I recently talked about how you can’t do marketing well unless you measure it. And I talked about my favorite Facebook insights with a bonus Twitter insight.

Haven’t read it? Check it out here.

Let’s get to the really big one though — Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is something else, am I right? There are so many places to click. How are you supposed to figure out where to go and what’s helpful?

Hello, I’m a nerd for analytics. Nice to meet you…

The best way to figure out Google Analytics is to dive in and check it out, Google it, or just hire someone who loves this stuff to run your marketing.

Whatever the reason, here are my top 3 goodies to find in Google Analytics.

Audience & Demographics

Who is coming to your website? Look in the left hand menu under Audience to see. You’ll see age, gender, and interests. Not to mention geography and what kind of technology and browser is used.

Google Analytics Tips Audience and Demographics
Who is on your site?

What do you do with this information? Gather all the Google Analytics data and compare it to your target market. Do they match? Good! And if not? Maybe you need to change up your advertising or your message.


Go to Acquisition/All Traffic/Source/Medium. Boom. The first page shows the top 10 places people come from to get to your site.

Google Analytics Tips Acquisition and Source
Got this part down? Try adding the Secondary Dimension for more details.

What if you’re looking for traffic from a particular website? Search for it! Just above that top 10 list.

And what if you want to see how many people came to your site from social media? Acquisition/Social/Network Referrals is where you go.

Google Analytics Tips Social Media
Don’t waste time on social! Know who’s coming from where and when it counts.

What’s listed under social? Facebook (multiple kinds of links — m, l, cpc), Twitter (shows up as t.co), Linkedin, Google Plus, Instagram, and more. Now, the thing is…Google Analytics isn’t a big fan of people coming from mobile, mainly from apps, I believe. Google doesn’t necessarily track those numbers. Just something to keep in mind that you may not get details from there.

Spam Links

Boy do these mess everything up… They inflate your numbers, that then start to drop, and they don’t tell you anything other than that your website has spam links coming to it.

And you’ll always have spam links, really. But if you have spam referral links that have more than 10 hits, that’s when you need to do something about it.

Because even if you choose to ignore them in your reporting, Google doesn’t like seeing those pop up. Therefore, your organic search numbers are going to take a hit.

There’s one quick, but not fool-proof way to fix that. I’ll tell you in this post. But if you want to take more time and be more thorough, follow these directions in addition to the quick fix.

At the top, move to the Admin tab. Look in the columns and find “View Settings”.

Google Analytics Tips Spam Links
On the Admin Page, Right column is View Settings. Then this opens up.

Then scroll down near the bottom and check “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”. Then press Save.

Check again next week, and you should start seeing some changes in your reporting. Wait 2-4 weeks and start to see your organic search numbers go up as well. If they aren’t, then there is a lot more that you can and should be doing to get your website out there.

Search Queries

What do people search for to find you? And what do you do with this information? This is a big one.

First you have to connect your Google Webmaster Tools to Google Analytics. It’s super simple. Just follow these instructions.

Then go to Acquisition/Search Engine Optimization/Queries. These are the search terms people have used where your site showed up in the search.

Google Analytics Tips Queries
Again, if you have this down, try adding the Secondary Dimension for more details.

You’ll see how many times you showed up for a search, how many times people clicked on your link, the average position in the search, the bounce rate, and more.

This information is HUGE. Because there is a lot you can do with these keywords.

First, you know what keywords to put in your Google Adwords ads and how well they’re working. Helpful, huh?

Second, you can SEO your site. What keywords show up that you don’t want to show up under? See if you can figure out why they show up and make it stop (part of that may be in your Google Adwords account). What keywords are not showing up? Put those keywords on your site in Meta Tags, text, and blog posts. What keywords are you showing up for but people aren’t clicking on? Maybe some deeper SEO — on more inside pages — would be helpful here.

Third, look for patterns. What kinds of patterns do you see, and what do they tell you? This is a good place to start to figure out places you can advertise and who your target market should be. Or if you’re targeting the wrong type of person.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Information

There is so much more you can do, but don’t be afraid! Dive in with these three topics and get started. Or ask for help. The more time you spend in Google Analytics, the more you’ll learn.

What other information do you use in Google Analytics? What do you find most helpful?

May 25, 2015

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