Google Analytics is a free website and app analytics tool to help you track and analyze your website traffic. If you have a website, it’s important to have Google Analytics set up to help understand how your website is doing. If you need help setting up Google Analytics, we put together an article with Three Simple Ways to Setup Google Analytics for Your WordPress Website.
With Google Analytics set up, be sure that you are also tracking your goals to get a deeper meaning to your website traffic. Goal tracking can include anything from sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a file. To get even more detailed goal tracking, you can consider setting up Google Tag Manager.
When Google Tag Manager is set up alongside Google Analytics, you’re able to collect much more data. For example, you will be able to track how far someone scrolls on your web page, form submissions, and even button clicks. Although Google Tag Manager is designed to help marketers easily manage your own code, it’s important to understand the technical knowhow of how it works. Be sure to talk to a GTM professional before jumping into setting up new code and breaking your website.
With Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager properly set up, we can now get greater insight into the data collected on your website. But where do you start? Here we have listed 5 important analytics reports to check out regularly.
The audience overview report can be found under the main Google Analytics account. It shows you the number of sessions over the last thirty days. This report is great for providing insights into your overall traffic to determine if there are any sudden spikes or drops in the number of visitors. This report will also provide you with other important data points such as:
You can also set up the data to compare to the previous period to see how you are faring. If there are any discrepancies between the previous period, it may be time to look into what has caused that change.
At the bottom of the Audience Overview report, you can also find quick links to general demographic, system, and mobile data. You can click on each of these sections to find out more detail on the language spoken, location, operating system and screen resolution of your audience. This information is helpful in providing more context to your visitors and helps you find out what platforms and devices you need to optimize for.
The Source/Medium report is a very useful report that tells you not just how users are interacting with your site, but also where they are coming from. This report can be found under Acquisitions > All Traffic > Source/Medium.
Sources are the actual domains (ie. example.com) or search engines (ie. google) that are driving traffic to your website. Google helps by filling these in automatically. If you are running campaigns on different partner websites or domains, you should consider creating custom Source URLs using UTM tagging.
Medium, on the other hand, refers to the general category of the source. For example, organic search (organic), cost-per click paid search (cpc), web referral (referral).
In the Source/Medium report, it combines the source and medium to demonstrate where and how a visitor is arriving at your website. Examples of source/medium may include google/organic, example.com/referral, newsletter0701/email, which would be derived using custom UTM tagging.
This report is useful to determine which traffic sources are providing the best website visitors, because it also provides details on their average session duration and bounce rate. For example, if you are seeing a traffic source that is providing a lot of new visitors, you may consider partnering with similar websites/organizations to help drive even more visitors.
The All Pages Behaviour report, which can be found under Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages, shows the top pages where people interact with your site. This report is a great way to analyze which of your webpages are doing well, and which ones require further investigation.
When you first arrive on the All Pages report, you can see the pages sorted by the top pageviews. This gives you a great idea of which pages you should pay the most attention to, and which ones you might be neglecting. You can also sort by unique pageviews, average time spent on page, entrances, bounce rate, percent of exits and page value.
By sorting by the Entrance column, you can see which pages people most often land on first. This will likely be your home page. If not, it might be time to review the pages that are getting the most traffic, and see what you can do to replicate on other pages!
Similarly, if you sort by the Bounce Rate column, you can see which pages have the highest bounce rate, or the pages where who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. The average bounce rate varies depending on your industry, but it’s always good to compare to your historical records to see if your bounce rates have suddenly increased.
There are a lot of things to look out for when it comes to your website’s health, but the All Pages report is a great place to see an overview of how the different pages are doing.
The Site Speed Overview report can be found under Behaviour > Site Speed > Overview. This report shows you which pages are loading slowly and why. Most people won’t spend time on pages that take too long to load, so it’s important to pay attention to any red flags here.
On this report, you’ll see the average page load times, average redirection times, average domain lookup times, average server connection time, average server response time, and average page download time. You want to ensure there are no spikes in the average load times, otherwise this might be indicating that something is broken. You should try to keep your average page load times to 1 – 3 seconds.
As you make adjustments and additions to your website, it’s important to check in on the Site Speed Overview report to identify any potential issues before you lose website visitors or customers. You can also set up your reporting to compare load times on desktop versus mobile site speeds, as more and more people are browsing on their mobile phones, it’s important to gauge how your site is doing.
What are the goals you have for your website visitors? Are you looking for more subscribers? Encourage video views? Generate more sales leads? It’s important to set up Goals on Google Analytics in order to see how you’re doing with these goals!
To set up your Goals, go to Settings > View > Goals. As mentioned above, goals can include anything from sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a file, so be sure to set this up properly! Our team is available for consultations to help guide you through building the right goals for your business.
Once your goals are set up, you can see them in action under the Goals Overview Report. This report can be found under Conversions > Goals > Overview. This report shows you the pages where the goals were completed, and also the Source/Medium link to see where converting traffic originated from. This is a great place to see where and how your goals came from, and is arguably the most important report to review regularly!
Whether you already have Google Analytics set up or not or dig in more in your Google Analytics data, we hope this article was a helpful reminder of some of the key reports to pay attention to on a regular basis. To provide a deeper analysis of how your website is doing, our team is equipped to help you with a data audit or help you build custom reports to get a personalized understanding of your business’ data needs.
If you have any questions about Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Custom Reports or anything in between, our team is here to help! Contact us today.
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