February 20th, 2015
Tips, Tools and Tutorials
Google Analytics is the world’s most popular web-based statistics service and we want to help you get on board! Acquired by Google in 2005 from Urchin Software Corporation, Google Analytics is primarily used for analysis of website traffic. The service offers easy-to-use reports that provide valuable information and can help you reach specific marketing goals. The purpose of this post is to give you an introduction to four of the most essential Google Analytics reports.
Continue reading to uncover:
Increasing your business starts with understanding your audience. The source/medium report provides a great overview of general website traffic information that can help you get into the minds of your viewers—what they like to look at and interact with vs. what they dismiss as unimportant. Focus on data in these columns:
– The number of views in a specific period. You can also see which percentage of those are new sessions and the number of new users in the next two columns.
– The percentage of viewers that left after visiting only one page. You can also see the average number of pages visited per session and the average session duration in next two columns.
In the top right hand corner of any of these reports you can edit the terms for the data that is represented. Select a date range to view data within a certain period or compare data from separate date ranges by checking the “compare to” box.
Measure the success of your marketing efforts. Maybe you have increased your social media activity, enhanced your website content, or invested in paid advertising—the results of those changes can be found here. Take a look at this data to find out what’s working and what’s not. Compare changes from one period to another or simply view the activity that takes place within a certain date range. This data ultimately helps you attract quality traffic to your site by observing where the viewers are coming from and then taking action to hone in on reaching your desired audience.
Tip: View your conversion rate changes in the top right hand corner of the channels report. Conversions are website visitors who take a specific action you want them to, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or getting a quote.
How are people looking at your site? With the rapidly changing world of technology, there are an increasing number of ways in which we can browse the Internet. According to a 2014 comScore report, the use of mobile technology (smartphones and tablets) for Internet activity has surpassed that of desktop use. Find out how your site is being viewed and adapt your marketing strategy to coincide with the data. Solutions for adapting your content to other mediums:
The queries report shows you the exact words that people are typing into search engines that result in finding your webpage. This report is incredibly helpful in optimizing your content, showing up on relevant searches, and growing your business. Getting to this report is a bit more advanced than the previous ones in this post because there is an extra step. However, stay with me here and I promise that the data you discover will be worth the effort.
Step One – Click through Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries—and you will likely arrive at this page.
Note: If you have already linked Webmaster Tools to Google Analytics then scroll down to “Now Google Analytics Can Access Information From Webmaster Tools”
Step Two – Click “Set up Webmaster Tools data sharing”
Step Three – Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Edit”
Step Four – Select the desired URL associated with the Google Analytics property (your selection will be displayed where the yellow arrow is pointing).
Step Five – Get back to the “queries” report once Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics have been linked.
Take a look at the most commonly searched words that are linking viewers to your site. Optimize your web pages by strategically incorporating some of these keywords. If any of these words are not relevant to your site, then you should consider removing them from your content.
Note: Also take a look at the landing pages report, which is found by selecting “landing pages” on the left-hand side navigation bar. This will show you the pages on your site that the viewers are seeing first (it is probably not your home page). Assess this data and determine how you can tweak your content on certain pages to attract the desired viewers and point them to a specific place.
While keyword research is not an exact science, it can be very helpful in increasing quality traffic to your site.
Whether the goal of your marketing campaign is an increase in traffic, lead generation, e-commerce transactions, or brand awareness, understanding these essential reports will help you track the success of your efforts. And when you have insight into how your campaign is performing, you can consistently make key adjustments to improve it.
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