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What Are Your Top 3 GA Site-Quality Stats for SEO?



1:31 am on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

If you had to choose 3 stats in google analytics that would indicate a high quality site, what would they be?

My are:

1. Avg. User Session Time
2. Pages Per Visit
3. % of Returning Users

The higher the better on all accounts.


11:48 am on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We set up an event that tells us whether a user actually reached the end of the post. We then get the conversion for that metric, which we call Read Rate. For an information site, that is an important metric for us.

We also like Chartbeat's engaged time metric as compared to GA's flawed average user session time. I'm experimenting on a GA script that mimics Chartbeat's engaged time metric - pings every few seconds -- to check if a user is still on the site. So far so good.


1:19 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Wonderful metric. Never even thought that was measurable.

I always worry about reduced page speed with all the extra pinging. Guess I'm a bit of a wus that way. I'll have to get over myself with that. Thanks for the input.


1:47 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have an informational site that has a very high bounce rate, which is expected. People come in looking for an answer to their question, they get it, and they leave. Mission accomplished.

So I started using adjusted bounce rate. Basically, if a user spends x amount of time on a page (I use 1.5 minutes), an event fires so it is no longer considered a bounced visit. It gives me a much better idea of how engaged people are with the content than bounce rate or session time.


2:01 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Sand, can you explain how you get your adjusted bounce rate?


4:34 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sure thing. I just modify my Analytics code so it's like this (Note the setTimeout function. This function fires an event at 90 seconds after pageload. In Analytics, once an event is fired, the visit is no longer considered a bounce):

<script>// <![CDATA[
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-my-id']);
setTimeout("_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', '90_seconds', 'read'])",90000);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
// ]]></script>


5:26 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I like to keep an eye on the Google Analytics "Engagement" figures, especially:

- Percentage of pageviews from sessions of 20 or more pages, and...

- Percentage of pageviews from sessions of 30 minutes or longer.


8:18 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Sand. So I can replace my GA with what you have there, and of course put my site's id, and then I'll see it in my analytics?


11:04 am on May 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello AOK

I used GA code from Justin Cutroni's blog to set the bounce rate at anyone who left in less than 15 seconds. We are part ECOM and part informational and I reckoned that these leavers were probably arriving on the site in error.

Our bounce rate under normal GA was 30% to 40%
With the new code it is between 10% and 15%.

It is nearly a year ago that we implemented this and I recall that there were some less than obvious problems with the code...it wasnt always clear why it wouldnt work but the comments on his blog helped explain the issues.

Hope this helps


Robert Charlton

2:33 am on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Collieman - Thanks for your reference to Justin Cutroni. For those (like me) who didn't know him, he's the "Analytics Advocate at Google", and his blog is a real discovery. Since you've brought up one of his suggestions, I'm going to link to his page with report customizations for SEO....

SEO Customizations for Google Analytics

His custom alert for organic bounce rate increase is one that immediately caught my eye.

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