The goal in this is to give you a quick way to find the data you’re looking for. Google Analytics can be as simple or as complex and exhausting as you’d like. This series is met to simply all the things. Let’s dig in.
Log in to Google Analytics. Here’s what you’ll see.
Next step. Acquisition. In the sidebar where the arrow is pointing to click Acquisition and that will open up more options. The next step is Channels. This is where we’ll start to break things down into separate entry points. The current view is showing total visits regardless of acquisition channel.
Let’s break it down. Here’s what you’re going to see.
Direct: Includes visitors coming directly to your site. Could be a bookmark, email newsletter, or just typing the URL into the address bar.
Organic: Includes visitors coming from search engines. This includes but is not limited to Google, Yahoo and Bing. Those are really the only big players in search at the moment.
Referral: Includes visitors coming from other websites.
Social: Includes visitors coming from social media including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
The numbers you are seeing next to each channel in the sessions column are total visitors. In the case of Organic that includes traffic from all the search engines. To break it down even further let’s click on one of the channels. We’ll do Social.
Once you click on that you’ll see a breakdown of the channel more specifically. In this case you can see that our Social traffic came mainly from Twitter, then Facebook followed by one visit from Pocket.
If you click through to Referral you’ll see a breakdown of all the different sites that generate traffic to your site. This is a great way to see if online partnerships are driving customers. You may also find sites talking about your business and you had no clue.
If you click through to Direct you’ll see a breakdown of the pages that the visitors came directly into.
If you click through to Organic you’ll see a breakdown of keywords that users typed in search engines that drove traffic to your site. The term (not provided) means the user searching was logged into their Google account and privacy settings were on.
That’s it! This is barely scraping the surface of potential data you can get out of Google Analytics. I recommend exploring, clicking around and seeing what you can find. We’ll be covering more ways to parse the data soon. If you’re looking for something in particular sound off in the comments below.