Google Analytics: Important Metrics for Digital Brands & Course Creators

Kyler Nixon
March 28, 2022
5 min read

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for digital brands and course creators. It can be used to track important metrics, including how long visitors stay on your site, where they came from, which pages they visit the most, and more. This article will walk you through setting up Google Analytics with your website so you can take advantage of the power it has to offer. Let's dive in.

Overview of Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is a free service that allows you to track the traffic on your website. It's important for digital brands and course creators to know how Google Analytics can help them because it tracks metrics like time spent on the site, which pages are most viewed, where they come from, what devices they're using, and more. Simply put: Google Analytics allows you to track metrics on your site.

While you'll still get some value from this post without a Google Analytics account, we'd recommend you pause, install GA on your site, and follow along with us that way.

Why You Need Google Analytics

Here's a quick example of the importance and application of Google Analytics: Let's say you launch a new course. You've spent thousands of dollars filming the course and hours and hours of your time getting ready to launch it. You release the course to your website and you're met with crickets."Maybe the course is priced too high," you think to yourself.So you lower it and give it another week. Still nothing.You throw your hands up and decide the audience just isn't interested in this product. You feel defeated and frustrated. This was supposed to be a huge hit!You took a guess that the course was priced too high. In reality, the price was fine. You simply didn't have any visitors on the website. How can you expect to get sales if you don't get traffic?Had you known your traffic was low, you could have re-evaluated your marketing campaign and found out what was going wrong. More specifically, you could have taken immediate steps to remedy the problem.Having Google Analytics, even with a limited understanding of how to use it, will allow you to keep a pulse on what's going on with your website and your audience.

4 Key Metrics You Need to Know

Google Analytics is broken into a few key reporting "buckets."

  1. Acquisition: This is where you can see how many visitors are coming to your site.
  2. Engagement: This is where you can see how engaged your audience is with the content on your site.
  3. Monetization: This is where you can see what percentage of your traffic is converting into leads, subscribers, or sales.
  4. Demographics: This is where you can see what age range, gender, and interests your audience falls into.

Those buckets house dozens of smaller metrics. It's easy to get lost in the capabilities of Google Analytics, so let's just focus on 4 important metrics for right now.

1. Users

Simply put, this metric shows you how many people visited your site. That is, the total amount of traffic you've gotten over a set period of time. You can see users right away on your dashboard since it's the easiest (and most common) metric tracked by businesses.

Why it matters: Understanding the number of users you have on your site is probably the biggest metric for digital brands or course creators. Without a good amount of traffic, getting more subscribers, leads, and sales is difficult.

A good benchmark: We recommend clients try to get a 1:1 ratio of website users to social media followers over a 90 day period (example: if you have 5,000 followers on Instagram, we'd like to see 5,000 users on the website over a 90 day period).

linksHow to improve this metric: If website users are low, you might need to spend more time writing and publishing blogs (users then come from Google), sending traffic to your website from social media (using stickers, links on Facebook, links in bio, etc), or guest blogging for other brands (users come by clicking the link to your site). There will likely be a direct correlation between the success of your brand and the number of users on your site. Low users = fewer sales.

2. Engagement Rate (formerly Bounce Rate)

The engagement rate is the ratio of engaged sessions to the total number of sessions on a website. A session is a visit to your site from a single device.

Why it matters: Tracking engagement rate can help you determine how loyal your users are and whether or not they are engaged with your site. A higher engagement rate means that users who visited your site are engaging with the content rather than quickly coming and leaving. It can help you determine which content is most engaging, and what parts of the site are not performing well for your users.

A good benchmark: According to First Page Sage, good engagement rates are above 63% for a B2B brand or above 71% for a B2C brand.

How to improve this metric: If your engagement rate is low, it likely means your site is either 1) hard to navigate and users aren't able to go between pages/posts easily, or 2) you're not providing clear links and calls to action. For example, your homepage should easily link to other pages on your site. You can find Engagement Rate under Acquisition > User Acquisition > Engagement rate.

3. Average Engagement Time

This metric shows you how long your website visitors typically spend on your site. This number is usually expressed in minutes and seconds.

Why it matters: Engagement time is a great metric for measuring organic traffic coming to your website. This metric tells you how long visitors stay on your site and whether or not they're engaging with your content. Do they stick around long enough to read a blog post? Or do they quickly leave? The longer users stay on your site, the more likely they are to buy.

A good benchmark: Every website is different so it's hard to give a specific gauge for engagement time. However, we typically see healthy websites with engagement time of over 1 minute for our clients.

How to improve this metric: If your average engagement time is low, it could indicate a problem with the copy of your website. It likely means users are hitting your site, but quickly leaving because your copy is not engaging with them. Revamping your sales copy by hiring a professional copywriter is typically the best way to permanently fix the problem. You can find Average Engagement Time under Acquisition > User Acquisition > Engagement Time is in the table.

4. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the number of visitors who take a desired action on your website, usually expressed as a percentage. This could be subscribing to your newsletter, downloading a lead gen, or making a purchase. Conversion Rate is calculated by taking the total number of transactions divided by the total number of users (example: if you have 20 purchases and 1,000 users, your conversion rate is 2%). Conversion rate is not a native metric in Google Analytics. It does require a little extra setup. We won't get into that here, but you can set it up under "Monetization".

Why it matters: This is one of the most important metrics for digital brands because it measures how effective your website is at turning visitors into customers. A high conversion rate means people are finding what they're looking for on your site and buying.

A good benchmark: The good conversion rate for a digital brand and/or course creator is 1-2% (again, meaning 1-2 out of every 100 people on your site are converting).

How to improve this metric: Conversion rate is the trickiest metric to master. It often means having to optimize content, design, and product. We recommend starting with one thing at a time and figuring out if that thing impacts conversion rate. For example, if your design is cluttered and distracting, start with a new one.Google Analytics is a powerful tool for digital brands and course creators to track important metrics on their site. Use these four key Google Analytics metrics as benchmarks, and you'll be able to make informed decisions about your marketing.

Happy tracking!

Kyler Nixon