Google Analytics Simplified

What to look for when viewing your Google Analytics and how to understand the data

Are people telling you you need to use Google Analytics? Do you have it but don’t know how to read it? I’m going to dive in here and show you the things that you need to be looking at and how to understand them.


I get asked by a lot of clients the importance of analytics, how to really read the analytics and what’s most important to look at because there’s just a ton of information here in Google Analytics.

I just kind of want to go through some of the most important things that you should be looking at if you’re looking at your Google Analytics account. I’ve logged into my account here and this is just kind of the general overview, first page that you get here.

Not something that’s super important. Really what you want to do is first dive into audience here. Now there is real time, which is the first one here. I’m not really concerned about people who are on my website at the current moment. I really don’t care about that demographic or any of that information there.

It may help if I was, if I had a sale going on or something that was very limited time, I could kind of see who was on the site looking at something. But again, for the most part here you really want to start with something like audience and go to overview. This is the majority of the information you’re probably going to want to take a look at first.

I want to explain some of these areas that we’re looking at here. First of all, I want to get a good set of time to actually look over the information that I have. I’ll pull up, usually about a month or so at a glance at minimum here because looking at a week out is not going to give you a whole lot of information.

It will, but the having at least a month view, or a couple month view, if your website is something that’s a seasonal product or topic, you may want to go a little bit further out or even a year out, but really a month should give you a pretty good amount of data to start taking a look at here.

Again, I just clicked on the little calendar area up here, selected the first month. They can also say custom range, whatever. We can see right now this is the, my website and we can see it looks like actually the day before we started here had a good little spike in traffic. For the most part it’s pretty consistent though. I had a little spike here yesterday. We’ll see how today goes. But so here’s the information that I really like to take a look at and this is kind of how you want to be gearing your information, but you got to take a little bit of a grain of salt.

Users, we got 2,000 users over the course of one month. Almost all of those are new users, which again, depending on your niche, your website, your business, you’re selling products. If you’ve just got a blog or what you really have, this can mean something different. But number of users compared to the number of new users.

I’ve got a lot of new people coming to the site, so it may mean that I may want to do something that’s going to bring people back on a regular basis. That could be doing more blog posts, something like that from a social media page or different things like that. Looks like I’ve got a lot of new people, which is great. I’m probably getting a lot of organic traffic but really want to try to drive more repeat customers.

Number of sessions per user. It looks like we’re seeing probably just about one page for every person that comes to the website. Maybe one out of every, I don’t know, what is that?

A 110, excuse me, a 100 people are probably going to go to a second page. They’re probably seeing a lot of my blog posts, which I’m guessing, a lot of people who look at a blog, are going to read the blog and then leave. They got the information they needed and they’re going to leave. Average site duration, so mine’s a little bit low.

But again, most people are coming to my website for blog information, so they’re going to stick around, read an article for about a minute, actually I think about 40 seconds here, and then they’re going to take off. It looks like on average, about 83% of all people will see one page and then bounce off. They’re going to go somewhere else, not on my website.

Ideally you really want to have your bounce rate probably about 70% or lower. If you would just have a regular business website, they should probably be going to at least two or three pages on your website. If it’s this high, chances are you have more of a blog and that’s more of what people are after.

Or if you don’t have a blog, if you have a regular website and people are bouncing this high, that means your information is not really relevant to what they’re looking for and you’re starting to slip in the search engine. Definitely get that bounce rate low by having a relevant information on the page or trying to get them to go to another page on your website.

Again, we can see that there’s 1.19 pages per session. Overall that’s not great, but again, for what I’m doing for the blog post, it’s helping out just fine. Kind of continuing down the left hand side of the audience here, which is probably going to be again, the most important information that you’re going to look at.

We can take a look at demographics and we can see who was looking at my website. Now, why this is important is going to be for targeting through advertising. If I were to run a Facebook ad campaign or a Google ad campaign, this is probably one of the things I’m really going to want to take a look at because if I’m spending money, I want to make sure that the right people who are going to my website are being advertised to.

I can see that for the most part it looks like the majority of the people hitting my website are between the ages of 25 and 34 and the majority of the demographic is male that’s coming to my website, almost 60% here.

If I were to set up some Facebook or Google ads, I would probably set them mostly I’m geared towards male, maybe not keep them away from it, maybe not. Definitely still target them, target females, but maybe have my graphics that are a little bit more male oriented or just kind of keeping that information in mind. Same thing with the age group. Maybe the wording that I use is a little bit more younger generation type of wording. Very simplistic.

Again just maybe not something that’s going to be referencing something from the 70s or whatever. Just try to keep that in mind. Depending on what your business is, this may be more relevant to some people more than others, but if you’re not running ads, this probably isn’t that important to you, but definitely take a look at that.

Interest level is kind of interesting here. No pun intended. Again for me, I kind of want to see the people that are coming to my website, what their interests are. If I’m looking at the in market segment here, I can see that most people coming to my website are looking for information or who are interested in business services, marketing, advertising, employment.

Again, business based off software based information. I’m not sure what the home and garden and travel and leisure is, but again those are just interests that people have in some way shown that they are interested in and that have viewed my website. It’s not like they’re coming to home and garden type blog posts on my website, it’s just an interest level that they are marked as having. Again, maybe a reason to write certain blog posts around these types of things.

Maybe I say, “Well, almost 4% of the people coming to my website are interested, have an interest in business services, advertising and marketing services. Maybe I’ll write more based on that as opposed to design or social media or different things that I do write blog posts around.

Again, continuing down the left hand side here, we’ve got GO graphics and let that pull up here. I can see a pretty good idea of who is visiting my website here as far as what language people are speaking and where they’re coming from. But it’s always good to see because there may be a reason where you see, you take a look at this and you see people coming from a very strange country or speaking a different language.

Maybe you do want to kind of change some of the information on your website more geared towards those people who are visiting it. Maybe that’s why your bounce rate’s so low is because they’re coming from a different country and they want information. They’ve bought your product, but they can’t understand it.

Maybe if I saw a lot of people were coming from other language speaking countries, France, Spain, Portugal, whatever, maybe I would want to have a translate plugin on my website or have translated information in my website.

But I know that most of the people coming to my website are speaking English, either the US or a Great Britain version and then location wise, we can see where those people are coming from. And again, we can see the darker colors up here on the map are going to give me a pretty good indication that those are the high traffic countries.

Canada’s probably close second here outside of the United States. Here we go, and then India, I got a good portion of people from India. Again because the topic that I write around. And you can see some of these other countries here now, it does go off to other countries as well.

There are other countries who run bots that will search your website, either looking for information or search engines or different things like that. It’s not uncommon to see all these different countries like this.

Keep in mind too, a lot of these other countries do speak English as a second language, so they may find something relevant that they’re searching for, that your website gets pulled up for so it doesn’t hurt, but it’s always good to see, hey, there’s people coming from Argentina. Maybe I want to do something based on Argentina every once in awhile or India for one of my blog posts. Definitely good information to take a look at there.

Behavior, we already took a look at that. Basically the new and returning. The technology is kind of interesting though. It’s definitely something you want to take a look at because a lot of people right now are optimizing their website for certain things, whether that be for mobile or for certain browsers.

We can see that most people visiting my website, are visiting it based using the Chrome browser. I would definitely want to make sure that it looks as good as possible in Chrome. There are some differences when going from browser to browser, maybe old versions of Internet Explorer may not look good. If I saw a high level or a high amount of traffic coming in from a browser like this, I definitely want to test it in there. Just make sure that everything’s looking good. But again, just a cursory glance at this kind of stuff is all that’s really needed.

Mobile, again, how many people are coming to your website to view it on desktop versus mobile versus tablet? This is really interesting. Good to know. A lot of people are saying that mobile is taking over for searches and things like that and in certain industries it is. For restaurants you’ll probably see that mobile is a higher search.

Any place where that’s more destination based, maybe more searched on mobile. Whereas my information seems to be almost three times as much viewed on desktops where again, if people are reading my blogs, tend to be a little bit easier to read on a desktop as opposed to a mobile device or a tablet. But if you do see these, definitely test them out on that device to make sure that people are getting the best possible experience in that device category.

Again, most of this other stuff is not something that is immediately important. It is depending on different things that you do, but from an initial glance at your analytics, these are the kinds of things that I want to take a look at. I’m going to jump over to acquisitions here and if you’re running ads, it’s important to take a look at the information here.

I’m not too worried about that. At a glance here I can see where traffic is coming from. I can see it’s coming from mostly from organic, so that’s great. Looks like these search engines are pulling me up for a lot of different things. And that’s how people are finding me. Direct is if someone just types in my web address directly into a browser and it comes up.

That’s great. I see people are actually searching for it that way. I don’t do a whole lot on social, but you would see again, depending on what you do, maybe get a lot of traffic from social or you’re not.

This means maybe I should be beefing up some of my social posts, try to get more traffic that way. And then referral could be from an ad or something like that. Again, from a three month clients we can see that most was organic. That’s pretty good. Mean my SEO efforts are working. And then lastly, we’ll take a look at behavior here.

This is great because we can really drill down and see what pages are being visited on my website. And we can see actually this one, usually it’s going to be your homepage. If you just see this little forward slash here under behavior and overview, that the forward slash is going to be your homepage. I can see that actually that’s kind of second in line here, which is pretty rare. Most websites are going to have their homepage searched first.

But again, with me doing more marketing towards my blog posts, this how to create unlimited Instagram accounts became kind of viral. I get quite a few page views on a daily basis for this one here. And I can see that when it gets the most, another one of my blog posts here, another blog post and then one of my webpages, Michigan SEO Services, and then my contact.

I can see that some of my webpages are actually getting a decent amount of traffic on a regular basis. But other than that, it’s a lot of blog posts here. That’s really good. I can kind of see what’s going on here. This may be good if you were to sell ads on your website or if you saw which blog posts were working, you would know which ones weren’t. Maybe you could either delete old blog posts or kind of go back and redo some of your old blog posts that maybe you felt were very helpful. That should be doing a lot better, but maybe you just need to add more content to it or rewrite it or make it more relevant. All good things.

Especially if you’ve seen this on a regular basis, something that’s really high, then all of a sudden it drops off, maybe there’s a reason for it, maybe all of a sudden there’s an outdated piece of information in there that you just need to update.

Then you can really kind of drill down from there into some of the other things. Site speed’s a good one because speed, how fast your website loads is very critical in your search engine. Excuse me, your search appearance. Google’s going to start to rank you based on how fast your site loads. That’s a new ranking factor that they have.

I can see in Safari, my site takes about two and a half seconds to load, so it’s actually kind of slow. I need to be working on that as well in Opera. And then just keeps getting worse into some of these other browsers here. Four or five seconds, that’s pretty bad. I need to make some changes there to my website, but this could also be based on the country and then again where people are pulling this up from.

You can see that in Mexico average load time takes a little bit longer or actually probably one of the quickest ones. Excuse me. And then Canada, United States are probably the next fastest ones. This could be based on their modem speeds or their, the internet access. But again, I want to take a look at each of these browsers too and make sure that the site is loading as fast as possible.

That’s your brief overview, however long this is, of analytics. What you should be looking for, how to interpret it. And again, there’s a lot of other things that Google Analytics offers here. I’m only just touching on the basic things, the things that I look on on a regular basis. One thing to note, don’t look at your analytics on a daily basis. Try to look at them more on a monthly basis just because it’s easy to kind of get caught up in the oh, I lost a couple visitors today compared to yesterday.

That’s not a thing to worry about. Some things are based on information that’s during the work week or after hours or during business hours. It’s really kind of interesting to see when people are looking at your website. Don’t get discouraged if you’re seeing a little dip in a day or two. Again, just look at it from a more of a month or two month glance and you’ll get a lot better feeling for what people are looking at, how they’re looking at it and the average amounts of traffic that you have coming in.

If you would like to know about anything I did not cover in this video, feel free to reach out to me or leave comment in the comments area below and I’ll be happy to talk more about it. Thanks.