Google Analytics KPIs SaaS Websites Need To Track
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the building blocks that measure the success of your marketing strategy. These metrics present the bigger picture of your campaigns while pinpointing what’s working and what’s not.
When we talk about KPIs, Google Analytics (GA) tops the chart as a versatile tool to objectively monitor and measure website performance. It can help SaaS businesses analyze metrics for specific goals and add a deeper meaning to this website analytics data.
If you want to use GA for tracking your growth with the right metrics, this article will walk you through 12 crucial Google Analytics KPIs you should consider.
But before jumping to these metrics, let’s first understand what Google Analytics KPIs are and why they matter for your SaaS business.
What are Google Analytics KPIs?
Google Analytics KPIs are objective metrics that assess a website’s performance based on visitor activity. You can choose these KPIs based on your marketing goals and customize your GA dashboard.
Let’s look at a Google Analytics goals example to understand it better.
You want to review how well your content is performing to attract traffic and hold your visitors’ attention. Bounce rate is a good metric for this goal. You can supplement this metric with other SEO KPIs like the number of visitors and average session duration to see if your content performs well.
The result? Tracking these KPIs would give you a clear picture of where you stand and what you can improve for every marketing goal, thus validating your action plan and suggesting tweaks for better results.
Why should SaaS websites track Google Analytics KPIs?
Here are five ways in which SaaS businesses can benefit from measuring Google Analytics KPIs:
- Optimize your website design and content: Several GA metrics will zoom into your website’s user experience. If your average session duration is low and the bounce rate is high, people are not staying long enough once they land on your site. So, you have to improve your UX with better design and more compelling content.
- Identify new channels for marketing: Measuring your top traffic channels can help you discover which channel is producing the best results. Double down your efforts on these top-performing channels to maximize your traffic and conversions.
- Quantify and measure your goals: KPIs essentially quantify each goal and assess your progress in terms of data. If the numbers don’t align with your desired targets, you know it’s time to modify your game plan.
- Segment your audience for personalization: Google Analytics offers a high scope of audience segmentation. You can personalize your marketing and advertising approach for website visitors based on their activity and behavior.
- Understand what your visitors want: In many ways, Google Analytics KPIs convey your visitors’ expectations to suggest modifications. For instance, if the number of page views is higher for a select few pages, the content on those pages resonates more with your visitors.
Now that you know how to leverage the insights from Google Analytics, let’s look at the 12 most important KPIs to target.
12 key Google Analytics KPIs for SaaS brands to track
Google Analytics offers more than 200 KPIs to track across your entire funnel. But you practically can’t measure all of them. Your best bet is to selectively pick only those best suited to your campaigns and objectives.
Here are 12 important KPIs that every SaaS brand should track:
Audience-centric Google Analytics KPIs
Audience-centric metrics analyze how people are visiting your website while monitoring their activity.
1. Number of visitors
The number of visitors your website attracts is the most fundamental KPI you can track. GA identifies each visitor as a user and differentiates first-time visitors from those returning to your site.
2. Number of sessions
Once a visitor lands on your website, a new session starts. A visitor can start as many sessions as they want, and each new tab they open is counted as a different session. Any session will end after 30 minutes of inactivity.
The number of sessions accounts for your website’s total number of visits, including new and repeat visitors. So, a person visiting your website 10 times a day will be counted as a single user but amount to 10 sessions.
3. The ratio of new and returning visitors
Measuring the ratio of new visitors to returning ones tells you how well your marketing efforts are panning out. While a new visitor is in the first stage of your acquisition funnel, a repeat visitor already knows your brand and is moving further down the GA goals funnel.
This ratio will show you the impression you create on first-time visitors. It also indicates the success of your overall marketing efforts to drive traffic to your website.
Pageviews calculate the total number of views for a specific page on your site. This basic metric records how many times a visitor—both new and old—viewed a page on your site. Tracking the pageviews for individual pages helps analyze the quality of user experience on every page and sets the good ones apart.
5. Bounce rate
The bounce rate is an SEO metric that measures your website’s impression on a visitor—how effectively you could meet their expectations and demand.
Here’s the good part: instead of a generic calculation of the bounce rate, Google Analytics allows you to define your criteria for bounces. So, if a visitor performs the specified action, they will not be counted as a bounce.
Behavior-based Google Analytics KPIs
Behavioral KPIs closely track your visitors’ actions and study these actions from different perspectives.
1. Time on page
Time on page measures the length of time visitors spend on a single page. The more appealing a page is, the more time visitors spend on it. So, this metric tells you more about the performance and quality of individual pages.
When combined with audience-centric KPIs, time on page distinguishes the good pages from the poor ones.
2. Average page load time
Average page load time is crucial for reviewing and optimizing your website performance. You’d be surprised to know that a visitor is 32% likely to bounce from your website if the page load speed goes beyond 3 seconds. Besides, loading time is also a key ranking factor for search engines.
So, measuring the average page load time will tell you which page(s) needs improvement—setting you up for success.
3. Pages per session
A great way to add more weight to your audience-centric metrics and identify your overall traffic conversion potential is by assessing the number of pages viewed in each session. This metric averages the total sessions and the total number of pages per session to examine how many pages a visitor views on average.
It reveals the quality of traffic you’re attracting—a higher number of pages per session indicates more interest in your brand.
4. Average session duration
Average session duration is the fourth most tracked metric on Google Analytics—and for a reason. It tells you the average duration a visitor spends in a session, and GA divides the total time spent in all sessions by the sum of sessions.
This metric gives a clear view of your traffic quality when assessed with other KPIs like bounce rate and time on page.
5. Organic vs. paid sessions
Any traffic comes from two primary sources: organic and paid. Organic traffic includes visitors coming directly from a Google search or referral channels, and paid traffic covers visitors coming through advertising.
Comparing organic and paid sessions tells you how costly your marketing strategy is. If the number of organic sessions outweighs the paid ones, your expenses will naturally be lower.
Acquisition-related Google Analytics KPIs
Google Analytics also assesses the conversion potential of your website traffic through a couple of acquisition-related metrics.
1. Top channels of traffic
Top channels of traffic review each channel’s traffic-generating power and rank them based on performance. Here are a few channels you can track:
- Organic search: visitors coming to your website through a Google search
- Direct search: visitors opening your website directly through a bookmark or typing the URL
- Paid search: visitors clicking on paid ads on Google
- Referral: visitors coming through backlinks on other domains
- Social: visitors coming through social media channels
- Email: visitors clicking on the website link in emails
Categorizing and monitoring your traffic sources gives your marketing team more data to work with. You can zero in on the best-performing channels and focus your efforts on them.
2. Conversion rate
The last major GA metric is the conversion rate—how many visitors are taking the desired action. You can specify the actions that qualify as conversion, and Google Analytics will quantify the number of conversions across all sessions.
Conversion rate indicates whether your website is doing what it’s designed to do. It’s a blanket metric to look at the bigger picture and see how your efforts are working out.
When used right, Google Analytics KPIs can be a game changer for your marketing strategy. Actively tracking the right set of KPIs empowers you to make data-informed decisions and productively review the outcomes of these decisions.
Use this guide on the 12 most significant Google Analytics metrics to pick the most relevant ones for your website and stay one step ahead of your visitors.