If you have a website, you need to be using Google Analytics. This robust analytics tool provides valuable marketing data, including where your website visitors are located and which website pages are getting the most traffic. While one would hope their website analytics show mostly positive results, this is not always the case.
When analyzing your Google Analytics data, be on the lookout for these 4 red flags.
High Bounce Rate
Your website’s bounce rate displays the percentage of users who landed on your website and left without exploring other pages or content. As you can imagine, a high bounce rate is a red flag for all types of websites. This means that the majority of users visit your site and leave without taking a next step, such as learning more about your business, exploring your products or services, or clicking through to additional blog content.
But what defines a bad bounce rate? Ideally, having a bounce rate of 30 to 50% is excellent, but can be difficult to achieve (depending on your industry and website goals).
High bounce rates are the result of factors such as:
- Poorly written and/or designed website content
- Not creating relevant content for your intended audience
- Slow website load times
- Intrusive website ads
When creating a website, reduce your overall bounce rate by understanding what your target market wants and then delivering it.
Referral Spam Data Inflation
Have you ever noticed a surge in your overall website traffic? Or you’re suddenly getting referral traffic from unknown sources? Referral spam is a problem on Google Analytics that leaves marketers fuming.
Referral spam happens when a bot crawls your website and leaves immediately, all within a fraction of a second. When a bot does this, it increases your website visits and bounce rate simultaneously, leaving marketers with incorrect and inflated website data.
These bots are not harmful; they’re simply more of a nuisance. To eliminate this annoyance and understand the true data from your website, you can follow these steps to remove referral spam from Google Analytics.
Unusually Low Number of Visitors
If you’re monitoring your Google Analytics data regularly, you should have an understanding of your average number of users within a specific period of time (often 30 days). When this number drastically drops, this is a major red flag. This signifies that something is wrong with your website, your search rankings, or other facets of your marketing strategy.
As you (hopefully) guessed, you’d rather have that number skyrocket than plummet. However, when that number does drop substantially, it is in your best interest to figure out what is wrong and fix it immediately, before further damage is done to your website or marketing efforts.
Low Time Spent on Site
Google Analytics also has the ability to tell you how long users spend on your website, on average. Of course, this metric will vary depending on the type of website you manage. However, if you notice that this number is uncommonly low, this is yet another red flag.
Take the time to dive deeper into your analytics, website content, and marketing strategy to identify why users are not spending as much time on the site as before. Did you recently redesign your website? Have you shifted to a new content marketing strategy? Did you recently add new website development functionalities, such as eCommerce or video effects, to your website? All of these factors and more can contribute to a slip in the amount of time spent on site data.
It is imperative that you regularly monitor your Google Analytics data. Not only does this help you determine when red flags arise, but it also helps you understand how your marketing tactics and content are performing.