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Standard Google Analytics Reports to Improve Online Marketing

As a fan of the Google Analytics blog, I thought findings from a recent survey very appropriate for businesses with websites and mobile apps. [F4N4QRBJ47ZY] The blog states

“Over three-quarters of businesses who have trained their staff to improve their data capabilities in the past two years report significant benefits from online data (compared with only 20% of those who haven’t provided training).“

Google constantly improves and changes the Analytics tools, and 2013 will be no exception to that rule.  I can never wait to beta test the new functions in the tool.  That said, there are some very basic reports already available in Google Analytics that can help every business make better decisions for online marketing in 2013. Businesses can put Analytics data to work, using it to improve their website and mobile apps, but they can also use it in acquisitions, product development and other business strategy decisions. The main problem most businesses face is that the sheer volume of data that Google Analytics collects is almost overwhelming.  These basic reports can get any business started in making more informed decisions.

Top 3 Standard Google Analytics Reports and Tips to Use Them Wisely

1. All Traffic Sources report.

This report helps you understand where traffic is originating from, and if you select the ecommerce or goal value feature at the top of the report and a few advanced segments like paid traffic, organic traffic, direct traffic and an advanced segment I created called “email traffic” you can quickly see this month’s marketing efforts paying off in comparison to last month’s data.


If you remove the advanced segments, you can click into each individual campaign to see its performance.  The more you drill down into the traffic sources report the more insight you will have about the factors that drove traffic from these sources.  There is a custom report available from Google to see keyword performance available hereAll Search Performance that when applied to the advanced segments like non-paid search traffic and paid search traffic will show you how your keywords are performing.

2. Landing Pages report.

Looking at the data for landing pages allows companies to give customers what they are searching for so that they have a higher conversion rate and higher AdWords quality score.  This is way their ads will show more often in search results.


If you also select a secondary dimension of keyword, you can see exactly what types of traffic came to the page (using advanced segments) and what keywords they used to find that page.  You will be able to see the bounce rates and the conversions on each landing page, and then you can review these pages, make improvements and even use the A / B testing to create a duplicate landing page and have Google test if it works better than the original for you.  There are several things that make landing pages convert better, including page load speed, related content to the search term or ad, better call to actions, and enticing sales.

If some traffic sources have better results on specific landing pages than others, use the information from these search terms or ads to apply to the other sources.

There are other factors besides bounce rate that apply to landing pages, for example you may want to look at transactions, goals, revenue, and time on page as well.

3. Goals Report.

The standard goals report shows all the goals that have been set up.  Obviously this report is extremely important to review against past data to make sure goals are increasing with the marketing efforts.


If the site has a shopping cart and ecommerce analytics is set up, these reports allow you to drill down past goals and see actual product performance. You can see the top products and which types of traffic (applying advanced segments again) resulted in the most sales.  You will be able to segment locations, browsers, traffic sources that were best at reaching goal conversions.

Using the Goal Funnel report you can drill down into the shopping cart or goal completion process and try to improve the areas where visitors drop out of the funnel.


Sometimes visitors use several types of traffic sources to revisit the site before they actually buy.  Many shop around, comparing prices and reading reviews before making a purchase.  To get a better idea of what assists in a goal conversion or sale, there is another Goals report called Multichannel Assisted Conversions that can help business owners understand where they should be concentrating their marketing dollars.


It is often surprising to see how often organic search and email are involved in conversions.  Many times the coupon that was sent out in the email drives not only email conversions but later direct and organic search conversions.

There is a wealth of other standard reports available in Google Analytics to answer questions about what people do on each page, where they are physically located, and how they navigate through the website pages until they find what they want. My advice is to revisit the help tutorials in Google Analytics and subscribe to the Analytics blog.  The data is there for you to use, and because there is so much data, we often forget how effective it can be in assisting us with marketing decisions.

2 replies on “Standard Google Analytics Reports”

  • StephanieAiello

    Hi Sue, thanks for sharing, these reports are really helpful.  I’m excited to see what Google Analytics does in 2013 considering how drastically it’s changed in the past year.  Another report I find really helpful is the Goal Flow report so clients can visualize where traffic comes in, which pages they view, if they take action, and when/where they drop off.  It’s great to show their site is working for the typical user.

  • Caitlin Connors

    Wow there is a lot you can do with Google Analytics. I’d suggest making sure you understand what your client is most interested in understanding and hone in on those numbers. Social Media can be a bit difficult to report (the age-old ROI issue), but there are some reports that can help you.

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