The best reports to analyze your traffic and make smarter marketing decisions
I’m not saying that the team at Anglin PR are data nerds, but our spreadsheets, graphs and pocket protectors may tell another story. Our creative digital marketing team approaches client projects from a strategic and fact-based point-of-view; something we can’t do without data to back it up. Are your organization’s organic social media posts resulting in clicks to the website? Are your electronic newsletters being read by the right people? Are your Google ads being converted into sales? Below are the top 3 Google Analytics reports you should pull every month to check in on your marketing efforts and see a big picture view of how users are interacting with your website.
A report that shows where your traffic is coming from.
If you want to track how users are getting to your website, look no further than the Acquisition report in Google Analytics. Tracking the source of your website traffic can tell you a lot about what you’re doing right and where you need to put in extra energy. Like with many reports in GA, if it’s the first time you’re doing a deep dive, you and your organization will probably discover some things you didn’t know before. For the highest level overview you can take a look at your Traffic Channels, more specific referral sources can be gained from looking at the Referrals report. As you can see here, the Referrals report outlines which social media channels are driving how much traffic, in addition to websites like Yelp, Charity Navigator and others.
The top search terms that drive users to your website
A report of the search terms that are driving users to your website tells you which keywords you’re performing well on organically and where you might need a boost. What’s the best way to do this? First, make sure you have a Google Search Console account for your organization. Next, connect Search Console to Google Analytics so you can see your report right in GA.
Start regularly examining your data from there. You may even find that there is a search term or phrase that your organization performs unexpectedly well on. Sometimes certain terms might be on the periphery of your day-to-day operations, and that will tell you it’s time to take action or pivot. If you’re performing well on that term, you can consider if it’s driving relevant traffic to your website, and how to redirect that traffic once they've landed on your site. Increased traffic and high click through rates help drive up your website’s overall performance. Once you identify a word or phrase that you’d like to increase your strength on, we typically recommend that clients create additional content on that topic. That could be in the form of blog posts, news entries or even a new page. Pull this report monthly - or quarterly, if you must - and make a plan for how to incorporate what you learned into ongoing and future website updates.
A chart of your website traffic and how it correlates with your other marketing efforts
Looking at a visual timeline of your website traffic can help your entire team see where outreach, public relations and marketing efforts have impacted your online traffic. A timeline like the one below, which shows the daily number of website users across a 3-month period, is a good starting point.
Paying attention to the spikes and valleys can tell you where you’ve succeeded and what to do more of. For instance, a spike in website traffic in late April may correlate with an email newsletter that was sent to your entire list, or an exceedingly popular blog topic shared on social media. At Anglin PR, when we see these types of spikes in activity, we drill down to traffic on that particular day to find the source of the traffic, the most visited page or pages, and any other referral information. Paying attention to web traffic patterns help teams decide where to go next, whether that’s duplicating a past effort or getting creative to improve performance. Don’t forget to create annotations on any important dates so that your team can go back and know at a glance what happened that day to cause an increase in traffic.
We hope this overview of the Top 3 Google Analytics reports you should pull every month is a helpful tool to those just starting out with Google Analytics, and a good refresher for more experienced marketing professionals. These are just a couple of the reports we typically share with our clients in nonprofit, B2B, B2C and government agencies. If you want to learn more about Google Analytics and how to improve your website traffic and SEO, give us a call- we’d love to chat!