Website Design

How to Use Google Analytics to Determine if You Need a New Website

For those of you who get nerdy excited about spreadsheets, charts and analyzing data, here's how you know if your website has run its course, using data from Google Analytics. These eight things to analyze in Google Analytics that will tell you if the shelf life on your website has expired.

1. Visitors

Let’s start simple. Does your year over year website visitors (Users in Google Analytics) look healthy? Is there an increase that reflects the growth goals of your company?

2. Bounce Rate Trend

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A bounce is a one page visit to your website. Bounces explain one of two scenarios:

The user was able to obtain the information they were looking for like a phone number or weather forecast.
The design and content of the website did not match the expectations of the user.

If your bounce rate seems higher than expected, look into this. Checking the overall bounce rate over time to see if there is a trend that is trying to tell you something. Look out for seasonal trends and other external factors. Give it a year-over-year comparison and if your bounce rate is on the steady incline it may be a sign that your website is not keeping up with modern standards.

What is a good bounce rate? No one is going to give a straight answer and there are no industry benchmarks. Bounce rates are the private data of each organization, but our experience tells us that 60% is high and 20% is low.

3. Bounce Rate Per Traffic Source

The bounce rate trend per traffic source will provide a first drill down into diagnosing a good or bad bounce rate.

60% is a high bounce rate for organic traffic, but I often see ad traffic bringing in bounce rates of 90% on sites that see a 25% overall bounce rate.

When diagnosing whether you need a new website the best traffic source to judge over time is probably organic or direct. This traffic will stay mostly consistent and be a better provider of how your website is holding up to expectations.

When diagnosing whether you need a new website the best traffic source to judge over time is probably organic or direct.

- josh loewen, the status bureau


4. Bounce Rate Per Landing Page (First Page Seen)

Not all content is created equal. The bounce rate can vary largely depending on which page you’re measuring. Blog traffic is notorious for having bounce rates of up to 90%. It’s because the user is looking for an answer to a particular question. Once that question is answered there is not a lot more the website can offer. Isolating that traffic and understanding the buckets of content will allow you to know how often people are bouncing on the really important pages.

These are the bounces from Google’s merchandise store. Their bounce rate varies widely depending on what page is seen first.

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This method is good at finding out whether there’s a general bounce rate problem or whether it’s page level problem. If there is an extremely popular page and that page has a high bounce rate it will skew the data into showing that the site has a high bounce rate.

5. Mobile Friendliness

Not having a mobile friendly site is a direct factor in obtaining more traffic. Mobile friendliness is a deciding element in Google rankings and will have more of an effect in the future. When someone clicks on your Google result, sees a poor experience on their iPhone and then goes back to Google results, that is a major signal to Google that your website is not a strong option for a high ranking and they’ll place you lower in the rankings.

Check your mobile page metrics in Analytics to see the differences.

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In 2015, Google stated that more people use Google on a mobile device than on a desktop. Also, 90% of Facebook traffic is mobile. Traffic acquisition aside, everyone uses their phone to browse the web, so having a responsive or AMP friendly mobile experience is key. With that said, check your Google Analytics mobile traffic metrics to understand how urgent it really is.

Most B2B visitors will be from work so the majority of them will be from a desktop device, but it’s crucial to check if you’re turning people away.

6. Speed

No one likes a slow site. It’s a huge factor in whether someone will stick around and in Google rankings. They really don’t want to promote any website that you have to wait to load like it’s 2001. You can use their PageSpeed Insights to get a third party measurement of what to fix. Older methods of building sites often contained elements that aren’t conducive to a fast site, so it might be time for a site speed checkup.

7. Conversions

Find what you want people to actually do on the site. Email subscription, visit the contact page, make a purchase? These are loose metrics to determine an ROI but at least there’ll be some clarity into whether people are doing what you want them to do.

8. ROI

This is the number that really matters. Is your website driving any business? How much did you invest in it, and is that initial investment paying off? What can you measure the return on investment against? This can be a lead, purchase or a level of engagement that would show that you have informed a customer. If your ROI needs work, your website probably needs work.


Guest post by Josh Loewen, Director of the Vancouver digital marketing company, The Status Bureau. If you’re interested in chatting Analytics, check out more at