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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.

 

Best of 2012

2012 was a great year and I wanted to reshare my most popular posts of the year: NYC Under Construction

3 Questions with Becky Kiser

3 Questions with Mike Sharrow

Signing my First Book Deal 

Working in a church that you would not Attend

 

One of the biggest lessons that I learned this year was the importance of writing consistently.  You can see that traffic that has grown throughout 2012 and I hope that as I continue to grow and share that this trend only continues.  Thanks for being a part of the journey!

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1 More Reason to Love Standard Theme: SEO!

So I've talked about this recently, but the more I dig into the Standard Theme the more I love it!  I'm in no way an expert when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but I do know how important it is. Take a look at traffic that comes to this blog:

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Curious what color represents what traffic source?

Here's the answer:

Blue- Direct (people that type in http://nilssmith.com)

Green- Google

Orange- Facebook

Yellow- Facebook mobile

Honestly, I'm surprised to see how little traffic comes from Twitter, but that's not what this post is about.  22% of the traffic would not be visiting this site if it weren't for the Search Engine Optimization that Standard Theme built into this Wordpress theme.  My guess would be that many of the direct links likely found NilsSmith.com via Google as well.

Check out this feature below the Standard Theme built into the template allowing writers to add a Meta Description to each post:

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This seems like a small thing, but I'm telling you this meta description is key to people finding you online.  If you want a blog just for friends and family, SEO isn't important.  If you're looking for a platform to grow and reach people all over the world, SEO features such as this are critical!

I promise that I don't work for Standard Theme (although I'd love to), but I will admit that I do get a commission if you buy the Standard Theme linking from this site.

I really don't share this info though to make a buck.  I honestly love the Standard Theme and think you would too!