In Part 1 of our Google Analytics series, I showed you how to add the Analytics code to your website. In this post, I’ll show you what data gets collected and help you figure out what it’s telling you about your website.
Let’s take a look at the “Standard Reporting” for my brand new website. This site hasn’t launched yet, so the only traffic we’ll see is the one or two times I’ve visited it while adding the Analytics code.
Audience – who is visiting our site.
Demographics – what countries are they located in and what languages do they speak
Behavior – are they new here or returning visitors.
Technology – what browsers are they using, what network are they on?
Mobile – how many are using mobile and what devices are they using
Traffic Sources – where are they coming from
Sources – are they here via a link, a search or a direct visit
Search – what search terms led them to you
Google Analytics Graphs
The graphs take up most of the screen and give you a quick visual clue as to how your site is doing. Let’s take a look at what’s here:
That great big graph on the top is the number of VISITS in the last month. You can change it to hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. You can even change the time frame and compare it to a previous time period. As you can see, my new site has only 2 visits today.
Below this big graph, you’ll see a bunch of smaller graphs and a pie chart. That pie chart tells you how many of your visitors were new vs. returning. Click on any one of those little graphs and it will take the place of the Visits chart so you can see the data better.
Visits – this is how many times someone has navigated to any of the pages on your website that have the tracking code installed.
Unique Visitors – If someone visits twice, they will only be counted as one unique visitor.
Pageviews – how many total pages have been viewed. If a page is viewed more than once, it gets counted each time someone looks at it.
Pages/Visit – when someone comes to your site, how many pages do they look at?
Average visit duration – how long does someone linger on your site? If it’s a few seconds, you know that they didn’t find what they were looking for.
Bounce Rate – this is always fun to explain: it is the percentage of visitors who visit your site and “bounce” (leave the site) instead of staying to view other pages.
% New visits – how many of the people haven’t visited your website before
In Part 3, we’ll look at a real example and talk about some strategies we might take. In the meantime, if you have questions about Analytics – ask them below.