>Unknown facts About Google Analytics Reports
In this article, I will be looking at the different kind of reports in Google Analytics, and what each section covers including the basic functions available, how to navigate and read reports, the different information in the traffic source reports, insights available in audience behaviour and website content reports, and reports on conversions completed onsite.
There are four main reporting areas in Google Analytics. These are:
#1 Audience – who is coming to your website
#2 Acquisitions – how they are getting to your website
#3 Behavior – what they are doing on your website
#4 Conversion – what actions they are taking to complete set goals
Each of these areas has many areas with in-depth information that enable you to gain valuable insights.
These four reports help you to get a full picture of what users are doing on your website, including the full user journey they take from landing page to exit page, to how they are engaging with your content and interacting with it, and what actions they may be taking, from downloads to sign-ups to purchases.
These reports can be used to make informed decisions about optimizing your website, and also provide an understanding of how successful your campaigns are and how they could be better optimized too.
Areas to look at for specifically optimizing your website can include:
- Identifying and removing blocks in conversion paths by looking at drop off rates at different stages of the journey
- Understanding and improving poor content by looking at what content your audience is looking for and engaging with
To understand how your web campaigns are performing, you can look at:
- Where your traffic is being driven from – which campaigns are driving the most traffic?
- The quality of traffic from campaigns – do they bounce off the website or actively engage with the content?
- Whether or not traffic from campaigns are converting or not
Audience reports provide insight into the users of the website, including the basic numbers of sessions and users, whether they are new or returning, where they are geographically located, their age range and gender, and information on what devices or technology they are using when visiting your website.
This information is contained within the different reporting areas in the Audience report section, as shown here.
Acquisition reports provide insight into how users are coming to your website – what sources, campaigns or channels are driving the traffic there.
The main area to look at is within the All Traffic section and this provides details by looking at the source by channel, using treemaps to highlight the most popular sources, detailed source and medium reports, and full referral information for traffic.
The channels report provides information on the main channels that can drive traffic to a website. Google Analytics uses defined, default channels and settings, but these can also be customised in your account.
The main channels it uses are direct, referral, paid search, organic search, social, display, email, and affiliates.
The Source/Medium report provides further detail on the source of the traffic and the category of that source – the medium. It is more granular than the Channels report.
The main sources of traffic are usually:
- The search engine name, for example, Google
- Referring website name, for example, ireland.com and
- Direct traffic with no defined source, as shown here as direct
As mentioned, the medium is the main category for the source. The main mediums of traffic are:
When Google Ads and Analytics are integrated and you have AdWords campaign data in Analytics, you will be able to:
- Further, analyze user activity from AdWords traffic
- Understand how AdWords traffic is engaging with your content and
- How your AdWords campaigns are performing and converting onsite
When Google Search Console data is integrated into Google Analytics, you will have greater insight into data from searches, as opposed to users.
The main benefit of integrating Google Search Console is accessing search query data. While Google Analytics no longer provides most keyword data from organic sources due to encryption, Google Search Console provides insights into the queries your website got visibility and clicks for.
You will also be able to see the landing pages of organic traffic, devices used to drive organic traffic, and the geographical locations of organic searches and users.
Social reports will provide further detail on social channel traffic and provide a better insight into social integration and engagement. With social media plug-in integration – which requires additional custom tracking – you can measure social interaction onsite with likes and shares as well.
Campaign reports will integrate all campaign activity, including AdWords and custom tagged campaigns, alongside keywords data – when available – from organic and paid channels too. This will allow you to view and analyze all campaigns in one report, to compare performance and identify the best performing campaigns.
Within the campaigns section, you can also import and analyze cost data related to the campaign.
Generating detailed traffic reports is possible in the Acquisition reporting section. As well as the default reports available, you can customize the reports depending on your requirements and what information you are looking to explore your audience.
For example, as shown here, you can add secondary dimensions to the reports, to cross-reference the report with another dimension, such as looking at the source and device at the same time. You can also use the search box or advanced search feature to filter the report results and look at specific areas. You can also change the reporting timeline to suit, for instance, specific campaign dates.
Finally, you can save or export your reports for easy access later, or for sharing with other stakeholders. These features are available in any reporting interface in Google Analytics.
Behaviour reports provide insight into the main session data such as page views, average time on page, bounce rate and exit rate.
Detailed reports are available to look deeper into how users engage with your content, such as looking at the top landing pages and the most visited pages, information on searches conducted on the website if you have a search feature, any events you are tracking on the website, and information on how the website behaves for your users with page load detail.
The site speed reports can be very insightful when trying to understand issues related to poor performing pages and can sometimes explain high bounce rates or low conversion on pages.
Understanding whether page load might be impacting behaviour can help you optimize site speed and provide a better user experience and therefore higher conversion rates.
The detailed information about searches conducted on-site and event interactions can help you understand more about what content your audience is looking for, most interested in, engaging with most and also the least interesting content. All this enables you to improve and optimize the content for your audience.
Event tracking allows you to track additional elements and interaction on your website apart from an activity which loads the page. This includes clicks, and video and form interaction, which might not otherwise trigger analytics code to execute. Event tracking requires additional customization of your tracking and code.
The Publisher reports can be used if AdSense or AdExchange are being used and integrated. These reports will provide info on how ads are performing and allow you to compare website and ad performance metrics in one place.
Experiments in Google Analytics allows you to run A/B tests on your pages to compare two or more unique URLs and measure their effectiveness against reaching goals or e-commerce conversion as defined when setting up the tests.
The results from experiments can be analysed in the Behavior reporting section and can allow you to better optimize your website by better understanding user preferences, how CTAs are working, and improve content to increase conversion rate.
Conversions reports provide insight into conversions on-site, including goals and e-commerce. Conversions for a website usually include tracking sales, queries and submission. The conversion reporting section also allows you to analyze assisted conversion and look at attribution for your different channels.
The conversions you track will vary depending on your objectives and KPIs. They can be very different for various kinds of businesses, for example,
Also, e-commerce business will be most interested in tracking sales and be looking at cart abandonment and account creations. A non-e-commerce B2C website might consider trial signups, interaction with content such as video views or comments submitted. Whereas, a B2B website would be looking at leads generated and content engagement such as white paper downloads.
The most common types of conversions businesses will track will be product purchases, sign-ups, queries submitted via forms or email, video views and content downloads or social shares.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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