Google Analytics captures a lot of data from your website. It also presents this data in many places in the Google Analytics interface. Once you data showing up in your account, there are some important values to look at. Google Analytics groups your website data into a few categories. They are audience, acquisition and behavior.
Audience displays data about visitors to your website. The first important value is the visits to your websites. This is similar to users or sessions but technically each are slightly different. But all three represent the amount of traffic on your website. Average session duration is an average of length of time a visitor stays on your website. Bounce rate is the number of visitors who view one page on your website and then leave or bounce away. However, this number should be kept in context. If you have a landing page and a call to action, a visitor may not need to go to another page on your website. This would be counted as a bounce.
Acquisition displays data about where a visitor came from before visiting your website. This is called the source. There are a number of typically sources like social, organic search and other. One source is direct which represents people who go directly to your website. Source can also be related to medium which could be referral, organic or categories you set.
Behavior displays data about what visitors do on your website. It can show what web pages are viewed and if the pages are viewed more than once.
There are many more data points that Google Analytics shows. Some in particular that are useful are location which shows where visitors are like country, state and city. Mobile is useful to determine how many computers versus smartphones are used to view your website. Finally, the behavior flow report is interesting as it shows the path visitors take through your website.
Google Analytics records a lot of data but there are some important values you should be monitoring on a regular basis.
If you would like to learn more about how to find values in Google Analytics, check out a companion article on Digital Marketing Extreme.