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Digital Marketing

7 Google Analytics Basics

Google Analytics is a free tool that measures sales and provides insights into how visitors arrived, used, and interacted with your site. If you already have Google Analytics but don’t really know how to use it, here are seven basic and valuable pieces of information I always check and include in the monthly reports we provide to our clients.

Audience Overview
This is a quick summary of the site activity for the time frame you selected. The importance of the information in the overview page depends on your goals. For example, if your objective is to increase awareness and traffic, then percentage of new visits and number of unique visitors are important. But if your goal is for visitors to actually read the content on your pages (like on a blog), then average visit duration and pages viewed per visit are critical. Generally speaking bounce rate (the percentage of visits where the visitor arrived and did not navigate to any other page) always needs to be 50% or less. The lower the better!
Audience Demographics
This page has two parts: Language and Location. The Language page shows the different languages of your site visitors based on the language settings of their browser. This is very useful when you own a site that is multi-lingual and want to understand visitor’s behavior by language, or when you are considering adding another language to your site. The data is divided by different languages including variations of the same language like US English and Great Britain English.
The Location page shows visitors performance by location including country, region, and city. This information will help you understand if your target market is actually visiting the site or not.
Mobile Audience
If you are considering investing on a mobile site, this page is great to understand how many of your visitors come to the site using a mobile device, which devices they used, and how they behaved.
Traffic Sources Overview
This one is critical for Search Engine Marketing. The information shows if visitors came to the site from a search engine, another website, or by typing the site address. The overview also shows the top 10 keywords used by search engine traffic, the top 10 search engines used, the top 10 referring websites, and the top 10 landing pages for direct traffic.
Social Overview
Especially if you have a presence in social media, it is important to understand if your social efforts are bringing visitors to your website. This page will show you how many site visitors came from social media broken down by social network.
Content Overview
This page shows the 10 pages on your site that received the most views. This is great when understanding which pages should be improved, which pages are valuable to visitors, and which pages won’t affect visitors if eliminated.
Goals Overview
Conversion tracking can be added to Google Analytics by clicking on the Admin tab and then on the Goals tab. By adding a goal you can track:

  • Visits to a specific page, for example a thank you page after registering to a newsletter or submitting a contact form.
  • Visitors that stayed a certain amount of time on the website.
  • Visitors that visited certain number of pages during their visit.
  • An Event.

I highly recommend adding goals because it is an opportunity to obtain additional information about visitors’ actions that are valuable to your business.

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Valeria Brotherton

As an XD Sr. Business Consultant at Perficient, Valeria specializes in Digital Marketing, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click (PPC), Social Media, Analytics Reporting, and Content Strategy. Originally from Costa Rica, Valeria holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Finance, a master’s degree from Georgia State University in Marketing, and a Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter Certification. Outside the office, she enjoys event planning, blogging, travelling, dancing, and spending time with her family, friends, and Mila (her puppy).

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