3 Beginner Google Analytics Reports You Need To Understand

The White Chalk Road office has been overflowing with Google Analytics knowledge recently with our annual Google Analytics Workshop taking place at our Perth office last week. Attendees were taken through a hands-on beginner SEO training course by our CEO Charles Ryder and we’ve had plenty of enquiries from participants who already want to learn more.

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is for a business to understand their website analytics. By finding out things like where your visitors are coming from and what they’re looking at on your site you’ll be able to make smarter decisions when it comes to your online marketing strategy.

For those of you who missed out on our training session, we want to point out a few key takeaways together for those on a beginner level about 3 Google Analytics reports you really need to get familiar with today so you can improve your company’s brand awareness and potential revenue.

But firstly let’s just throw a few Google Analytics (GA) misconceptions out the door:

  • GA is absolutely free to use
  • You own your data (there’s no data-sharing with competitors/SEO agencies etc. without your consent)
  • All analytics tools face technical limitations when it comes to the accuracy of data however GA is the most widely used and trusted platform around the globe

GA Report: How many website visitors do I get?

Audience > Overview

This report is typically the first page that’ll open after your login to your Google Analytics account. It’ll tell you the total number of sessions (total number of visits), users (unique visits), page views, pages/session, average session duration, bounce rate and the % of new sessions.

It’s a good report to get an overview of how much traffic your website is getting and under this section you can also drill further down to user demographics, location of each user alongside things like what kind of device they’re on. It may seem a bit creepy knowing you had 10 visitors from Western Australia on your website today who were all on an Apple iPhone but as we say in the marketing game, the better you know your customer, the better you can position your brand.

GA Report: What online channel are my website visitors coming from?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

Do you think all your website visitors are coming from social media? This report can give you the facts. You might be surprised to see that very little traffic comes through from your social media channel when actually most of your visitors are coming from Google.

The Channels Report will tell you how many of your visitors come from Google or other Organic Search engines (Yahoo!, Bing etc. are included here), it’ll tell you how many users come via Paid Search if you’re running AdWords campaigns, how many users come from Social media, how many users type your URL Direct into their browser, if any other websites are sending Referral traffic via a hyperlink to your website and the number of people who come via Email blasts.

You’ll be able to see how long users from each of the above channels spend on your site, how many pages they view and if they’re new users. By analysing this report you may come to the conclusion that less time, effort and money should go into one channel and more into another.

GA Report: What are my website visitors doing on my site?

Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages

Firstly a landing page is a page through which visitors enter your website. Within this report you’ll be able to see what are the most visited pages, which are holding the users attention the most (average sessions duration) and whether visitors are sticking around to see more (pages/session) or are returning visitors (% new sessions). It’s also helpful to see how your blog article and SEO copywriting efforts are performing.

Sometimes small tweaks to pages can improve both bounce rate and the average session duration by making the page and its content more engaging and enticing. If you’re pushed for time, aim to look at one landing page per week and improve its content with these simple yet effective tips. Compare the pages which do have positive stats to those which don’t and look at why this could be.

Don’t be afraid to learn more

When it comes to Google Analytics the world is your oyster. Yes there is a lot to learn but once you start to master the basics you’ll be well on your way to improving your success online. Start from the very beginning by signing up to Google Analytics today and spend some time clicking on all the bits and bobs using the above reports to help you get your feet. Don’t be shy about asking Google your questions either, he doesn’t bite we assure you!

White Chalk Road is proud to be a Google Analytics certified SEO agency, all our Search Marketing Managers have an up to date Google Analytics certification and can help you understand your website and its visitors to give you the best return on investment possible.

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