Google Analytics

What is A Metric In Google Analytics? (and Why It’s Important)

Everything you need to know about Google Analytics Metrics

To understand what a metric in Google Analytics is, you must first know what Google Analytics is. Google Analytics is a website traffic analysis tool that provides extensive insights into your website and business’s online performance. There are levels of complexity with Google Analytics based on how much you want out of it, if you put more time into it, it will be more beneficial for you. It also integrates with other Google services perfectly, so if you are using other Google-based services, using Google Analytics for marketing will be optimal for you. 

Data is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy and having the right tools in place before any marketing attempts enables you to get the results you want from it. Using Google Analytics is important to understand the status of your online website performance. There are a multitude of benefits for using Google Analytics which include:

  • Track Online Traffic
  • Understand User Behavior
  • Offline to Online Tracking
  • Data Reports And Customization
  • Improve Online Advertising With Marketing Analytics
  • Improve Search Engine Optimization And Content Marketing
  • Google Analytics Conversion Tracking
  • Find Your Target Audience
  • Google Analytics Cost
  • Google Analytics Improves Websites
  • Getting Started Is Easy
  • New Ideas For Business
  • eCommerce Performance

Let’s discuss how Google Analytics breaks down and tracks online traffic. Google Analytics separates online traffic into different channels that define their primary source as organic, social, referral, direct, email, paid search, display, and other. The organic channel is traffic from search engines while social is traffic from social media. When talking about the referral channel, it is traffic that is from websites which link to yours. 

Direct channels are traffic that is directly accessed either through a bookmark, auto-filed, writing the domain, or other. Email channels are pretty basic because the traffic comes from email marketing while the paid search channel is less basic because it is traffic from search engine marketing using things like Google Ads. The display channel is traffic from display advertising while the other channel is traffic from custom campaigns. 

A chart showing the traffic sources report from Google Analytics. 
Knowing which areas are high traffic for your users can be beneficial in determining how best to target them with advertising to your site. Image courtesy of Engaiodigital.

What is a Metric?

There is a large amount of data that Google Analytics collects about user behavior and traffic on your website, however you do not need to track every single piece of the data. If you try to do this it will just lead you down the rabbit hole with no real outcome. There are really only three metrics that you will need to track your growth over time. However, before we go over those three metrics, you first need to know what a metric is. A metric is a quantitative measurement which tells you how some aspect of your website performed. An example of a metric would be how many times a video was played on your website or the number of times a specific page was viewed. 

It is important to note that a metric is different from a dimension in Google Analytics. A dimension is what your metric is measured against. An example of this would be that instead of just measuring users to your website, you could measure the users (metric) by which channel (dimension) they viewed your website from. 

The Three Metrics You Should Track

There are three metrics to track that will be useful when trying to determine growth over time, even though there are over 100 metrics that are available in Google Analytics. It could be confusing trying to determine what metrics are the best to track growth over time, but these three metrics should be the ones you keep an eye on if you use Google Analytics to track the growth of your website. The three metrics are:

  • Users
  • User engagement
  • Conversions

If you keep track of these three metrics, it will make it easier to understand what you are looking at in all the data, since Google Analytics collects a lot of data. You can use Google Analytics to follow the journey your customers take on your site and target them based on their needs. Google Analytics also allows you to understand what efforts are working and which ones are not working.


You will need to know if your marketing efforts are resulting in site growth. The way you can tell this is by tracking the users metric through Google Analytics. This metric tells you how many unique visitors your site has received in a set period of time. 

User Engagement 

This is the metric that will show you what your users are interacting with on your site and what fails to gain their attention. This is important in figuring out what you will need to update or change in order to make your site more engaging for your audience. 


This metric is super important because it tells you what your user activities are which contributes to the success of your business. This is also the metric where you are able to convert visitors into purchasing customers.

A table showing changes in conversions.
An example of what Conversions look like in Google Analytics. Image courtesy of Ahrefs.

Why Google Analytics Is Important

Google Analytics is important because it can give you very valuable information and powerful insights into how your customers are engaging with your site. You can also use Google Analytics to see who views your site, including information such as their geography, the device they used, and what their browsing behaviors are. Using this data allows you to change and update your marketing tactics and campaigns based on your customers’ actual actions. This can be a game changer when deciding where to invest your money, that way you can get a good return on your investment with more customers engaging with your site. You are also able to create customized reports in  Google Analytics. Here are some examples of how you can customize your reporting:

  • Event tracking to track what actions visitors take on your site
  • Virtual pageviews to see what visitors do on certain pages
  • Site visitor user IDs
  • Creating customized reporting based on your needs 

Since there are so many benefits of using Google Analytics and the fact that it is a good tool for businesses makes it a very valuable tool to collect data which can help you grow your business to the next level. It is important to remember that when integrating data into your workflows and analytics strategies that it requires an adjustment. It will take time for you to realize that once you know more about the specifics of your website through metrics means that you can get more out of it.

An image listing benefits of Google Analytics.
Easy guide to a less in-depth description of Google Analytics benefits. Image courtesy of Techtarget.

There are lots of data points that Google Analytics collects, and understanding which ones matter to you will determine your best course of action when moving forward with your marketing plan. Keep in mind that when it comes to data there are lots of restrictions and regulations out there that you will need to be aware of. You will have to understand that some data may not always be collected based on user preferences or locations. You should also remember that you will have to comply with everything that may apply to your site.

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