How to use Google Analytics to boost website traffic

 
 
Photo:  Kari Shea .

Photo: Kari Shea.

We all have the same reaction the first time we enter the Google Analytics dashboard. It’s hard to know where to look and how to draw meaningful conclusions based on all that information.

If you still haven’t set up your Google Analytics with Squarespace, here we tell you how.

So, let’s break down what each panel is saying and how you can use the data to improve your website and grow your business.

home

The first panel shows a summary of your main data points about your the general traffic to your website. You will find a number of tables, line graphs and other infographics but let’s not panic. The most important factors on this page are the following:

Users: the total number of users who visited your website during the period of time you have selected at the bottom of the first panel. Use the drop down menu to change the time range as needed.

Sessions: total number of visits on your web page (This figure includes all repeat visits by the same user)

Bounce rate: percentage of users who left your website after they only visited one page.

Session duration: The average time in minutes and seconds that uses stayed on your website

Active Users: This infographic is being updated in real time. It shows the active users currently on your website right now and which pages they are visiting.

There are several other tables on this page but it’s best to explore each one of those factors one-by-one via the dashboard on the left.

Audience overview menu on Google Analytics — PLETÓRICA DESIGNS

real-time

Here you will find the number of people who are visiting your website right this minute. For example, this figure will tell you whether a paid ad, guest blog post or special share on social media led to an immediate boost in traffic. Unless you are tracking an action on your website in real time, the rest of this section is not as useful as the next one.

audience

In this section you can study user behavior by country, interest, language, or journey through your website including which pages they visit the most, and which page has the highest exit rate. These factors tell you how to improve the design and navigation of your website and your social media marketing strategies.

Geo: Where your users are, what language they speak

Under Geo, you will find two sections: Language and Location. This data will tell you what countries your users are coming from and in what language they navigate your website. For example, we published Pletórica Designs in Spanish but then our Google Analytics data told us we had a high number of English-speaking users from the United States. We now publish in both Spanish and English to accommodate our entire audience.

If you find that most of your readers live in the same country, you may choose to use regionalisms in your language to build rapport with them and stop investing in more generic content.

 
Audience Acquisition menu on Google Analytics — PLETÓRICA DESIGNS

Acquisition

The most important tab under Acquisition is All Traffic where you be able to compare your traffic from search engines, Google ads, social media, and marketing campaigns.

All traffic: how visitors find your website

  • Direct traffic means they searched for your website by entering the URL directly into the browser or from a direct link on Instagram. Yes, this is strange but Google tracks Instagram traffic as direct traffic.

  • Social media refers to links from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

  • Organic search means your website showed in search engine results after the user searched for a keyword that corresponds to content on your website. For example, if someone looks for “Squarespace templates,” Pletórica Designs will appear among the search results.

  • Referrals come in when another website links to your content or products. Click on this tab compare all of your traffic streams including direct traffic, social networks and and organic search. This information can help you decide where to invest in social media to grow your audience. Or, if one of your top referrers is a blog, consider doing a guest post for them.

 

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