Understanding Google Analytics Part II

This is part II of a five part series discussing Google Analytics. I’ll start to dig a little deeper in this blog post about traffic sources. There are 3 main categories that any traffic to your website can be sourced from:

1) Direct Traffic- The visitor directly entered your website url into browser.
2) Referral Sites- This visitor clicked on a link from another website (a referral site) and that link took them to your website.
3) Search Engines- The visitor did a search in Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL, etc

It is important to note that there is no correct formula for how much traffic you should get from each of these sources. In other words, I’m not going to tell you that to be successful you need to have 75% of your traffic come from search engines, because there’s no evidence to say that’s correct. I will say that how you break up the percentages can indicate certain things about your website.

If a large percentage of your website traffic is direct traffic then you can assume you are well known. Most of these people are likely not new visitors to the site, but they’re still valuable, because they could lead to repeat business.

If a large percentage of your website traffic is from referral sources then you can start to conclude that you have a high number of backlinks to your website. Or you might have a recent press release or article that people are finding online. While direct traffic is self explanatory, you can actually see which referral sites people are coming from, and even see the percentages of this referral traffic. This will tell you if your referral traffic is mainly coming from one source or many sources.

Search engine traffic statistics are the most robust. You can not only break down which search engines people came from percentage-wise, but also see which exact keywords brought them to the site. This is very useful and it can tell you a lot about how well your website is ranking organically. If you know what your top keywords are (you should know this) then look in the keyword report to see if people are finding you for these terms (see the example graphic above). Compare these keywords with other keywords that include either your name or your practice name. You’ll notice that Google provides more than just the number of visits for each key term. I’ll discuss what these terms mean in a future article.

If you have any questions about traffic sources, or how you can utilize the data from Google Analytic’s traffic sources to develop and modify your SEO strategy then contact TRBO ADvance today, or call 877-673-7096 x2.

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