Are your website analytics telling the whole story?

If you’ve ever discussed Search results with a web developer or content creator, Google Analytics comes up. For years, their website analytics tool has been the standard to track data on website engagement. As a content writer, I’m usually on the fringe of a website’s “back end,” using SEO tools like Yoast combined with a client’s marketing research to develop search-friendly content.

Reading this article by Search Engine Land was an eye opener. Say you have Google Analytics installed on your website. Well, get this. Someone clicks on a link to a particular page or post for your site. They hang out on that page, read the article. You know, they’re interested in what you have to say. But if they go on about their business without going to another page on your website, it’s still a bounce per Google Analytics! Yep. A zero-seconds bounce. That one glitch throws a wrench in how many businesses should look at their website analytics.

What’s the big deal about a bounce, you ask?

Google Analytics calculates your site’s bounce rate based on single page visits. That’s when someone visits your website, but only the one page, no browsing around or clicking from page to page. Like they show up at your door, ring the doorbell, and run away.

Here’s the problem. You’ve engaged a person enough that they clicked on your content and read it. Yet it’s still going to show up as a bounce on your website analytics report.  In fact, the article shares that any of these actions can show as a “bounced visit” in your Google Analytics:

  • Using the back button.
  • Closing the tab or browser window.
  • Typing a site’s URL or search request in the browser.
  • Clicking on an external link within the page.
  • 30-minute session time-outs.

Now, I don’t know about you, but it makes me happy when someone clicks through to read any content I’ve created. So I’d consider the one-page visit a good-to-know statistic. Good thing someone’s come up with a workaround to the Google Analytics standard. If you’re a developer, or have a good one you can grab, perhaps you can try the workaround provided (see the article). I’m not tech-savvy enough to code it myself and I haven’t asked my web designer if she’s tested it yet. If you give it a shot, please let me know how it worked for your site!

For nhaile’s clients, I rely on multiple sources to help optimize content and refine focus. Not only Google Analytics results, but also input from the client, their customers and my own research. I use your website’s SEO plug-ins to refine copy optimization. Discovering potential speed bumps – like quirks in website analytics – is just part of the process! Call me at nhaile communications for your content creation needs.

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