A brief introduction of the main sections of Google Analytics

This in an excerpt from a longer article at TrendBlog for a more thorough treatment of the topic, please visit TrendBlog

Audience

Google Analytics Audience

The audience section covers the characteristics and behavior of your site visitors. In the different parts you can find out about your visitors’ location, how they browsed your site and if they used a mobile device, for example.

Some important stats you should know about:

Unique Visitors:

Number of actual visitors who visited your site in a defined period of time.

Pages / Visit: Number of pages a person visited before he left the website. The higher the value the more engaged are your visitors (one possible explanation).

% New Visits:

Here you can see the ratio of new visitors against returning ones. If you hardly get any returning ones, then there might be something wrong. Maybe there’s no good reason to come back.

Bounce Rate:

This percentage tells you how many visitors leave your site (bounce) without taking any action, such as visiting another page. A bounce does not have to be negative, though. It can also mean that a visitor found what he was looking for and had no reason to visit other pages (try to give him that reason by optimizing your site). On the other hand, a high bounce rate can also mean that your website is poorly optimized and doesn’t offer a good user experience and easy navigation.

Traffic Sources

Google Analytics Traffic Sources

Obviously, this part offers you insights about where your site visitors came from. The stats in this part are one of the most important ones, since you can see how many people are coming from

  • search engines
  • external sites linking to you (referral traffic)
  • paid search results
  • social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit …)

Analyzing your traffic sources can give you insights on how effective your various marketing efforts are. For example, if one channel brings in a good amount of traffic, you should consider scaling up your efforts there. The other way around, if one is performing bad you have to change your approach.

Content

Google Analytics Content

In the content section, all data concerning your single pages can be found. You are able to see how each page is performing and how long it takes for your pages to load. This metric is a major factor of visitor satisfaction. The longer a site loads the more visitor get frustrated and bounce. Check out our WordPress and CDN guide to increase your site speed.

The Events subsection allows you to track pre-defined activities on your website which Analytics is not able to, such as clicks on certain buttons or how far a form was filled out. If you want to start tracking events, check out Anna Lewis’s guide on event tracking.

Another interesting subsection is Experiments. There, Analytics is offering you the opportunity to conduct tests on your website. You can define two variations of the same page and Analytics will direct visitors to both pages and provide you with performance data, so that you see which one works better for you. Here you can find out more about Google Analytics Experiments.

Conversions

Google Analytics Conversions

This section is all about tracking defined goals, and seeing what channels were used to complete these goals. Google Analytics lets you even see what channels assisted a conversion and which conversion paths visitors mostly go through.

If you happen to have an ecommerce shop you can set up ecommerce tracking to receive transaction data, such as product performances, purchase amounts, and billing locations.

“With ecommerce tracking, you can better understand the value of your digital business. Use the Ecommerce Reports to segment and analyze your data, and discover relationships between your marketing campaigns, visitor engagement, and transactions.” – Google

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