Web Marketing: What Basic Google Analytics Tells a Marketer, and Questions To Ask Next



4. What pages of my site are most useful to visitors?

Stats to focus on: Top content, content by title, bounce rate Questions to ask yourself: What are the five most frequently visited pages? What pages should be top pages that aren't? What can I change to make those pages more useful, accessible or interesting? How can I change the link structure to get visitors there? Which page has the highest bounce rate, and why? What can I do with that page to keep people on the site, i.e., substantive content or offers or page redesign?

5. Where do visitors first land, and how do they proceed through the site?

Stats to focus on: Top landing pages, click patterns Questions to ask yourself: What are my top entry pages? How many visitors land on the home page versus other pages? Where is traffic coming from that is landing directly on internal pages, and how can I get more sites like that to link? What is the click path from the home page -- where do most visitors go, and where do I want them to go?

6. From what pages do visitors exit the site?

Stat to focus on: Top exit pages Questions to ask yourself: What are my top exit pages? For other than Thank You landing pages after purchase, how can I change copy or links there to keep visitors engaged in the site? Are they clicking outbound links, and do I want them to? (Maybe yes if these are Adsense ads or affiliate banners.)


7. What traffic sources -- direct (typing a URL), referral, search engine or paid ads -- are driving visits to my site?

Stat to focus on: Traffic Sources Overview percentages Questions to ask yourself: What traffic sources are growing over last period, and why? Is off-web promotion increasing direct traffic? Are a growing number of related sites or blogs linking to mine? Have I changed copy on pages, which is leading to better organic search engine traffic? Are my paid ads campaigns working better than last period?

8. What other websites are referring visitors to my site?

Stat to focus on: Referring sites Questions to ask yourself: Where can I find sites similar to those referring traffic and request a link? Which referrers are bringing visitors who stay on the site the longest? View the most pages? These may be the best sources of high-quality prospects. Should I request that other referring site improve the link description to drive more traffic? What sites should be referring but aren't on the list? Why, and what can I do to get them to add links?

9. What keywords are driving traffic?

Stats to focus on: Keywords and phrases Questions to ask yourself: What are the most popular keywords bringing visitors to my site in organic search? Are those keywords in my site's metatags? What keywords are NOT driving traffic, and how can I tweak my site (with substantive copy, page redesign, or formatting) to change that? How can I modify my paid search ads, if any, to incorporate keywords that my customers are already using in organic search to find my site?

In a later post, I discuss marketing insights from more advanced metrics using Google Analytics features like goals, events, segments and conversions.  Here's the link: What Advanced Google Analytics Tells Marketers and Questions to Ask Next.


What marketing insights do you glean regularly from your Google Analytics reports? Please share your expertise and experiences in a comment.

- Pegin Corwin, SCORE Chicago 

Reference Links:

Definitions of key stats: clicks, visits, visitors, pageviews, and unique pageviews and the technical explanations of these definitions.

Table of web analytics software from Wikipedia

Intro to Google Analytics from the site itself.

How to add Google Analytics Tracking Code to your website for free


Peg Corwin


Hi people. What is the best

Hi people. What is the best alternative to Adsense?
I have already google ad sense Ads on my webpage but I dont have readers click my ad on my blog either. I think ive made about $0.70 today. Thats pretty bad....

Analytics systems are very

Analytics systems are very useful and important tools for online business.

Bouce rate, most visited pages, more important keywords, funnels and setting goals are some of the various important things we can have or do with this kind of systems.

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