How to interpret Google analytics?

Uncle Humjaba

Limp Gawd
May 6, 2006
Hey all

So I've been running Google Analytics on a college club website for almost a year now, and I was just curious, what are the most meaningful statistics? Going in there is like facing a wall of data... What is the standard by which most websites are measured? Obviously some things are more important than others, but I really don't know...

For example, we fluctuate between 1000-3000 pageviews a day, 100-250 unique visitors a day, 4:52 average time on site.

What are the metrics you guys use to best judge how your site is doing?
Personally, I feel you only need to concern yourself with statistically significant fluctuations in page views when you make changes to the site rather than trying to attain an understanding of your site's performance relative to other sites. Your goal is to continually exceed your own performance milestones by tailoring the content and the design toward your target audience, and what specific metrics you choose to evaluate with are entirely up to you and your own goals. Google has some A/B testing tools you can use to evaluate how design changes fare with your users by running trials, so take advantage of that when possible.

For what it's worth, an average time of around five minutes is particularly good, depending on what content/features your site offers.
Yeah, what phide said.

Basically, you measure/read the data based on what your goals are. If you have no goals what so ever, then you're data probably isn't "good" or "bad", it just tells you what you are experiencing.

Obviously, 3000 hits a day for a club site seems pretty good, but that wouldn't be particularly great if you were running
Depends on the goals.

On my company's we want people to get informed and contact us. Thus page views/time on site and conversions through the forms of contact are most important.

Also when we run campaigns keeping the bounce rate low on those entry pages is always good to know that people are engaged and looking for more info.