Back to Basics: Google Analytics


Everyone wants to know what’s working in their business and where they can make changes to increase sales or conversions. Google Analytics can help.

Let’s walk through the sections of Google’s Analytics application to help give you some clarity on the tool and it’s capabilities.


This section of analytics provides you with insights into your visitor breakdown; New vs. Returning, Average visit duration and pageviews. If you dig in deeper you will also be able to review the mobile applications that are accessing your website and the details of their visit. Pay special attention to the item marked Bounce Rate – this number will give you an idea of how your visitors value your site at first glance. A bounce indicates that someone landed on your website and then left without taking any additional action. Like opening the door to a restaurant looking around and then closing the door. The customer never really went inside. That is a bounce.

Traffic Sources:

In this area of Google Analytics we can review where our visitors are coming from. The overview tab gives you a graph with 4 categories: Search Traffic, Referral Traffic, Direct Traffic and Campaigns. On the left of your screen you can expand the section that is titled Sources and drill-down into these 4 categories.

  • Search will include both organic and paid results. That is, if you are running a Google AdWords campaign.
  • Referral traffic shows you what outside websites are driving traffic into your website.
  • Direct visitors are those who jumped right into your website with out using a search engine or a referring inbound link to your website. They either typed your URL directly into their browser or they have bookmarked your site.
  • Campaign will show you the specifics on your PPC advertising if you have a Google Ad Campaign running.

The Social tab was added some time ago under the Traffic Source section. This tool will show you a breakout of traffic entering your website from various social platforms. My favorite feature in this section is the Social Visitor Flow. It shows the places people entered from and where they went on your website.


Where do people spend the most time on your website? This is an important question to ask and answer. This section of Google Analytics will guide you through understanding what pages on your website are the most popular. You can also review how much time is being spent on each of page. Drill-down into one of the areas in this section titled Exit Pages. This section will tell you the pages from which users leave your website. This can be very helpful for understanding what’s having an impact on you losing a visitor.

Google Analytics can provide you with a greater understanding about your website visitors. Spend some time reviewing your stats and it will give you a better idea of what your customers want and need from your business.

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