Google is just like my business and yours. We want our customers, clients or patients to like our business so much that they come back and they refer their friends to us.
So when their searchers type in a search phrase at Google and your site appears, Google wants to know if that searcher (their customer) engaged with your site in a serious way. Why do they want to know this? Because it tells them if YOUR site is a better match for THEIR customer. And, if it is better than your competitors’ sites, then they want to put your site above your competitors (all other things being fairly equal).
So, does Google know if your site is more engaging than the next site? Absolutely, and you can learn how engaging your site is too.
How do you tell if your site is engaging or not?
In the real-world of truthful data about websites, a bad website has a high bounce rate. A Bounce Rate is occurs when your prospects search on Google, arrive at your site and without going deeper or spending any real time there, they click the “Back” button and bring back the list of your competitors. When Google sees that too much, compared to your competitors they assume, the site is NOT engaging and the searchers didn’t see it as a good match. Therefore, in the interest of taking care of their customers, they may push your site down the list below your competitors.
The opposite is true too. If your bounce rate is low (lower is better) and the number of pages and time spent on your site is better, Google reasons that your site helps their searchers better.
What does it tell you when your site visitor spends more time on your site? It says they like what they see and they are seriously considering using your company. Simply, if they didn’t spend time on your site, they are not considering you.
Google Analytics to the rescue!
Google actually wants you to know how well your site is taking care of their visitors. So, they make an extremely sophisticated set of tools available to you for free just so you can do this. You can access the tools site named Google Analytics at www.google.com/analytics. If you don’t already have the tracking code installed on your site, you’ll need to sign up at that link, then have your web designer place the snippet of code they provide to you on every page of your site. Once installed, Google will begin compiling some great data for you to examine.
Once Google Analytics has accumulated at least a couple months worth of data, you have some meaningful feedback on how your site is performing. Here are SOME of the things you can discover about your website in GA:
- What cities, states, countries your visitors came from
- How many are returning versus new visitors
- What was the bounce rate for your site
- Basic Demographics such as age and gender
- How many visitors on mobile, tablet and desktop computers
- % of traffic from organic search engine results
- Which pages were most popular
- How many pages and how much time did visitors remain on your site
- You can even track the routes visitors took throughout your site
- And.. so much more