There are 6 main areas that I check in Google Analytics to get a feel for how a site is performing, where the traffic is coming from, and what the people are interested in.
While some may view these as “vanity metrics”, they give you a baseline comparison month over month and year over year for how your site is trending over time.
To give you some context, a starter site should aim for 200 visitors a month, then 200 a day. A good bounce rate (user visits one page and then leaves) is less than 60%.
There are multiple views under Acquisition (overview, channels, traffic), but I focus on “All Referrals” as it is the most specific category. It lists specific referring sites.
The other category under Acquisition I review often is “Keywords > Organic”. It can give some insight into what search terms people are using to find the site.
If your top keywords are your brand name, don’t fret. Congratulate yourself. That’s a sign of success. It means people are searching for your brand name specifically.
Search Engine Optimization Queries
If your top Organic Keyword is “(not provided)” you can still get the keyword information as long as your site is connected to Google Webmaster Tools.
Under Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries will tell you the keyword, impressions, clicks, and average position for each search query.
Under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, Google Analytics lists the top pages on the site by pageview, time on page, and bounce rate.
I use this in combination with the keyword data for content marketing to determine what to write about when creating new blog posts and pages.
There is much more that Google Analytics can do from A/B testing to automatic reports to goal and conversion tracking to automatic alerts.
If you are interested in learning more about the insights Google Analytics can give your business, contact me or leave a comment below.