In this lesson, you will learn about Google Analytics Reports and the sub reports within the main reports.
In case you missed out on our previous lessons, here are the quick access links.
Working with Segments
When you look into any Google Analytics Report, you'll find plenty of information packed into it, which isn't always useful. That's where segments come into play. Segments let you isolate and analyze smaller chunks of data so that you can see a small slice of the entire picture and draw meaningful information from it. A simple example is to segment your visitor traffic by country.
Let's see how this works in Google Analytics. Let's go to the Location Report under Geo and then navigate to the Explorer tab. If we scroll down to the data table, we can see all of the country data displayed in the first column. Let's click on United States. Now you are looking at a segmented piece of data from the United States by region.
You can drill down further by clicking on a region to view all the cities within that region.
If you click on a city, you'll notice that that's the deepest level you can get into. If you scroll to the top and take a look at the breadcrumbs you can see the breakdown of the segments by location.
Let's go back to the United States report.
You may want to keep referring to the U.S region when you are looking at other reports. For example, let's say you want to view the New vs. Returning user report, but only want to know how this relates to the United States or more specifically California.
To do this, you create a segment. Click Add Segment at the top of the screen. In the next screen, click New Segment. Give the segment a name, let's say California Traffic.
Now, if you look at the left hand side, you'll notice a number of tabs. You can select a tab and enter data on the right hand side to see a quick summary on the far left of the screen.
Let's start with the Demographics tab. In the Location field, from the Continent dropdown list select Country. From the Contains drop down select Exactly Matches. In the text box, type United States. On the right hand side, you can see that Google Analytics displays this is 54.96% of our sessions. To drill down more specifically to California, select Region from the Country dropdown, ensure Exactly Matches is selected and then select California.
On the right hand side, you can see that segment California is a little over 7% of all our users. Click Save at the top of the screen to save this segment.
On the next screen, you can see that you are now viewing the California traffic segment.
Now let's go to the New versus Returning report by clicking Behavior->New versus Returning. You'll notice that the California traffic segment is still active so the data that we're looking at is going to be specific to this segment. As you can see here over 92% of visitors came from California for the selected period. If you want to turn off this segment, simply select the dropdown and choose Remove.
You'll now be back to the All Sessions view and if you scroll down you'll see that these values no longer relate to California. Segments play a great role in helping you slice up your data into smaller chunks so you can see one piece of the whole pie in greater detail.
Explore each report and see how you can get even more detailed information by looking at it at the segment level. You can compare things like conversions in different regions and see if any region is driving a small amount of traffic but bringing in a large amount of sales and then figure out why that could be happening using other reports in Analytics. Be sure to take some time to set up segments that match your business goals.
Overview of Audience Reports
The Audience Reports in Google Analytics contains plenty of information to help you understand the characteristics of your website visitors. This includes information about their geographic location, the type of devices they're using to access your site, how often they're visiting and how much time they're spending between each visit amongst others.
The Audience Overview screen is the place where you get a birds eye view of what’s going on on your site for the selected period of time.
As you can see, the graph here displays the Total number of Sessions clocked in July. You can select another metric if you want to, let’s say Pageviews. You can choose this metric to compare your performance with a previous time period. Let’s go to the Date selector and compare your current selection to the previous month to see how you fared.
This will help you identify if there were any seasonal changes in traffic or if there were issues with your site that affected your traffic. You can accordingly optimize your efforts to win back your audience.
If you scroll down below the graph, you’ll see that you have some additional subsets of data about your traffic. You can see that your sessions, page views and users are in the red while the rest of the stats are in green, indicating a marginal improvement in how your audience is engaging on your site.
Another aspect that you can look into involves analyzing the New versus Returning Visitors. If you go to that particular report, you can see indepth details of how your website was performing for your new and returning visitors. A great way to do this is by using segments. Once you understand new user behavior, you’ll be able to outline your optimization strategy for newcomers.
Now if you look at the left pane, you’ll see that the Audience Report contains several sub reports. Let’s take a look at some of the key reports in this section.
I’ll start with the Demographics Reports. These reports help you understand the age and gender structure of your audience. To get a realistic view of your audience demographics, you must select a longer time period. From this report, you can see that the website is most popular among users in the age group of 25-34 but is not so handy for users older than 55 years. You can select different metrics from the Sessions dropdown so if you select Bounce rate, you can see this is fairly consistent across ages. If you noticed anomalies, it may indicate that something on your site did not go down well with a particular age group and you might want to do a deeper analysis.
As far as gender goes, if you observe that a significant portion of your audience are males, you can tailor your content to cater to their needs. If your audience is primarily women, you may want to focus your content on topics that women closely relate to. Its not just the content that you can tweak, but you can also make changes to your graphics, fonts, web design, language and so on.
If you access this section and don't see anything, it means you haven’t enabled Demographics. To do this, select Admin from the top of the screen, select the account from the drop-down, and then the property, and then click Property Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and turn on Enable Demographics and Interest Reports.
Let’s now look at where your audience is coming from. You can find this information in the Geo-> Location Reports. Here, you’ll see an interactive Map overlay showing you the world map with a color scale applied – the darker color indicating where most of the activity is happening with the lighter color showing the lowest activity.
In this map overlay, we have selected the Sessions metric so you can see that most of the sessions in April came from the United States. You can drill down further by clicking on the United States. Now you can see that in the United States most of your traffic came from California followed by Texas. You can continue to drill in to see which cities brought you the most traffic, so if I click on California, and hover over the big blue button I can see that Los Angeles brought in a bit of traffic followed by San Francisco, Santa Clara and others.
If you go back to the US map, you can select another metric say Session Duration. I’ll type duration and then select Avg. Session Duration under Site Usage. Now the map looks different. Here I can see that South Carolina is the where people are spending more amount of time. So let me click on South Carolina. Now if I scroll down to the table data I can see that South Carolinais only accounting for 78 sessions when compared to California. Let me go back to California. I can see that it has about 678 sessions. So the South Carolina data is probably not something you can rely on as the sessions are almost negligible pushing up your duration time.
If your business goals involve selling a product or service, or you are focused on a niche market, you will be able to understand how your audiences are interacting with your content and will be able to better optimize them for the right market.
Another important metric that you’ll want to look into when you analyze your traffic and that’s the New vs Returning visitors. This is because first time visitors of your site will navigate and experience your site a lot differently than your returning audience and paying careful attention to their behavior will help you convert them into returning customers.
Let’s go to the New vs Returning Report, which is found on the Behavior Report. Again, you’ll see the Sessions view displayed at the top and the table data view reflecting that data at the bottom. Let’s now examine this as a % percentage view to see a better representation of this data. Click the second button at the far left of the data table.
Here, I can see that for the date range that I selected, 92% are new visitors and only about 8% are returning visitors.
Let’s dive in deeper to first understand our returning visitors. You can learn more about their behavior by clicking the Frequency and Recency report on the left pane. This report gives you an idea of how many times users are coming back to the site from a Sessions and Pageviews metric point of view. We can see that one session accounted for the most Sessions and Pageviews while it dropped off significantly for more Sessions and Pageviews.
So you can see as you move into the second, third, 4th session, the frequently of the returning visitor is tapering off. If you scroll to the top and choose Days Since Last Session, you can see how long it's been between each Session.
Next, let's move on to the Engagement report. This report shows you the length of time visitors have spent on the site. You would expect your visitors to stay on your site anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes and to know if that indeed is the case you look at the Engagement report. In this screen you’ll see that a huge majority of the Sessions are between 0 and 10 seconds. That means a huge chunk of visitors are hitting the site, deciding that not what they're looking for, and leaving. You can investigate this a little deeper by exploring the Page Depth. Here you can see that most visitors are leaving after viewing the first page although there are a fair amount of visitors reaching Page 2 as well.
The Engagement report clearly indicates that most of the sites visitors are leaving it in 10 seconds and here’s where your site optimization comes into the picture. You’ll want to take a look at your landing pages, identify which types of content are having the lowest amount of Session Duration, and optimizing them.
And this is another area where segmentation plays a big role. You can create segments to understand if the low session duration is caused by a language issue. For instance, if a lot of Spanish speaking people are visiting your site and then leaving, it may suggest that your language English may be irrelevant to your audience causing the issue.
Keep on exploring, investigating, and diving deeper into the different metrics to understand how new and returning users are interacting with your site.
The final report we are discussing in this chapter is the Technology report. The way your website renders on various browsers and mobile devices is extremely important. A poor mobile user experience may be causing your visitors to leave your site and you don’t want that to happen. To learn more about this, you can navigate to the Technology and Mobile reports on the left pane.
Let’s select the Browser and OS report. If you scroll down you can see a list of the most popular browsers in order of their session amounts.
You can see that Chrome contributes to 34% of the overall sessions followed by IE, Firefox and so on and so forth. This helps you understand whether or not you need to modify your site or test it on those platforms. To get a little bit deeper into the data, you can select a browser, say IE, and see which versions of IE are contributing to the overall percentages. Here you'll notice that 68% of IE users are using IE 11.
If you look at the bottom of the table, you can see that less than 1% of all IE users are on the 6th and 7th versions of the browser, so it may not be worth your time to support those versions.
You can also select the Network report to get an idea of the service provider used by your audience. This isn’t really that helpful, but if you had a traffic drop on one particular day and you know that there was an outage of one of the popular network providers contributing to your site's visit, you’ll know the exact cause of that traffic drop.
Now if you head over to the Mobile Overview report, you can how much of your visitors are using the desktop, how many are coming from mobile and tablet devices. If your mobile traffic is high, you have to optimize your site with a user friendly mobile design and only then focus on the other two.
You can also drill down further by going to the Devices report. Here you get a picture of the type of devices mobile users are coming from. In this report, you can see that iPhone is contributing to the biggest usage. You can also interact with some of these other these primary dimensions like operating system. As you can see, both the iOS and Android platforms are pretty popular so you need to make sure that your mobile strategy involves emphasis on both Android and iOS.
Use your Mobile and Technology reports to better understand how the user is accessing your site. Analyzing the different metrics will help you understand how you need to modify your site and what platforms you need to be testing to make sure that none of your users are excluded.
That’s it for Audience Reports folks. Make sure you dig around and try different metrics to analyze how your audience is engaging on your site and then make the necessary changes to optimize the site for your audience.
Overview of Behavior Reports
Behavior Reports help you discover the the most popular content on your site and give you a better understanding of how visitors are navigating between website pages. To access your Behavior report, go to the Behavior category on the left pane and select Overview.
At the top of the screen you can see the graph with a summary of the key statistics listed below. The Pageviews metric indicates how often each page on your site was visited and the Unique Pageviews metric indicates the number of individuals who have viewed a specific page on your site at least once. If a visitor loads the same page several times, it will only count as one pageview. We also have the Average Time spent on each page of the site, the overall Bounce Rate, and the Exit percentage.
If you have configured Google Adsense for Analytics, you'll also see the Adsense related data listed here. These statistics provide an at-a-glance- view of how engaging users find each page on the site. If you scroll down, you can see all of our pages listed here along with the total pageviews and the percentage of pageviews as it relates to the entire site. You can change the Site Content filter to Page Title to see the data based on your title as compared to the URL.
Now lets take a look at the Behavior Flow report. This report shows you the path visitors take on your site from the time they land on it until they exit. This report is very important as it helps you identify popular content on your site as well as problems such as which sections are not getting as much exposure as you would have liked.
If you hover over a report, you’ll find some additional information on the contextual menu. You can see that we have 23 visits continuing through this page, while 96% is dropping off and that's what this red bar indicates. From here, you can see that visitors are going on to another page as well as to 24 additional pages. You can click on any of these pages to Highlight Traffic through there or Explore Traffic. Let's choose Explore Traffic.
So the precursor to arriving and then where they're going next. Here I can see that of the 54 sessions 42 move on, 11 of those go to the Clients page, 5 to some Project pages and so on and so forth. If you find that a lot of visitors are dropping off on a certain page, you can improve the content on the page or add the right call to actions to retain them.
To go back to the original report, just click the Behavior Flow link at the top left of the screen. Now if you want to view additional dimensions on the report, you can click the Landing Page dropdown and select Country to see where your traffic from that particular country is going. You can use the Gear icon to modify up to 5 match types as well. So in the Customize Dimension Items dialog, click the Add an item button, in the Expression box type United States and click Apply.
So now I'm only looking at traffic from the United States and what those users are doing. By narrowing down on each page, you can analyze how effective the page is as a landing page, which is identified by all of those entrances in green.
The Behavior Flow report is only a high-level overview of your user behavior. To get more granular data, let’s look at some other reports.
In the Site Content Report, let’s go to the All Pages Report. This gives you a quick Overview of your Top Content, along with the Pageviews, the Average Time on the Site, your total Entrances, Bounce Rates, and so on. The Page Value section will provide you with transactional value data only if you have set up goals and added a goal value to your transactions. This will indicate the financial impact of each Page on your site and give you an idea of which pages are helping your site, which ones are not and which ones need improvement.
You can look at the Content Drilldown Report if your site is organized into subdirectories and you want to see how they are performing as a group of pages instead of individual pages that you see in the All Pages report.
The Landing Pages report shows you all the pages your visitors landed on and the factor to watch out for is the bounce rates. Again, this will help you identify pages that need to be redesigned and optimized. Next, lets look at the Exit Pages Report. Here, we can see which were the last Pages on your site a user visited before exiting. If you see Pages in this Report with a high Exit rate, but are also your Landing Pages, youll want to revisit those Pages to make sure they're optimized and aren't driving people away.
Finally let’s look at the Site Speed Reports. The Overview report shows you the Average Page Load Time, over time, for the date range that we selected. If you see any spikes in your average load time, you need to check if you made any changes to your site on that day ( remember to use the annotation feature when you do that!) so you can quickly go back and fix the issue if necessary.
If you scroll further down, you can see the Browsers that are in use and the Average Load Time for each Browser. You can see here that Internet Explorer is loading significantly slower than Safari or Chrome and if most of your visitors are using IE, you’ll want to optimize your page speeds for that.
To get a page by page comparison of average times, we can take a look at the Page Timings Report. Here we can see the Pageviews and the Comparison Chart showing how these individual Pages compare to the rest of the Site Average.
If you want to look at this in the Data View, click the Data button at the top right corner of the screen. This is great because you can now sort things by page load time and see how you can optimize the slow loading pages. You can also bring in a Secondary dimension, let's say Mobile Devices to see if your mobile speeds are good or need fixing. You can also filter by pageviews so that only a high amount of page views with slow load times will show up in your report. Otherwise you’ll be looking at meaningless data showing high page load times for pages with very little page views.
If you go to the Map Overlay tab, you can get an overall picture of traffic from around the globe where you have the slowest load times – this is another area you might consider fixing maybe by using a Content Delivery Network somewhere closer to that area.
Next, lets take a look at the Speed Suggestions Report. Google will provide you with some suggestions on how you can improve your Speed. At the far right of the table, you’ll see a score for each page. If you have a speed score of less than 75 you’ll want to fix that right away.
Explore the various reports available in the Behavior section to get a deeper understanding of how your users are navigating your site so you can improve their user experience.
Overview of Acquisition Reports
The Acquisition Reports in Google Analytics helps you understand which mediums are bringing in visitors and high quality traffic to your website. These reports will help you identify which marketing efforts are working and which ones aren't. You can access your Acquisition Reports by selecting Acquisition Overview on the left pane.
The Acquisition Overview report gives you an eagle eye view of all of the Top Channels that are sending visitors to your website. You’ll also see any associated conversions, behaviors, and details for all of those channels. A quick glance of our Top Channels shows that 61% of the traffic is coming from Organic Search, followed by 22% Direct, and about 12% Referral. Again, don’t forget that all is data is only displayed for the date range you selected at the top.
We are currently in the All Sessions view, but we can also add segments to filter this data further. At the top of the screen, you can see the Primary Dimension option is defaulted to Top Channels, but you can choose another one, let’s say Top Sources and Mediums. Here you can see a breakdown of the different sources and mediums of your traffic. This is great if you want to know where most of your traffic is coming from. In this case, it's coming from Bing and Google followed by direct traffic, which indicates that your SEO is pretty good.
In the center, we have our Sessions overview, and on the far right, we have the Conversions view. If you have set up any goals, this view will show you the relevant data. If you scroll down to the bottom you can see the percentage view of your traffic mediums making it easier to do a comparison.
Now let’s dive into an important Acquisition Report, the Channels Report. You can get there by selecting All Traffic in the Acquisition section and then selecting Channels. If you scroll down to the data table, you can see which channels are driving the most traffic to your site. Here you can see that organic search is driving 61% of overall sessions, while direct is bringing in 22%, referral around 12% and social a meager 3%.
So at a glance you have a good idea of some of the things you need to do. For instance, you’ll want to look at your social presence and see how you can make improvements there. One factor that can help you decide this is the bounce rate. Here you can see that although you have a low number of sessions, it has the lowest bounce rate among all the channels. That tells you that you really need to start expanding your social presence.
Another aspect you can check in this report is how your data compares to the site average. To see this information, you need to click the 4th button at the top right corner. From the Sessions drop down menu, you can select a metric. Let’s start with the bounce rate. Here you can see that the bounce rate is marginally better for organic and good for social and referral, but not for direct and other traffic. Again, you can bring in another element like Pages per session.
So now you have an idea of where you need to be working on to improve your traffic.
Now lets take go back to the original view by clicking the Data button. Lets bring in a secondary dimension, say landing page. This will help you to understand where people are arriving and what's happening after that. I’ll click on the secondary dimension dropdown and type in landing page. Then, I’ll select landing page. Here I can see the top organic searches are landing on these particular URLs clocking this number of sessions and so on.
You can also see that the bounce rates are very high for these pages and might want to make improvements to it. If you have any goals set up, you can also see how these goals are performing for those particular landing pages.
Now if you want to get a better understanding of the landing pages that are having the highest bounce rates, but are the most visited page on your site, you need to do some filtering. So do do that you click on the Advanced link at the top right corner, select sessions from the dropdown list, and then search for sessions having a number greater than, say 500. This of course, will depend on your website’s total sessions.Click Apply.
Here, you can see the URLS with the most sessions along with their bounce rates and you know that people are not getting what they want from that page. You can now work on improving those pages.
Next up, we’ll take a look at where your referral traffic is coming come. This is covered in your Referrals report which you can find by selecting Referrals from the from the All Traffic dropdown list in the Acquisition section.
If we scroll down to the table view, we can get a quick glance the source of our referral or the sites that are linking to you thereby driving traffic. One of the things that you are curious to learn here is where are they sending the traffic. You can see this information by selecting a secondary dimension. From the Secondary dimension dropdown, type landing and then select Landing Page.
This shows you exactly where a particular referrer is sending your visitors. If you want to know exactly which page is driving that traffic to your landing page, you can change your Secondary dimension to a Referral Path. Now when you type in Refer, you’ll find two options for Referral. We’ll check out the results for both. First let’s select Referral Path.
Here you can see the path on that referring website where the traffic originated from. You’ll have to put both the source and the referral path to see the bigger picture. If instead, you chose Full Referrer, you can see the entire link which you can copy and paste on to your browser to learn more about your link on that page.
This gives you an idea of not only who is linking to your site, but it also shows if that link is high quality or not.
You should of course spend time digging into the various dimensions and metrics to see who is sending traffic, if its high quality ones and how you can drive more conversions to that traffic to improve your business goals.
Overview of Conversion Reports
At the beginning of this course, we configured a goal to track the time spent by a user on the site. Whatever goal you set up for your business, you can view their performance reports in the Conversion section on the left pane.
The Goals Overview report shows you the goal completion data and you can select individual goal information by clicking the dropdown at the top left-hand corner of this report.
If you scroll down, you can see the total goal completions, the conversion rate, and the abandonment rate if you are using the goal funnel, which is not set up for this particular goal. You can also view the source and medium of the goal conversions. This helps you to understand where most of the goals are coming from.
In the Goal URLs report, we can see the goal completion locations on the left-hand side, the total goal completions in the center, and if we had assigned a goal value, we can see that here on the right-hand side.
The Reverse Goal Path report shows you how a user got to your particular goal. The first column indicates where the goal ended, the previous column shows where the user was before reaching that exit page and so on. The latter columns will indicate if visitors had trouble getting to your end page and this is where you can try and optimize to make that user interaction smoother or clearer.
If you have set funnels for your goals you can look at the Funnel Visualization report.
Lastly, we have the Goal Flow report which is going to be very similar to the behavior flow report we saw earlier. You can see that the inbound source is Google which drove visitors to accomplish the goal. You can also bring in additional dimensions say Country to see where that traffic is coming from leading to the conversion.
Spend some time in your goals reports. Interact with different dimensions, and get a sense of why users are completing those goals or why they aren't.