Google Analytics – Many Answers

Google Analytics Logo - 300 pixels

Google Analytics is an impressive piece of software. By adding free tracking code to your website, you are able to gain incredible insights into who is visiting your website and what they are doing on your website.  However the Google Analytics interface can be quite daunting.  There are so many options and choices when you open the interface, many business owners don’t know where to start and what to look for.  In this post, we will walk you through the key reports available.

The Google Analytics interface has many reports available that are organized into these four categories;

  • Audience
  • Acquisition
  • Behavior
  • Conversions

Audience Reports – Who?

The audience reports provide the “who” information regarding your website visitors.  There are many details about the visitor to review and investigate.  In the screen shot below, you will choices such as: demographics, interests, geo, behavior, technology, mobile, custom, benchmarking, etc.  This data will tell you if someone was viewing your website from their smart phone or a tablet.  It will let you know if the site visitor is from Vancouver or Toronto. Google also tracks if the person viewed your site from the Firefox or Chrome browser.  Google also knows if this is the first visit for this individual or a return visit. By analyzing this data, you can get a very clear picture of who your site visitors are and what technology they are using.

Google Analytics - Audience Reports

From these Audience reports you can answer these questions.

  • Are the number of website visitors increasing over time?
  • What is the location of the visitor? Country? Province? City?
  • Has this individual been on my website before?
  • Are they using a desktop or mobile device to view my website?
  • Which mobile device are they using?
  • What is the age category and gender of the visitor?

Acquisition Reports – Where?

The acquisition reports provide information on “where” your website visitor came from.  How did this individual find your website?  Did they come from a paid online ad or a search result or some other route?  One of the most useful overview reports from this section is the Channels report.  The Channels report (shown below) allows you to review where your website visitor was before they landed on your website.

Google Analytics - Acquistion Reports

The data within the Acquisition Reports can answer these questions.

  • How many visitors came to my website via a Google search result over the last six months?
  • How much of my website traffic originates from social media?
  • Does my paid Yellow Pages listing draw traffic to my website?  If so, how much?
  • Are my paid ads engaging website visitors?
  • What is my website’s click thru rate for specific search terms?

Behavior Reports – What?

The behavior reports present the details of “what” your website visitors are doing on your website.  What pages are they looking at? Are they downloading content or clicking on email links or completing contact forms?  If you happen to have an internal search feature for your website, Google will also provide you with the search terms individuals have been entering. This information can provide you with valuable details regarding the structuring of the content on your website.

Google Analytics - Behavior Reports

This Behavior Reports can address the following questions.

  • What is the most visited page on my website?
  • What are the 10 top search terms for the internal search box on my website?
  • How many times are the PDFs on my website downloaded?
  • Which page on my website is holding visitor’s attention the longest?
  • Are visitors playing the videos on my website?  If so, which one is the most popular?

Conversion Reports – How?

Conversion reports expand on the the action(s) taken by a visitor to your website. “How” are these visitors converting? Through Google Analytics you are able to create defined events then track them as website goals.  For example, you can track all the visitors that stay on your website for more than 3 minutes.  Or you can track the number of successfully completed contact forms. If you are running an e-commerce website, the analytics reports provide detailed order, sales, and product performance information.

Google Analytics - Conversion Reports

This is where you can find answers for the following.

  • What are the top 10 selling products throughout the 3rd quarter of this year?
  • How many of the website visitors stay on the website longer than 4 minutes?
  • Are there more individuals completing my online contact form this month as compared to the same month last year?
  • What is the average percentage of visitors viewing more than 4 pages of my website for the last 6 months?
  • Are my monthly online sales increases?  How do these sales compare with the same high season period last year?

After you understand the type of information available at your finger tips, it will be easier to look for the answer to your unique question.

In our series of Google Analytics posts, we will be covering many more topics in the coming months.  Check back often to see what new information is available to help you further understand your website visitors. As you become more and more proficient with Google Analytics you will see how this information can help you make informed business decisions for the future of your enterprise.

Building Successful Web Strategies

Building Successful Web Strategies