Web analytics has become an essential aspect of online business. The patterns we can find when we look closely at data about traffic to and from our websites can inform our strategies for every aspect of our marketing, promotion, and web design. One of the leading platforms for discovering and interpreting trends in our data is Google Analytics. Google gives you the option of reading a number of different reports on your site’s traffic. Here are six reports you should be keeping up with.
1. Organic Search
If you’re interested in analytics at all, chances are you’re also interested in search engine optimization. Google Analytics provides you with the opportunity to evaluate the results of your efforts or plan new ones with its organic search report. The report will show you which keywords are generating the most traffic for your site. The organic search report is guaranteed to inform your SEO strategy.
2. Mobile Performance Report
The web is going mobile in a major way, with the lion’s share of web traffic now coming from mobile devices. This means your site must be prepared to handle visitors using phones and tablets; a solid desktop site just isn’t good enough. The mobile performance report lets you know how well optimized your site is for mobile users and how you can improve. It also clues you into what mobile devices your visitors are using, which can provide valuable insight into your demographics.
3. Direct Traffic
While the Organic Search report will let you know what keywords are bringing people in from search engines, the Direct Traffic report will let you know how many people are directly accessing your website, either by clicking a bookmark or typing in your address. An increase in direct traffic means more people are becoming aware of your site or your product. Keep an eye on this to gauge how many people are becoming dedicated repeat visitors.
4. Content Efficiency Report
Older models for generating traffic often encouraged site owners to load their sites with content to attract search engines, but more sophisticated algorithms are rendering this spammy strategy obsolete. This report will let you know what content on your site is doing the trick of actually engaging visitors, and what content is leading to the all-important conversion from visitor to customer. The content efficiency report will also show you what content is getting shared the most.
5. E-Commerce Overview
One of the more in-depth reports you can dive into is the e-commerce overview. You can access it by clicking on “Conversions” under Reports, then “E-commerce” and “Overview.” The resulting report will show you what percentage of your visitors were converted into customers, as well as your revenue and average order value; all charted so you can see changes over time. It’s a great snapshot of your site’s growth that can help you plan for expansion.
6. Landing Pages Report
Your site is probably set up with a linear user experience in mind, with users navigating to your intended landing page and moving through the site from there. However, the reality is that people end up on all sorts of different pages when they navigate to your site. By clicking “Behavior,” followed by “Site Content” and “Landing Pages,” you can see which pages users are actually landing on, as well as information on the bounce rate for each page. If you have tons of users landing on a particular page and bouncing away quickly, you’ll know to improve that page’s content to keep them on your site longer.
As the creator of the world’s leading search engine, Google is in the business of information, and analytics are just another type of info they excel at gathering and packaging. The six reports identified above are great places to start your data dive.
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