Now that your tracking has been implemented and data is starting to come into Google, it’s time to take a look at how to view Google Analytics data and standard reports available in Google. These reports offer insight into specific data allowing you to see patterns and opportunities for enhancement in your marketing and sales funnel. Many of the reports are formatted the same from an organizational standpoint. In the top right you can click the dates to change the range from 7 days to the last 30 days or a custom range. Here, you also have the ability to compare the current data to a previous range such as last 7 days, last month or YoY. Under the title of the report is where many of the benefits of Google will be found. If you click on “All Visits” a dropdown will open with many choices to segment your data. Segmenting your data allows you to see different types of visitors. For example you can segment to see first time visitors, return visitors, converters, or non-converters. And this section also allows you to compare these side by side for easier consumption.
Many of the standard reports display the same type information but geared to the specific topic such as audience, behavior, or acquisition. Here’s a breakdown of all the major reports and how they will help you and your company.
Your audience is vital to your company. This report will tell you everything you want to know about your visitors. Items such as demographics, interests, geography / location, how often they visit your site, and the technology they use to visit your site. Be aware though that no personal identification information (PII) may be stored in Google Analytics.
Acquisition information is becoming ever more important to marketers and designers alike. In the acquisition section you can find traffic broken down by channels and further into specific source / medium. The seven acquisition channels are: Direct, Email, Organic Search, Paid Search, Referral, Social, and Other. A source / medium sits within a specific channel. For example the social channel could be broken down further into sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Organic Search could also be broken down via Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Ideally all traffic will fall into one of the first six channels (all except Other). The Other channel tends to be a catch all or channel where items are either not labeled at all or mislabeled. You can also connect Google Analytics to AdWords. This will allow you to learn more about search words, PPC campaigns, and SEO.
These reports will tell you everything you want to know about your content and how it resonates with your visitors. The pages on your site can be broken down into 3 groups: all pages, top entry pages, and exit pages. All pages is just that, a detailed view of all pages on your site. By default they are shown from most widely viewed to least viewed. The entry pages, also called landing pages, allow you to see the first page people see on entry to your site. Many people think that the home page is the only way visitors enter your site. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Typically a website has anywhere from 2 to 5 entry points. These tend to be product or services pages, blog articles, and yes, the homepage. As for exit pages, these are defined as the last page where a goal or interaction was recorded. This isn’t necessarily the last page a visitor viewed.
This is why you’re here. Why you set up Google Analytics, and why you are optimizing your website – goals and goal conversions. Goals can be found under Conversion —> Goal —> Overview. Here you see total conversions and your current conversion rate and where you can compare to historical rates. You can also see the path one took in any specific conversion. Did your converter view your new product page? Or skip it? And the channel(s) used to get that goal completion? Was it a single channel? Or multi-channel? All of those questions can be answered in the conversion report.
And that’s it. Armed with knowledge and a desire to understand your visitors you will become unstoppable. You’ll learn what your visitors like, what they don’t, what they want more of, and the best way to give it to them. With a solid grasp of the fundamentals, the more time you spend in Google Analytics the better. You will learn and understand how it works, it’s nuances, and how to tease info out. You’ll be the office hero and the go to person on analytics in no time.