3 Scary Numbers in Google Analytics You Can’t Afford to Overlook

scared of bad google analytics numbers

Your website may be leaking valuable leads without you knowing it.

Recognizing which data points are screaming for help in a sea of website traffic data is daunting if you don’t know which website performance benchmarks are treats and which are tricks. Google Analytics is the best way to reveal where you’re letting valuable leads slip away and how to fix it.

Here are the three scariest numbers in Google Analytics to quickly identify which data points you simply cannot afford to overlook.

  1. 10+ Seconds Average Page Load Time
  2. 85%+ Bounce Rate on CPC Landing Pages
  3. 5 Seconds or Less Average Session Duration

See where to find these data points in Google Analytics, how they’re affecting your bottom line, and what you can do to transform your online success.

Benchmarking the 3 Scariest Numbers in Google Analytics

1. 10+ Seconds Average Page Load Time


You can find Average Page Load Time in your Google Analytics account in the Site Speed Overview report located under “Behavior” in the left side navigation bar. 

Average Page Load Time is the average amount of time (in seconds) it takes for a page on your website to load. This is calculated starting from the initiation of a pageview (clicking on a page link) to the being fulling loaded in the user’s browser.

 

If any page on your website is taking longer than 10 seconds to load, be afraid. Be very afraid. Why? A 10+ second average page load speed means you’re losing upwards of 123% of your prospective customers. The horror!

Ultimately, there are 2 non-negotiable reasons why your website’s speed is a major factor influencing your digital success.

Non-Negotiable #1— Your Site’s Speed Influences Its Conversion Rate

On the Internet, seconds cost cold, hard cash. Over 50% of mobile users will abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. It’s a hard truth, but you’ll never lose money overestimating how lazy people are on the Internet. They want what they want and they want it fast.

In fact, with every second it takes your page to load, the probability of the user leaving your page increases exponentially.

When users don’t have a satisfactory experience with your website, research proves they’re quick to click the “back” button, conduct a new search, and visit your competitors’ sites until they can find what they need.

In short, if your website is slow, you’re just encouraging prospects to go to your competitors instead.

Non-Negotiable #2— Speed Matters to SEO

The second reason why your website’s speed is a major factor influencing your success is its influence on your ability to rank on search engine results pages. The slower your website, the harder it is for searchers to find your services or products online. How?

Back in 2010, Google made website speed a ranking factor.

“Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.” – Google

Fast forward to the now post-Google Speed Update era of 2018, your mobile site speed (not your website’s desktop speed anymore) directly influences your website’s ability to rank in Google.

This means the slower your site loads, the more likely you will rank lower on Google search result pages, no matter how much money you pour into SEO efforts or how niche your industry.

Resources for Improving Your Average Page Load Time

  1. Google Page Speed Insights Tool
  2. Google Test My Site Tool
  3. Moz’s Guide to Improving Your Page Speed
  4. Not a Techy? Get Help from Site Speed Experts

Speed equals revenue, so the faster your website loads the more earning potential you steal from your competitors.

 

 

 

 

2. 85%+ Bounce Rate on CPC Landing Pages


Find which landing pages have a bounce rate over 85% Bounce Rate by navigating to your Landing Page report under Behavior and Site Content. Then, add a source/medium secondary dimension, filter by your PPC platform (in this case we used Google CPC), and add a filter for pages within your campaign with bounce rates over 85%.

Bounce Rate is the percentage of the visitors who land on your page, don’t take any action, and then leave from the same page they landed on.
Landing Pages are the pages on your site that you’re directing users to after they click on an ad in your cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns.

 

To be fair, not every bounce rate is equal. But, what makes a high average bounce rate for your landing pages so scary is it correlates to the profitability of your paid search advertising campaigns.

Essentially, you’re basically throwing money in the wind if you are paying for significant traffic to your landing pages, but those users are bouncing at a rate of 80% or higher.

You’re paying to get people’s attention with PPC ads, only to have your site scare them away when you should be paying to get their attention and treating them to great content ultimately convincing them to do business with you.

Your landing page’s only job is to convert the lead that clicked on your ad. If your users are leaving the page without interacting with it, that means they’re not doing the thing you want them to do whether that’s making a purchase, calling your business, filling out a contact form, downloading a whitepaper, etc.

Landing page bounce rates over 85% high could be the result of several issues:

  • Users can’t immediately find what they’re looking for
  • You’re missing a call-to-action or it’s lacking urgency
  • Your website takes too long to load
  • Your website is difficult to use
  • Users don’t find your content useful
  • Your content isn’t relevant to your audience
  • Your PPC campaigns are targeting the wrong audience

 

3. 15 Seconds or Less Average Session Duration

You can compare the Average Session Duration of each of your marketing channels in your Google Analytics account in the “Channels” report located under “Acquisition” and “All Traffic” in the left side navigation bar. 

Average Session Duration is the average amount of time a user has a browser open with your website in one of the active tabs. This is sometimes referred to as time on site. It doesn’t, however, mean a user is actively looking at your site the entire time it’s open in their browser.

 

Similar to bounce rate, not every session on your website is equal. What makes a 15 second or less average session duration from specific traffic channels (social, display advertising, paid search advertising, organic search, etc.) so scary is it represents how effective your digital marketing strategy is driving leads and revenue to your business.

As shown in the GIF above, discovering a low session duration from users who land on your site from a particular channel (in this case, display advertising) could be an indication of several issues with your digital strategy.

  • You’re reaching the wrong audience within the channel
  • The channel is not a good source of traffic from your niche
  • Your website isn’t relevant to users from that channel
  • Your website isn’t meeting user expectations (like not fulfilling a promise from an ad, etc.)
  • Your website design is unappealing to users coming from this device or channel.

We’re not saying an extremely long session duration is the key to your digital success, but there is a correlation between how long people engage with your website and its overall conversion potential.

Research proves that you only have about 7-15 seconds to capture a person’s attention.

If traffic from one of your channels is only sticking around for less than 15 seconds on average, it’s clear evidence you need to refine your overall digital strategy, including that of your website to better capture the attention of your visitors.

No matter your situation, improving your average session duration past 15 seconds may be easier than you think, especially with the right help.