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Exploring the New Google Analytics, Standard Reporting Part III

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Google Analytics(74411)

 

It's official, Google Analytics is getting a much needed facelift, but with this update comes questions, confusion, and frustration. So how do you figure it all out? This is Part III of my tutorial for the new and improved Google Analytics. The parts of this tutorial each detail a different section of the Standard Reporting interface of Google Analytics, but they are in no way consecutive so . If you would like to read Part I, please click here; to read Part II, click here.


In case you haven't read the other parts of this tutorial, I will briefly re-explain the terms I will be using. If you have already read Part I or Part II, you can skip over this paragraph. This explanation discusses the features under the Standard Reporting tab of the Main Menu. To make my explanations more clear, let me first define the terms I will be using when talking about different aspects of the site. Looking at the Sidebar there are five headings as listed above; these will be referred to as Primary Menus

Sidebar, Traffic Sources
(written in all CAPS and a blue font color). Next, when you click on any of the Primary Menus an expanded list appears which includes two further submenus. The first expansion has titles with an arrow marking them as expanded or unexpanded; this is referred to as the Secondary Menu (written in gray, some with arrows to the right of the title) . Within each Secondary Menu is a last sidebar expansion known as the Tertiary Menu (written below the secondary menu items and shown when the arrow is click and shows the expanded list). Lastly, the Tertiary Menus have tabs within each of them, some have multiple tabs and some only have one tab; these can be referred to simply as Tabs. This tutorial will be explained in parts for each of the primary menus of the sidebar: Audience, Advertising, Traffic Sources, Content, and Conversions. In each part I will explain all the features of the primary menu item, and all of its secondary and tertiary menus. This is Part III of my five-part tutorial for Google Analytics Standard Reporting that will discuss the primary menu,Traffic Sources.

The Traffic Sources Primary Menu, a Brief Description

This primary menu shows a details of the traffic sources sending visitors to your site. Utilizing this information can be beneficial for those trying to optimize their main sources of traffic. The secondary menus provide information for different traffic sources as well as data you can use specifically for search engine optimization.
Explorer Tab, All Traffic


Now, to save some time and repetition let me first explain the most commonly used tab among these primary menus, which is the Explorer Tab. This tab shows information for different specifiers as well as listing data based on the primary dimension selected. The primary dimensions available vary among different tertiary/secondary menus but include data related to the secondary or tertiary menu within which the tab is utilized. For example, the primary dimensions of the Explorer Tab used in the All Traffic menu would include primary dimensions related to traffic sources. Before moving on, let me also provide a quick but detailed explanation of each of the specifiers of the Explorer Tab, namely, Site Usage, Ecommerce, and AdSense.
The Explorer Tab

1. Site Usage - this data includes metrics for Visits, Pages/Visit, Average Time on Site, Percent of New Visits, Bounce Rate (as a percentage), Goal Completions (set up in your AdWords account), and Revenue (earned from sales on your site).

2. Ecommerce - this data includes metrics for Visits, Revenue (sales), Transactions (number of sales), Average Value (of the cost of goods sold), Ecommerce Conversion Rate (% of visits that had a transaction), and Per Visit Value (average value of a visitor based on the averaged value of all visitors).

3. AdSense - this data includes metrics for AdSense Revenue, AdSense Ads Clicked (number of times your on-site ads were clicked on), AdSense Page Impressions (number of ad impressions shown), AdSense CTR (click through rate), and AdSense eCPM (estimated earnings per 1,000 page impressions). Note: AdSense eCPM is calculated as (AdSense Revenue / AdSense Page Impressions) = (AdSense eCPM / 1,000).

Also, a commonly found primary dimension is Other, which is explained in the following description:

Other - this shows metrics for a variety of different things for further specification by Visitors,
Other Primary Dimension
Technology, Traffic Sources, or AdWords including all secondary menu options described below:
  •  Visitors - Language, Continent, Sub Continent Region, Country/Territory, Region, and City
  • Technology - Browser, Browser Version, Operating System, Domain, Screen Colors, Screen Resolution, Flash Version, and Java Support 
  • Traffic Sources - Source, Medium, Keyword, Campaign, Ad Content, Visitor Type and Landing Page 
  • AdWords - Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, Match Type, Matched Search Query, Placement Domain, Placement URL, Placement Type, Ad Content, Ad Distribution Network, Ad Format, Display URL, or Destination URL; these metrics are in the context of the Google AdWords interface so please refer to Google AdWords for their descriptions

Now moving onto an explanation of the secondary menus and any tertiary menus they may include.

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1. Overview

This secondary menu includes the Overview Tab, which displays a line graph of the visits over a range of time at the top. Additionally, there is a pie chart showing the the breakdown of different

Pie Chart, Traffic Sources Overview
types of traffic out of all of your traffic sources, including Search Traffic, Referral Traffic, and Direct Traffic. Within each of these traffic types is information including keywords, matched search queries, sources, landing pages, etc. 

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2. Sources

This secondary menu includes the following tertiary menus: All Traffic, Direct, Referrals, Search, and Campaigns. It is also important to note that the Search menu has further submenu which lists Overview, Organic, and Paid. Since this submenu is unique to the Traffic Sources primary menu, I will designate it in this part of the tutorial as the Tertiary Submenu. Now, on to an explanation of each tertiary menu and any tertiary submenus.

All Traffic

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Source/Medium, Source, Medium, and Other. This tab can also be further specified to show Site Usage, Ecommerce, or AdSense information.

Primary Dimensions, All Traffic
  • Source/Medium - this shows information detailing both the source and medium written in the format "source/medium;" for example, 100 visits coming from Google/organic, which indicates that those 100 visits came from the Google search engine and were of organic nature, meaning visitors were sent from search queries which listed your site.
  • Source - this shows information on the source which brought visits to your site. Sources are either websites or search engines, but may also include social media referrals from Tweets, Facebook Posts, etc. In this case, the source would be listed as m.facebook.com. Note: major search engines that are from your country will be listed as simply "google" or "ask" but search engines from another country will be designated as the main domain URL with a specifier to indicate which country the search engine is from, for example, "google.com.hk."
  • Medium - this shows information on the medium through which visitors came to your site. "Medium" does not translate to the type of device used to access your site such as mobile or computer, but instead shows the type of traffic source such as organic or referral. Let me briefly explain what each of these mediums mean.
    • Organic - this medium is for organic traffic meaning it came from a visitor who clicked on a link to your site listed within the search engine results for a search query. Higher visits from this medium may indicate your site is ranking for keywords.  
    • Referral - this medium is for referred traffic meaning it came from a visitor who clicked on a link placed on a referring site. Higher visits from this medium may indicate that a lot of sites are linking into your site which translates to a higher number of backlinks. 
    • CPC (Cost-Per-Click) - this medium is for paid traffic meaning it came from a visitor who clicked on a link placed within an ad either within search engine results or on another website. Higher visits from this medium may indicate higher costs to pay for your Adwords campaigns, but this also could mean that your Adwords campaigns are successful for bringing traffic to your site.  
    • (None) - this is listed when the medium was not tracked or is unknown


Note: You can create other mediums such as "Email" or "Banner" by tagging links with utm_medium. As explained by the Google Analytics Help Center, an example of a tagged link with a designated medium is:

http://www.example.com/?utm_medium=email


  • Other - for an explanation of this primary dimensions please refer to the previous description of the Explorer Tab

Direct

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Landing Page and Other. This tab can be further specified to show Site Usage, Ecommerce, or AdSense information.

Landing Page, Direct
  • Landing Page - this shows the page that visitors "landed" on when they first came to your site. Understanding this information is useful when assessing which pages on your site are most visited based on the number of times that links to these pages are being clicked on. Also, you can cross-reference this with the Visitors Flow secondary menu under the Audience primary menu and see the path visitors take after landing on this page. This is also assessable by looking at the bounce rate of each landing page; a higher bounce rate would indicate visitors tend to leave from this page and vice versa.
  • Other - for an explanation of this primary dimension please refer to the previous description of the Explorer Tab. 

Referrals

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Source, Landing Page, and Other. This tab can be further specified to show Site Usage, Ecommerce, and AdSense information.

  • Source - this shows the source of the referral meaning the main domain URL of the referring site. In this case, main search engines, even for your own country, will be listed in the same format as any other website (ex: "google.com"). Note that these search engines are not referring traffic by organic search but may be from links placed within parts of the site. For example, if a visitor clicks from your Google Plus profile it may be listed in this way.
  • Landing Page - this shows the landing pages of visitors sent from referring sites. A higher number of visits per landing page may indicate that some pages of your site have a higher number of links referring to visitors them.
  • Other - for an explanation of this primary dimension please refer to the previous description of the Explorer Tab. 

Landing Page, Referral

 

Search

Search, Tertiary Submenus

This tertiary menu includes tertiary submenus including Overview, Organic, and Paid. These tertiary submenus may include tabs within them the same way as other tertiary and secondary menus so I will explain them in the same way. To prevent any confusion between these tertiary submenus and the tertiary menus, I will number the tertiary submenus as such.

1. Overview

This tertiary submenu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Traffic Type, Source, Keyword, Campaign, and Other. This tab can be further specified to show Site Usage, Ecommerce, or AdSense information. 
  • Traffic Type - this shows the type of traffic for visits to your site that came from Search Engines exclusively. There are two types of traffic which are organic or paid. Explanations for these traffic types will be detailed in the explanations of the Organic and Paid tertiary submenus.
  • Source - this shows the search engines that are sending visits to your sites. Note that these will be written as simply the name of the search engine and not in main domain URL format; for example, "google."
  • Keyword - this shows what keywords were entered in as search queries and resulted in a visit to your site. Keywords may be Exact Match, Broad Match, Negative Match, etc. For information on keyword types please refer to the Google Adwords Help Center. Note, in some cases the keyword was unable to be tracked, in which case it will be displayed as (not provided).
  • Campaign - this shows the number of visits sent by organic searches which are included in a custom campaign, meaning a campaign created by the Analytics user to track some designated variable(s). Unless you are running Analytics custom campaigns this will be displayed as "(not set)." Also, this may indicate the AdWords campaign which sent visits to your site since the Overview tertiary submenu includes both organic and paid searches.
  • Other - for an explanation of this primary dimension please refer to the previous description of the Explorer Tab.

Overview Tertiary Menu, Search

2. Organic

This tertiary submenu shows the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Keyword, Source, Landing Page, and Other. This tab can be further specified to show Site Usage, Ecommerce, or AdSense information. Note: Organic indicates that the visits came from links that appeared "naturally" within search results. In other words, you did not pay for your links to appear in these searches and do because of the search engine optimization of your site(s) or pages within your site(s) for certain keywords.

  • Keyword - this shows the keywords that sent visitors to your site through organic search queries. Higher visits from this metric may indicate that your site(s) or pages within your site(s) are being ranked for keywords on the first few pages of results for those keywords. 
  • Source - this shows the search engine which sent traffic to your site.  
  • Landing Page - this shows the page that visitors "landed" on when they arrived at your site through a link provided by an organic search.  
  • Other - for an explanation of this primary dimension please refer to the previous description of the Explorer Tab.

3. Paid

This tertiary submenu shows the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Keyword, Matched Search Query, Source, Medium, Campaign, and Other. This tab can be further specified to show Site Usage, Ecommerce, or AdSense information. Note: Paid indicates that the visits came from links that appeared because of AdWords advertisements placed within search engine results.

  • Keyword - this shows information about the keywords that were searched for when your AdWords advertisement appeared in the search results. Depending upon the keywords and types of keywords you used for your AdWords campaigns this primary dimension may list the keywords you bid on specifically, or keywords which include the phrase or word of the keywords you bid on. 
  • Matched Search Query - this shows which searches resulted in the display of your AdWords ads, whether or not these search queries were for keywords that you bid on in your AdWords campaigns or not.  
  • Source - this shows which search engines sent traffic to your site. 
  • Medium - this shows information on the medium through which visitors came to your site. For a more detailed description, please refer to the explanation of the All Traffic tertiary menu.  
  • Campaign - this shows which AdWords campaigns sent traffic to your site. These campaigns are set up through your AdWords account when you choose to create pay-per-click advertisements and bid on keywords alongside which these ads are listed.  
  • Other - for an explanation of this primary dimension please refer to the previous description of the Explorer Tab.

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3. Campaigns

Campaigns

This tertiary menu shows the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Campaign, Source, Medium, Source/Medium, and Other. This tab can be further specified to show Site Usage, Ecommerce, or AdSense information. Since these dimensions have already been thoroughly explained, please refer to the previous descriptions for more information. Note: since I am not running any AdWords campaigns, there is no data displayed, this graphic is meant to show the general interface used within this tertiary menu.

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4. Search Engine Optimization

Sidebar Menu, Search Engine Optimization
This secondary menu is a new feature of Google Analytics and includes the Queries, Landing Pages, and Geographical Summary tertiary menus. In order to use this secondary menu and its tertiary menus, you must first set up Webmaster Tools data sharing so that Google can link the site(s) you have verified ownership of within Google Webmaster Tools. Please refer to this supplemental article on using the Search Engine Optimization feature of Google Analytics for more detailed information.

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This concludes Part III of my tutorial for the new Google Analytics. Look for the release of Part IV in the next few weeks.


Google Analytics, Traffic Sources
Credit: https://www.google.com/analytics/
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