Google Analytics: Traffic Sources

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 11.18.55 PM One of the most important features that you can utilize in Google Analytics is analyzing the traffic sources.  If you look on the left hand side you can open this page and in the middle of the page you will see a pie graph that looks similar to the one above.  People always want to know or at least should know how people find their website and thanks to Google Analytics you can easily know this information.

To quickly clarify all of these numbers/names, let me highlight each of them here:

1) Search Traffic- this is the number/percentage of people who arrive at your site due to searching in Google, Yahoo, Bing, or another search engines.  Below the graph you can see a list of the top 10 keyword terms that lead people to your site.

2) Referral Traffic- these are the websites/locations that people are clicking on a link that leads them to your website.  You can click on the link that says "Sources" below the graph under Referral Traffic to see this list.  It can be very valuable to see what leads people to your website/how they are finding you online.

3) Direct Traffic- these are the people that are typing in your domain name in their URL bar and going directly to your site.  This is often a good reference as to how well you are promoting your domain name both among your congregation and in your community.

4) Campaigns- this refers to any traffic that might have come to your site due to a Google Adwords campaign.  If you run Google Adwords campaigns you should see a high number here and if not you should see little to no traffic from these.

People always want to know or at least should know how people find their website.  Almost always people assume that 90% of their traffic is from people directly typing in their domain and are shocked when they find how many people find the site due to search engines (Google specifically).  You can actually dig into these numbers much deeper finding out from each external website how long people stayed on the site, how many pages they viewed, etc.  It really is fascinating, but we'll stay focused on the basics of the feature for now.

Knowing your traffic sources and what people are searching for can be very valuable as you think about who is coming to your site and how effectively you promote the site externally. These numbers can give you a great indication to both how effectively optimized your website is to search engines as well as how well you are promoting your website both through Social Media (referral traffic) and domain promotion (direct traffic).

Please comment to share any thoughts or questions that you might have about the Traffic Sources functionality of Google Analytics.