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For most business professionals, there was no course on digital marketing or web maintenance during the onboarding in HR, so there’s no reason to expect you to understand all the data and graphs you’ll get from Google and your incredible marketing team.   

Let’s do a quick review of how to interpret the many variables of your web traffic, courtesy of Google Analytics.


The most important numbers you’ll pour over are those from Google Analytics regarding your web traffic and visitor flow.  The key metrics you’ll want to pay attention to are:

Unique Visitors

These are the individual people who are landing on your website looking for information about your business products and services.  While there is always up and down fluctuation, you want to see this number get bigger.


Where your visitors are coming from is just as important as the volume.  Generally you want a large percentage coming from organic search results, with the other channels dominated by social media networks and referral sites.   Supplemental efforts in paid search and direct arrivals are common.


Referral traffic is important to discover your allies on the web.  If a visitor arrives as a referral, this means there are other websites sending traffic your way via link.  This is good and can sometimes open up other marketing channels between you and the referring site, including advertising and link exchanges.

Bounce Rate

Sometimes you’ll see a bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors that arrive on your site and then immediately leave.  Usually a high bounce rate is a sign that your content is not relevant to the people arriving to the site and you either need to adjust the website content or the marketing that’s driving a certain (perhaps incorrect) demographic of traffic.

Average Time on Site

The longer a person hangs out on your website, the more engaged and interested they are, making them a higher value customer or lead.  If your time on site drops, it may indicate that your content and/or user interface need some work to keep people more interested.   Too long on the site may indicate that your website and content is confusing and the person is forced to search around for what they’re looking for, another sign of needed adjustments on the page.