An Introduction to Trends

GoSquared Analytics Trends dashboard screenshot

GoSquared Trends is the easiest way to see what’s been happening on your website.

While the Now dashboard shows you what’s happening right now on your website, Trends shows you what has been happening over the last day, week, or month. Trends shows you historical data, but it still updates in real-time so you never need to wait for your graphs or numbers to update.

Everything you need is just one click away

A key principle of GoSquared Trends is to give you the web metrics you need in real-time, without any complexity. No clicking through a hierarchy of menus – everything is on one screen with no need to read a manual before you can understand your metrics.

With you wherever you go

Trends works on desktop, and on any of your mobile devices – just open Trends in your browser of choice and the interface will adapt for the screen you’re on. It’s never been easier or faster to grab your key web metrics.

Designed for the whole team

Unlike other web analytics tools, GoSquared isn’t just for the data scientist. Trends is easy to use so the whole team can benefit from the high level web metrics available in GoSquared. From marketing, to the dev team, to the CEO – everyone can make sense of Trends from day one.

Visitors and pageviews over time

Unlike the GoSquared Now dashboard, which shows you how many people are concurrently online in real-time, Trends shows you the number of visitors who have been to your site during a given time frame – e.g. Yesterday, this week, or last month.

You can easily switch between a series of 6 key metrics by hovering over the large numbers in the top left of the Trends dashboard. Click the arrows to cycle through each key metric.

Context out of the box

Unlike other analytics services, GoSquared makes it easy to see how your key metrics are performing over time.

Without any need for setup, you can see how key metrics such as monthly visitors, bounce rate, and engaged time are performing in comparison to past performance.

Smart Predictions

For current (and therefore incomplete) time periods, GoSquared will give you Smart Predictions to give you an idea of whether the current day, week, or month is on track to be a good one. It's never been this easy to understand your key web metrics.

Timeline Metrics, Updating in Real-time

The timeline view allows you to switch between different metrics. Just hover over the big number to reveal arrows you can use to switch between metrics. Use the time frame selector on the right of the timeline to change the period for which you view these metrics over. The metrics you can switch between are:

Visits Over Time

This is the total number of visits, including visits from returning/repeat visitors, over time. An easy way to think about this is the total number of browsing sessions people had on your site. An individual user can view multiple pages during a browsing session. We also track total pageviews and the average number of pageviews per visit.

Key metrics – visits

Visitors Over Time

The total number of unique visitors to your site over time. For example if I visit your site 10 times, I will count as 1 unique visitor but will have contributed 10 visits.

Key metrics – visitors

Pageviews Over Time

This is the total number of pageviews your site has had over time.

Key metrics – pageviews over time

Bounce Rate Over Time

The is the percentage of visitors that bounce from your site, over time. To learn how GoSquared defines a bounced visitor you can read more here.

Key metrics – bounce rate

Engaged Time – Over Time

Somebody may visit your site and forget to close it, potentially leaving it open in a background tab for hours. Because of this, instead of showing the average time a visit lasts we thought its was much more useful to show the average time a user is actually engaged for during their visit. We explain what we classify as engaged here.

Key metrics – engaged time

Pageviews per Visit Over Time

This is the average number of pages that somebody views during one of their visits, over time. Key metrics – pageviews per visit

A Summary of all Your Key Metrics

If you click the arrows all the way to the right you eventually switch through to a summary view giving you an overview of all the previous metrics.

Key metrics – summary


Real-time event tracking with the Events widget in the GoSquared Trends dashboard

The Events widget in Trends enables you to see the top most fired events on your site over any given day, week or month.

Events takes you beyond pageviews and let you track any kind of interaction on your page, whether that’s clicking a button, downloading a .pdf, playing a video or scrolling over a centre area.

Setup event tracking

To setup events tracking, there is a small amount of coding involved. If you are uncomfortable with this, it is probably best to speak to your developer and pass this guide along to them. You can find the documentation on implementing event tracking here.


Real-time engagement metrics in GoSquared Trends

“Actively engaged time per visitor” explained

GoSquared tracks several metrics to see if a visitor is still engaged in a site. The metrics we track to determine if a visitor is engaged in a site is if they are scrolling or have clicked a link. We then assume that they are engaged for a further 15 seconds. If a new tab is opened, effectively putting the site to the background the visitor is then no longer counted as being engaged.

To find the average engaged time per visit for a chosen time period, we take the total Engaged Time and divide it by the number of visits in that period.

Why use this metric?

The internet has changed and so has the way we use it. One page web apps and multiple tabs being open mean that bounce rates are a cumbersome metric for judging engagement. GoSquared created this metric to help you understand very quickly if someone is engaged in your site. We are also completely open as to how it is calculated so that you can understand the analytics behind GoSquared.

How GoSquared calculates bounce rate

Most analytics services have a very basic understanding of what bounce rate is. Most services class a bounce as a visitor who has come to the site and then left after viewing just one page. At GoSquared, we believe measuring bounce rate like that, in this day, is misleading. So we looked at bounce rate from a different angle.

We asked “what is the point of bounce rate? What is it trying to tell you?”. We believe it’s unfair to class a visitor as a bounce if they have actually spent time reading a page and engaging with its content. Just because a visitor has not gone to another page after their first page, it doesn’t mean they’re any less engaged with your site. In GoSquared, we only class a visitor as having bounced if they have spent less than a minute of engaged time on the page. So a visitor who is reading a page, or engaging with a page for more than 60 seconds, will not count as a bounce. We feel this is better because it highlights how many visitors are engaging in content, regardless of the number of pages they have viewed.

Intro to GoSquared Analytics with James Gill