Have you recently hired a firm to help redesign your site or to make significant changes to help with usability and conversions? If so, don’t be surprised if your page views are down, your time on site goes down, and your bounce rate is higher when you later look at Google Analytics. If you have a content strategy in place, these developments are probably good things.
Marketing teams tend to look at measurements like page views, time on site, and bounce rate as key indicators of whether a website is working. These are still good measurables to review in your analytics, but if you’re doing significant updates to your site, these may look worse than in previous months.
Depending on your content strategy, there are some trends in your analytics that might look bad on the surface but can be expected. And although some analytics may look worse in your reports compared with previous months, these “bad” measurements are actually a good sign that your site is working.
Page views are down
Page views don’t always matter, but quality content does. If your content strategy is to have a better user flow and faster conversions, you need to change site content. Your content strategist will also probably recommend removing some unneeded pages. Page views will go down because users are getting the content they want faster and don’t need to visit several pages to find what they need.
Time on site is down
You have roughly 15 seconds to grab a user’s attention. Research shows users skim, so remember your visitors don’t want to read a wall of text. Your content team may be consolidating information or trimming pages to give users what they want: quick and relevant content. Naturally, they won’t need to spend as much time on your site because they are getting what they want more quickly.
Bounce rate is high
As part of your content strategy, you’ll probably be creating better content and will be blogging more or putting out resources to establish you as an industry leader. Promoting these blog posts through social media or other sites increase your traffic. More users are great, but know that these new users are there for the content, not necessarily to purchase your products or services. Once these users get what they want, they’ll probably jump to another site, increasing the bounce rate after hitting your blog or resource pages.
Ultimately, your digital marketing firm can tell you if the data you’re seeing is good, bad, or neutral. Just keep in mind that in Google Analytics, not all negative trends are bad.