Top 5 Google Analytics Features

Have you got Google Analytics set up on your website to help monitor what traffic you are getting... but do you feel a bit bogged down by the hundreds of statistics it spits out at you? Not sure where to start when it comes to analysing the figures?

Fear not, for we’ve picked out our top 5 favourite features of Analytics to help you get the most out of the technology giant’s analytical software:

1. Towns/cities

Analytics allows users to take a close look at exactly where visitors are coming from. You can narrow it right down to the exact towns and cities users are based by choosing ‘City’ as the primary dimension, allowing you to determine precisely where your website is most popular.

This can then allow you to target other aspects of your digital marketing correctly. For example, your Google AdWords campaign can be tailored to serve the geographical regions you may not be seeing much traffic in, or it could be used to reinforce your website to popular towns and cities.

You can find this feature by going via Standard Reporting > Audience > Demographics > Location, then you can select whether you want to browse in terms of city/town, country or subcontinent region.

2. ‘Real-Time’ analytics

Google currently are trialling a real time system of allowing webmasters to view statistics of users currently on a domain. This feature enables you to see the stats as they appear, updating every few seconds to show what pages users are on, what keyword they searched, as well as their location and whether they are a new/returning visitor.

It can be accessed via Home > Real-Time > Overview, why not find out more about your current website browsers!

3. Visitors flow

Another new feature on Analytics is the ability to check out the most popular routes your visitors have taken when browsing your website. It’s a really great feature that can give you insights into the habits of users, such as indicating the pages users are most likely to leave your website at and the most popular routes users take when navigating your site.

It can be accessed via Standard Reporting > Audience > Visitors flow.

4. Social sources

Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool to the vast majority of businesses these days, both B2B and B2C. But is your social media strategy the right one and is it working?

View details of which social networks are bringing your website traffic by using the Social tab on traffic sources. You can also see the paths of where your users (referred to your website from social media sites) are going across your domain.

We find that Twitter and LinkedIn bring in the most traffic for us, but what social networks work for you?

Go via Traffic Sources > Social.

5. Intelligence event alerts

Another more recent tool Google has added to Analytics is alerts. This tool looks at the average figures across your site and highlights any days, weeks or months where a certain statistic stands out as being out of the ordinary, either for the good or the bad!

Sometimes you’ll know why certain elements are highlighted. For example, maybe you sent out an e-shot which resulted in a lot more traffic than usual, but other times it can work well to highlight when changes you’ve implemented have made a significant difference to the browsing experience of your users.

This can be reached via Home > Intelligence Events, then choose Daily, Weekly or Monthly events to see what Analytics is flagging up for certain timescales.

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Author: 
Michelle Phillips