Maybe you already have Google Analytics installed on your site, which is perfect because it is one of the best tools to monitor traffic and SEO performance of your website and besides it is free. But you may feel overwhelmed by the number of panels, indicators, and reports showing and sometimes you could just need answers to simple questions. We want to share how to answer a simple and common question, using Google Analytics; this will help you to use this tool as you learn about the other indicators it offers.
Before you begin we would like to explain some definitions of key SEO indicators that will help you to understand some Google Analytics data:
- Sessions: In Google Analytics sessions are what we commonly call visits. A user can have multiple sessions on the same day.
- Page views: Is the number of times a user enters each page in your website. A session can have more than one page view.
To find out if your website traffic has increased or decreased, it is important to make a comparison between time periods. At Toky, we like to analyze the variations in time periods of 30 days for general analysis and 7 days general for specific ones. For example, if you want to know if a Facebook campaign had any impact on visits to your website for the last week, you can make a comparison of the last 7 days against the previous 7 days.
We invite you to read what we learned from promoting a post on Facebook if you want to know if this strategy has an impact on your website.
You can see how to select time periods and comparisons in the following animation:
You must bear in mind that the time range selected is maintained for the rest of navigation in Google Analytics, but it can be modified at any time.
¿How to find the reason why you lost some of your website traffic?
To answer this question we must segment first the traffic in Channels. The channels are:
- Direct: Is the traffic generated by visitors who enter your website by writing the URL in their web browser. I our case persons who wrote www.toky.co.
- Organic search: Is the traffic that comes from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo or Yandex. This value is the one that will help you check the results of your SEO strategies.
To improve your search engine ranking you can use some tools we recommend in this post about SEO
- Social: Traffic that comes via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
- Referral: Visits referred by other websites, like news portals, blogs or directories where there is a link to your website.
- Paid search: Website traffic obtained from search engine ads programs like Google AdWords.
To see the traffic segmented in Channels you should go to the side menu and find the option Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. If you have selected the comparison in time periods you can see in the rows the channel name, date ranges and a row % Change * where you see the variation between periods as a percentage. A positive percentage is good and a negative is bad. If you wanted to find out why a traffic decrease you should look for Channels which have negative variations in *Sessions column.
You can click on Channel's name to see some details so you can check the specific segment where your traffic decreased from one time period to the other.
When you click on every Channel you will see different details:
- Direct: The details will show the pages where visitors when by writing their URL.
- Organic Search: Click on this Channel will show the keywords visitors entered in the search engine to find your site.
- Referral: This will show the URL of the sites that from where the visitors came.
- Social: Te details are visits per social network.
You know where did you lose visits to your site. Now what?
What we do is to define strategies to solve the lost traffic and if you want we recommend seeing where the visits increased and try to see if you can do more to repeat or even improve the traffic on those channels.
Talk with your team about events, marketing campaigns or actions that could lead to get more or less visitors from each channel.
These are some actions suggested if you lost web traffic in some Channels:
- Social: You could improve your social networks presence, boosting a Facebook post is a good tool to try, we have done it.
- Organic search: You should work on your SEO strategies and there are some tools that can help; look some we use at Toky in this post.
- Referral traffic You can work in your public relations to get links on other sites that drives some good traffic to your site. There are some tips to start in this post about what we do at Toky
A small and useful gift from Toky
In Google Analytics, we have a custom dashboard which we use to analyze our website traffic every week and we want to share it with you. To add this dashboard to your Analytics account just click on [this link] (https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=6qm_oPp6SdGOu8uP2CF3mQ), choose the site where you want to add it and check the indicators with your own data. This dashboard has some summarized view of the indicators we use to check where we lost or gain traffic and even we can see some details.
What do you think about helping your visitors to talk with you with a single click? Visit www.toky.co and learn about the great features of our platform.