Google Network. Each time your ad appears on Google or the Google Network counts as one impression.
  • Clicks — The number of times users click on your ad. The Clicks metric differs from the Sessions metric, which is the number of unique sessions initiated by users. Because Clicks and Sessions are distinct metrics, you may see different numbers reported in analytics.
  • Cost — The total amount paid for your ads.
  • CTR — A ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it. The clickthrough rate (CTR) can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing.
  • CPC — Cost per click is either an amount actually paid for a click or an amount calculated for comparison purposes.
  • RPC — Revenue per click is the average revenue (from e-commerce sales and/or goal values) you receive for each click on a search ad.
  • ROAS — This is a marketing metric that measures the efficiency of a digital advertising campaign. ROAS answers the fundamental marketing question, As I’ve put this amount of money into this marketing channel, what did I get in return? If a marketing channel isn’t paying dividends, it isn’t worth the investment.

Wrapping up

In short, Google has created a product that can really open your eyes to web analytics and help you optimize your website. Though you need to keep in mind that Google Analytics helps you understand the behavior of your users and clients only on your website.

And if you want to set up end-to-end analytics based on user behavior from Google Analytics, cost data from ads platforms and offline orders from your CRM, try OWOX BI. We offer a 14-day trial period. During this time, you can set up data collection in your Google BigQuery project to create reports on ROPO and other marketing indicators.

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