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I'm not sure how to interpret the results in Google Analytics. I understand that some metrics should be high, and some should be low. But this one I don't get:

  • % new visitor vs. % returning visitor:
    It's good that users are returning, but surely it's also good to get new, fresh visitors. How do I evaluate this %-vs-% ratio?

The higher the better:

  • visits
  • unique visitors
  • pageviews
  • pages per visit
  • avg. visit duration

The lower the better:

  • bounce rate
  • drop-offs
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The numbers in Google Analytics is never absolute. For example, pages per visit should have a relatively high figure, but if it is too much, it could mean that the visitors have problems finding the right information and are thus clicking everywhere.

All these numbers are not individual numbers, but need to be seen in the whole picture of your website. They also vary from industry to industry.

Back to your question of New and return visitors. It depends on your business model greatly as well. If you are running something based on memberships, you are looking to get a lot return visitors. If you are running a EC website, you can have a lot more new visitors.

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How do I evaluate this %-vs-% ratio?

Traffic source. As Sei noted, there is some value to the cumulative figure depending upon your site's goals, however, this figure becomes more immediately useful within various segments such as goal completions, traffic sources, campaign activity, etc.

For example, in the case of traffic sources segmentation, if you're paying (e.g. PPC campaign) for repeat traffic which does not convert then it's time to re-examine your PPC bids.

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