How to read the Google Analytics report
27th April 2019
Once you have installed Google Analytics and get the basic configuration setup, it is time to find out what the data mean. If you do not know how to make sense of the data and turn them into actionable website improvement then there no point installing Google Analytics.
Before I start, if you are new to Google Analytics I have written two previous articles on How to setup Google Analytics for your website and Google Analytics basic configuration guide does read them before going further to read this article. If you are ready, let’s start.
Do follow through the whole article as I will randomly insert some insights or actions that you need to do along the way to have a better understanding of what the data mean.
What I’m going to show you in this article is the real analytics data from www.oren-digital.com. In doing so I can explain clearly to you what these data mean and not just randomly throw some figure out. I will only explain more important data set, while the rest of the data please do some self-study.
Let look at those data I boxed up in red.
Users – This is the number of visitors who came to your site during the specified time.
Sessions – Each visit counts as a session and if a user closes the BROWSER and returns to the site again it will count as two sessions. Another rule is – by default a session is 30 minutes. If a user idles on the page for more than 30 minutes and re-engaged the page again, it will count as another session.
Pageviews – Is the total number of pages been viewed. If a user refreshes a page 10 times, it will count as 10 pageviews.
Bounce Rate – Is the percentage of users who land on a page and doesn’t go to any other pages in your site and exit.
Note: Looking at the bounce rate without any purpose or goals in mind is a very bad move because you can totally misinterpret the data. If you have a high bounce rate, it can mean a few things:
- After reading the current article, the user exits the page because the user does not find another article interesting to them. If this is the case, you might need to review your blog topic, write something which the user would like to read.
- Maybe you did not add other related links or links on the page to draw users to click further.
- Let’s say a user is a fan of yours and always read your article once it is uploaded, this user might read your latest article and exit the page.
- You wrote a very detailed article and after reading, the user found what they need and exit.
For point 3 and 4, do you want to label your article as bad?
The best way is to pre-define your strategy for the post before you write, then you can get a clearer picture of what you want to get out of it from this article.
Let look at the data I boxed up in blue.
New Users – This is the total number of New visitors who came to your site during the reporting date.
You can see that as high as 74% of my users is using US English, so moving forward, my articles should be written in US English than UK English. So what is the different? Example the word organisation is used by UK and organization is used by US.
Look at the chart
I have pinned some green dots to represent Saturday. From the chart, you will notice that there is always a dip in traffic when it comes to the weekend. I can then make a decision if I should still post the article on the weekend or move it to a weekday.
From the chart above, all the users, session and pageviews figures have increased month by month. It’s great to see the number climbs but we need to find out a reason why it goes higher. We can dig further in other data later. (one reason is, I have been uploading more articles and it attaches more reader to the site and some of the pages have increased in viewership.)
The four major browsers currently in the market are Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox, therefore when you design the website all four browsers must be checked and working. From the chart, most of my users are using Chrome browser, so I need to be mindful that when I make any improvement to the website, it must work in Chrome as it will affect 77% of the users.
Most of the users are between the age of 25 to 34 and 64.5% of them are females. This caught me by surprise too and I must be mindful in the future on how I am going to write my post. Please don’t get me wrong here, technically guys tend to be more tech-savvy than girls and now since I now know females make up most of the traffic I should try not to use a lot of tech jargon. Instead, use a lot of simpler words and more screenshot.
From the beginning, most of the traffic is coming from the United States and as times goes by the Philippines slowly climbed to the second spot. In the later part, we need to dig further what drove more users from the Philippines to the site.
More of my users are accessing the site using a desktop, which means either laptops or desktop PC. For mobile, they are mobile phones and tablets are like iPad and Samsung tablets.
If your data show that you have higher mobile users than desktop, do make sure that your page loads faster and is mobile friendly. (Note that mobile users might be using 4G, 3G or even slower internet speed and compare it with broadband and fiber internet they are even slower.)
Acquisition – Channel
Above shows the four default chart, most of the traffic coming to my site is through
- Organic Search means they found the site using the search engine.
- Direct means the users know the URL of the site/page or they have bookmarked it.
- Social means through social media channel such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so on.
- Referral means they came here though other links such as a blog, forum and etc.
Behavior – All Pages
Above chart show that my top page is “missing incognito mode windows 10 chrome”, it contributes 35% of the traffic. The second page is “earn money from grocery receipt Snapcart”, Snapcart collects grocery from you and get back $0.01 to $1.00 depending on the value of the receipt.
Previously Snapcart is available in Singapore but they have withdrawn and now is only available in Indonesia and the Philippines. In the earlier charts, you notice that month by month more traffic is coming out from the Philippines so it is this page that is drawing the traffic.
With all the above guide, I believe you have equipped yourself with some basic knowledge on how to get a clearer insight from your site.
I might write an advance guide in the near article or if you have anything which you want to find out, do give me your comments and feedback below. Have a great day.