Google Analytics

Don't Fear Google Analytics: Get Started with These 5 Reports

Google Analytics is a great tool, with a wealth of information available. The truth is, there is so much there that when you're first starting out, it's very easy to get overwhelmed at the scope of it, and not be able to make much use of this fantastic resource.

We've distilled this down a bit here, and offer you a menu of 5 useful reports you'll want to keep an eye on. These 5 will help you the most, not only from an organizational standpoint but also with a practical, useful insight into what you can do to improve page performance.

5 Google Analytics reports you'll want to view

Search queries - This is one of the easiest ways to use Analytics keyword data, You need to have your Google Webmaster account connected to your GA account to make this work, but you have to do that anyway. Once done, this report provides you with the keywords you are ranking for, how many impressions they're getting, number of clicks, and your click-through rate.

Mobile device use - If your site is not optimized well for mobile, and Google has provided us plenty of warning about an April 21st, 2015 algorithm change that will hurt sites that aren't; this report shows you which pages are doing well with mobile.

Referring sites - Knowing which sites are sending you traffic (and links) on an ongoing basis is something you'll want to check regularly. If that traffic begins to dip, you'll want to know why, and see if there is a remedy, such as a bad link, dated content or other reasons.

Session data - This has to do with the amount of time a visitor spends on your site. This is important data to know, as the length of time a visitor is actively engaged on your site has a great impact on your page performance in the search rankings.

Raw page views and exits - This is how many times your pages are viewed. Closely related is the pages where visitors exit the site from: you want to know this and investigate why.

So now you have a few reports to get you started with Google Analytics. It can do so much more, but for now, let's begin with these.

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