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What You Need to Know to Use Google Analytics Effectively


Okay now as I’ve said many times before knowledge is power and put very simply if you don’t know who’s visiting your site and from where it’s very difficult to benchmark and decide on a clear marketing strategy that will return good results, so listen up to this guide to Google Analytics.

Measuring Your Success & Failure is Vital

Google Analytics is a free tool that’s one of the best for analyzing traffic – that is, if you know how to use it right.

The trouble with Google Analytics is that it gives you too much information. It can give you something like 85 different reports covering every aspect of your site. Do you really need all of that? I’d say you probably don’t.

 Instead, you should focus on a few key areas:

Referring Sources

This analytic tells you where your site visitors are coming from. You can find out what percentage are coming from organic search or referring sites. It also tells you how many people clicked through from which specific site.

Basically, you can find out everything you need to build backlinks successfully. You’ll see which backlinks are getting you traffic and which aren’t. It even tells you how long they stay on your page to help you see if you’re targeting the right traffic.

Page Analytics

Analytics tells you which pages are your best. In other words, where people are spending the most time. For each page, it shows you how long people stay there. This shows you which content is working and which isn’t. You can then rework the pages that have high bounce rates.

New and Returning Visitors

Another indicator of whether your content is working is the New vs. Returning Visitors analytic. If people are coming back to your site over and over, this means you’ve got good, relevant content that they enjoy.

If they come once and don’t come again, this means you’ve got problems. Your content may not be high quality enough. Or you may be targeting the wrong people. Maybe you’ve got your backlinks in the wrong places. The visitors you’re getting aren’t interested in your offer.

Keyword Tracking

Google Analytics offers a number of tracking tools that show you which words are helping you rank in search engines. You can manage your entire keyword campaign with nothing more than this free service. This helps you tweak your marketing campaign.

Time and Date

On the Visits page, you can find out when people are visiting your site. It tells you the times and days when you get the most traffic. This helps you plan when to post or update your content.


The compare feature is one of my favourites. You can take your analytics for the last month and compare them to the previous month. It shows the percentage up or down for each single analytic. If you see a traffic spike, you can use the same function to narrow it down to just that day.

Get into a regular routine of checking your analytics a couple of times a week. I also recommend setting aside an entire afternoon every so often to really dig deep and analyze everything. Compare with reports from the past to look for overall trends to make changes in your traffic strategy.

Toby Russell

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