How to Read Your Google Analytics Reports: The Basics

Google Analytics is a great tool to use to track your website activity.  You may ask yourself:

“How many people come to my site?”

“How do they get there?”

“How long do they stay?”

If you ask any one of those questions, Google Analytics has an answer.  Today I will give you a brief overview of how to get this information, as well as a few things you should look for to help hone your SEO campaigns.  Check out the video and my summary below and good luck!

Once you are logged into analytics and have selected an account, you will start by default on the Audience Overview.  This will show you the following:

Visits: How many people have been to your site

Unique Visits: How many of those visits were different users

Pageviews: The total number of views for the pages on your site

Pages/Visit: The average number of pages a visitor will look at in one visit

Avg. Visit Duration: The average time a visitor stays on your site

The next area you’ll want to look at is the Content Overview.  This will show you what people are looking at when they get to your site.  It reports the following:

Pageviews: Again, the total number of views for all of your pages

Unique Pageviews: The total number of unique views for your pages

Avg. Time on Page: The average time a visitor will stay on any page

You’ll also get a good snapshot of your most popular pages at the bottom right.  This info can help you tailor your SEO efforts.  If you see a page is not very popular (or even listed) you may want to consider deleting it, or promoting it through SEO.  Conversely, if you have a very popular page, you may want to stop promoting it, or add your more important/crucial information to that area.

The last area I suggest you look at is the Traffic Sources Overview.  This shows you how people are getting to your site.  The main metrics are:

Search Traffic: The percent of users that find your site via search (Google or otherwise).

Referral Traffic: The percent of users that find your site via links (“Click here to visit our website”, etc)

Direct Traffic: The percent of users that type the link to get to your site (  Remember in this instance if someone searches instead of typing in the URL – that would count as Search Traffic.

Campaigns: This tracks your custom campaigns.  Since this is a basic overview we won’t go into detail about it.

So hopefully this will help you decipher your reports with Google Analytics, and help you boost your SEO efforts, as well as tailor your site to your visitors – since it is “all about them” (which you already know because you read my last blog post ).  Be sure to share this via your favorite Social Media outlet and have a great day!

Until Next time,

Tom Zobel

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