Google Analytics can often be confusing for some business owners. Its metrics are no doubt invaluable for those who are serious about growing their business, but the overwhelming amount of data—when not handled and segmented properly—can make it difficult to find valuable insights. It can be confusing to figure out which numbers you should pay attention to and what can be ignored. It can be particularly puzzling to determine which Google Analytics reports you really need to gain strategic intelligence on your website’s performance.
Some business owners are so overwhelmed that they opt out and simply use Google Analytics to examine basic data. Don’t make this same mistake! In order to grow your online business, take advantage of the insight that can be generated by Google Analytics. You should look at these three indispensable reports if you want accurate and valuable information about your website’s performance and about your customers. They can tell you not only about how your business is doing, but also what opportunities might be available.
Report #1: Channels
Path: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
This is a very important report showing how each marketing channel is helping to bring in traffic to your site, and how the traffic from each of these channel is holding up.
Where are your visitors coming from? This report shows you the sources, including the following:
- Organic search – Visitors who found you in organic search results
- Direct – People who typed your website’s URL directly into their browsers, or clicked a bookmark
- Referral – Visitors who clicked a link on another website that pointed to you (such as blogs or reviews that mention your company with a link)
- Social – Visitors who clicked a link that was shared via social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter
- Email – People who click a link on your email newsletter
- Paid Search – Traffic from your search advertising campaigns
The ‘Channels’ report show you the behavior of the visitors coming into your website by comparing sessions from each channel based on several additional metrics including bounce rate and average session duration. Behavior metrics show you the quality of the traffic coming from each of the various channels. Quantity isn’t everything, after all. What you really want to see is if visitors from these different channels are actually staying on your site. This report also generates conversion metrics, which show you what channels drive the visitors who ultimately make a purchase.
Report #2: Landing Pages
Path: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
This report helps you identify the most important front-facing pages of your website. It essentially shows how many users land on which page, ultimately highlighting which parts of your website act as the ‘welcome’ page for most people.
You might be surprised that people do not necessarily land on your homepage. For many of them, your product pages or even blogs are their first experience of your site. You might want to improve the first pages they see when they arrive. For example, you can include information about your company or contact numbers on those pages.
The ‘Landing Pages’ report also allows you to spot check which pages are performing very poorly compared to others, so you can implement appropriate optimization strategies on them.
Report #3: Goals Overview
Path: Conversions > Goals > Overview
Arguably the most important report for any business owner, this shows how your online marketing efforts are influencing your bottom line. Additionally, this report shows which
Source/ or Medium referred how many conversions. Do you have multiple goals—and are some of them more important than others? Then go to ‘Goal Option’ and analyze each goal data separately.
Goals vary depending on the nature of the website. It may include buying something (in the case of an e-commerce site) or submitting contact information (in the case of a lead generation site). Defining your website’s goals is one of the most fundamental components of an analytics measurement plan. Properly configuring your goals allows Analytics to generate critical information that gives you maximum business insight. Without such information, it can be very hard—or downright impossible—to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns.
Let Us Help You
It’s crucial that you analyze your Google Analytics reports regularly to ensure that you don’t miss important traffic and conversion trends. But like most business owners, you probably don’t have the time or the technical skills to take full advantage of the insight generated by web analytics. It’s often more practical to let experts analyze and measure your website’s data and ensure that your marketing goals are met. Contact SEOValley™, today.