How to use Google Analytics to Drive more Traffic to Your Website

Posted in Blogging, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 17 Comments

There are probably thousands of articles on the web talking about Google Analytics, such as how to use the free reporting tool, how to set up Google Analytics for your website, and what Google Analytics reports you can take advantage of. This is all great information, especially for novice website designers. What I think is missing is the most critical piece of information, which is “How do I analyze these Google Analytics reports in order to actually make impactful changes to my website?” In this article we are going to answer that question, as well as, provide you with some examples of taking certain data from Google Analytics, analyzing it, and then using it to make changes to your website and/or website marketing.

Analyze Your Website on a Quarterly Basis


Tools like Google Analytics allow you to check your website traffic data as frequently as you’d like. I definitely recommend keeping an eye on your Google Analytics reports daily or weekly. With that said, we all know that checking your reports and actually taking time to analyze them are two different tasks. This is why I recommend that every website owner take a full day each quarter to analyze their reports and implement any needed changes to their website based on what the data is showing.

What Website Data should I be Paying Attention to?


use google reports

It’s easy to get lost in Google Analytics. There is SO much data that you can analyze. Not only is there a ton of data, but the ways in which you can slice it up seem almost endless. Every website owner is going to have different reports to focus on, but there are a few main data points that all website owners should be aware of during their quarterly reviews:

  • Traffic Sources – Keywords: Knowing which keywords are driving the most quality visitors to your website is crucial. You can begin optimizing more of your website around these keywords in order to capitalize on those searches.
  • Traffic Sources – Referring Sites: Understanding which websites are sending the most quality traffic to your website will allow you to focus more effort and time on those sites, and less of your time on under performing websites, moving forward.
  • Visitors Overview: How much of your website traffic is new visitors versus returning visitors? Knowing this might help you phrase content different or run certain marketing programs geared towards one type of visitor versus the other.
  • Content Overview – Top Pages: Having an idea of what pages are performing best will tell you what content your visitors are interested in. Produce more of that!
  • Visits: What days do you have the most traffic to your website? Knowing what days visitors are coming to your website allows you to publish new content or launch promotions on those days in order to capture the most attention.

Now that we have an understanding of some of the most important reports to analyze for your website, let’s dig into each of them to provide examples on how you can use the data to make real impactful changes to your website and website marketing.

Use Keyword Reports to Optimize Your Website


find keywords google analytics

Knowing which keywords to optimize your website with is crucial in attracting the right visitors. Here’s how you can utilize the Keyword reports in Google Analytics:

  1. Go into the Traffic Sources Overview section of Google Analytics
  2. Find your Top ten performing keywords and make a list of those keywords
  3. Go back through your website and begin infusing them into your website content
  4. Use them as anchor text for your URLs
  5. Name your images with your top ten keywords
  6. Add title tags and Alt tags to your images using your top ten keywords
  7. Create a list of new blog topics that you want to write about and be sure to infuse your top ten keywords into those articles

By analyzing your Traffic Sources – Keywords report and following the steps above you will significantly increase your website traffic for those specific keywords.

Once you have completed this first main Keyword optimization during your Quarterly review, go BACK through your Keyword report and sort the results by Average Time on Site. Find five keywords that might not be driving a lot of traffic to your website right now, but the traffic that is coming to your site from those keywords tends to spend a lot of time on your site. These are your “growth keywords”. Repeat the steps above using these keywords to see if with a little more use throughout your website they can produce more traffic.

Spend more Time on the Websites that Refer the most Traffic to Your Website


what sites send the most traffic to my site

Knowing which websites (or social media channels) around the web that are referring the most traffic to your website is critical. As a website owner you only have so much time in the day to market your site. It’s best to use that time wisely. Follow these steps in order to analyze your traffic sources and make impactful changes to your website marketing:

  1. Go into your Traffic Sources report within Google Analytics and review the Top Referring Sites data
  2. Ask yourself, are these the websites that I assumed would be near the top? Are these the websites I’m spending the most time using in order to drive traffic to my website?
  3. Start trying to figure out why some sites are near the top of this list, while others are near the bottom. Perhaps one of the websites near the top is a site that you recently wrote a guest blog article for. Contact the owner of that site and see if you can write another article for them.
  4. Is LinkedIn outperforming Facebook? If so, you may want to tweak the amount of time you spend on both social media sites, with more time being devoted to LinkedIn next quarter instead of Facebook. This strategy can be repeated for all social media sites that you use.
  5. Is Banner Ad ‘A’ outperforming Banner Ad ‘B’? If so, perhaps you want to cancel Banner Ad ‘B’ and ask for more space on the website that’s hosting Banner Ad ‘A’.
  6. Is there a website that you don’t recognize that’s currently sending a lot of traffic to your website? Reach out to the owner of that website and see if you can partner with them in some way in order to capitalize even more on all of the traffic they are sending your way.

Using the Referral Sources report in Google Analytics will help you become more efficient with your marketing time and more effective at driving traffic to your website.

Run a Contest for New Visitors, Say ‘Thank You’ to Returning Visitors


Analyzing your Visitor Profile through the Visitors Overview report in Google Analytics will let you know how much of your traffic is composed of ‘New Visitors’ and how much of your traffic is composed of ‘Repeat Visitors’. You want to encourage new visitors to become return visitors, as well as, continue to attract even more new visitors. Here are a few ways that you can take your data from the Visitors Overview report and actually use it to improve your website:

  • Post some sort of a ‘Thank You’ message somewhere prominent on your website for returning visitors OR send out the periodic ‘Thank You’ email to your email list just letting your supporters know you appreciate them.
  • Do you have an e-Commerce website? Give repeat customers a discount on their next purchase.
  • Create a ‘FAQ’ page to help new visitors quickly understand your website and how to use it
  • Make the ‘Contact Us’ page as prevalent as possible in case new visitors have questions and need to contact you
  • Create a survey for returning customers to capture information that you think will help you provide more value to them in the future
  • Run a contest to encourage new customers to get engaged with your website/brand

Produce More of the Content Your Visitors Like


most visited pages on my website

Understanding what content is resonating with your visitors will help you come up with new content topics for the next quarter.

  1. Go into the Content Overview section of Google Analytics and navigate to the Top Pages report
  2. Find the top 5-6 pages visited over the past 3-6 months
  3. Think about what information is displayed on each of those pages and determine what information the majority of your visitors are looking for
  4. Develop a Content Plan for the next quarter, comprised of topics that you think are most relevant based on your findings above. A few ideas might be:
  1. Write blog articles around popular topics
  2. Focus social media efforts in promoting those top pages or discussing those top topics
  3. Write an eBook expanding on some of those topics that your visitors are finding valuable
  4. Shoot YouTube videos around those topics and embed them into your Top Pages

Producing more of the content that your visitors are finding valuable will keep them coming back, get them to share your website with their friends, and attract new visitors.

Publish New Content, Contests, and General Website Updates on High Traffic Days


Are the weekends a popular time for your website or do most people visit your website during the week? Knowing what days are high traffic days for your website and what days are low traffic days for your website allows you to be much more strategic in regards to publishing new updates to your website. By analyzing the Visits report in Google Analytics you can see which days seem to generate the most traffic. Make a list of your high traffic days and then start taking advantage of those high traffic days in the following ways:

  • Publish blog articles on those days
  • Begin and end contests on high traffic days
  • Spend time on social media during those days
  • Publish events to your website
  • Make architecture or functionality updates on low traffic days

Knowing when, and when not to, publish new information to your website can drastically alter the number of views your new updates receive. Be smart about when you publish new content, news, events, etc. Use the Visits report in Google Analytics as your guide.

Turn Google Analytics Reports Into Impactful Changes for Your Website


Google Analytics is great. The website data provided by Google Analytics can help website owners learn a ton about their website. With that said, unless website owners take time to review and analyze their reports on a regular basis, and then take time to use that data to make changes to their website, they are missing out on the biggest advantage that Google Analytics provides. Google Analytics provides you with a blueprint for giving your visitors what they want, when they want it. Be sure to take advantage of that.

24 Written ArticlesWebsite

Ryan Taft is a twenty-something entrepreneur with a passion for helping small businesses use online marketing tools to reach more customers and prospects, build relationships with those folks, and ultimately grow sales.

17 Comments Best Comments First
  • Shawn

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 22:14

    11

    Good read. I came across this by accident and its exactly what I needed. I just started using google analytics for my blog. My blog is fairly new so its nice to see how its doing. However I was a little overwhelmed with using google analytics with all the options there are. But I am also a little confused. For example if your making a pie chart, it seems as though your only able to look at one specific thing. Instead of comparing like 5 different things. Either that or I am using it wrong. For example I would like my pie chart to show new visitors, returning visitors, subscribed visitors ect. But I can only get it to show one thing. I might need a tutorial on how to set up the charts and pies to show/compare multiple stats.

    +2
  • Joe Zim

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 23:57

    7

    I’ve been using most of these tips for a while now for my blog.
    Google Analytics is quite amazing for being free. Hopefully I can apply a few new tricks to drive even more traffic to my site.

    +1
  • Prity

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 19:26

    5

    I am unsure of the content published here. Especially regarding Infusing Keywords. When you see that the site is already visible with top 10 keywords, then why should be place those same keyword again. Instead an effort should be in using those keywords through which you are least listed in search results.

    Hence, I suggest to work on least performing Keywords.

    +1
  • Larry James

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 03:36

    8

    I like your suggestion of using Google Analytics to find the top ten performing keywords and then going back through my site and inserting them into my website content. Your suggestion seems like an excellent way on getting even more targeted traffic to my website. I can do this for my clients websites also, great idea. Thank you Ryan.

    0
  • Mandy Edwards

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 21:02

    6

    Great article! I use Google Analytics and love it!

    0
  • Mukesh Kumar jat

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 18:59

    4

    A good Knowledge i have gain from here.. i have visited on analytics But wasn’t know how to use that.. You have teach me.. how to use that.. Thank you very much

    0
  • Fred

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 14:02

    2

    Thanks.I need to learn more on how to install analytics to my websites.

    0
  • Manuel Garcia

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 14:51

    3

    This is the reason why I subscribed on this blog. Nice Post. Bookmarked!

    0
  • Damian

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 14:18

    9

    Cheers for this Ryan. Very timely blog post as have spent most of today analysing keywords and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Seems like a never ending task but we’ll get there :)

    0
  • Humayun

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 13:03

    1

    Certainly this is very effective and helpful article. We always expect article like this from this site.

    0
  • Souno

    Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 09:39

    16

    Thanks very much for this great article of Google analytics to help us to improve our site or blog traffic.

    0
  • Naja

    Thursday, April 12th, 2012 20:23

    17

    Good Work ! Congratulations ! It is really great article! I use Google Analytics and love it !

    0
  • Mohsin Ali waheed

    Friday, February 17th, 2012 12:59

    15

    I have read many posts on Analytics but now i realize that i was only reading my stats on Analytics and don’t know who to use it. I think that Ryan Taft has done a wonderful job and teach the blogger like me those thing which no body will tell.

    0
  • manda

    Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 04:21

    14

    Wow, nice article :D , it’s really helpfull :D

    0
  • Kyle

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 19:34

    10

    These are absolutely great tips, but very basic. A way to really know what your traffic is doing on your site, you need to setup goals… A very powerful feature in google analytics.

    0
  • Samantha

    Monday, January 9th, 2012 03:45

    12

    I have analytics installed on my site but I admit I spend very little time analyzing the data. I simply look at the traffic stats and if all looks good, I just move on and forget about it. You’re right though: every webmaster should spend more time analyzing the data that google provides. That’s another mental note to myself :)

    0
  • Grim Cris

    Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 01:10

    13

    Thank you for this awesome detailed article about Analytics. I use it, but I’ve never tried to understand it before. Now I think I need to increase my traffic using your piece of advice.

    0
  • Naja

    Thursday, April 12th, 2012 20:23

    17

    Good Work ! Congratulations ! It is really great article! I use Google Analytics and love it !

    0
  • Souno

    Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 09:39

    16

    Thanks very much for this great article of Google analytics to help us to improve our site or blog traffic.

    0
  • Mohsin Ali waheed

    Friday, February 17th, 2012 12:59

    15

    I have read many posts on Analytics but now i realize that i was only reading my stats on Analytics and don’t know who to use it. I think that Ryan Taft has done a wonderful job and teach the blogger like me those thing which no body will tell.

    0
  • manda

    Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 04:21

    14

    Wow, nice article :D , it’s really helpfull :D

    0
  • Grim Cris

    Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 01:10

    13

    Thank you for this awesome detailed article about Analytics. I use it, but I’ve never tried to understand it before. Now I think I need to increase my traffic using your piece of advice.

    0
  • Samantha

    Monday, January 9th, 2012 03:45

    12

    I have analytics installed on my site but I admit I spend very little time analyzing the data. I simply look at the traffic stats and if all looks good, I just move on and forget about it. You’re right though: every webmaster should spend more time analyzing the data that google provides. That’s another mental note to myself :)

    0
  • Shawn

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 22:14

    11

    Good read. I came across this by accident and its exactly what I needed. I just started using google analytics for my blog. My blog is fairly new so its nice to see how its doing. However I was a little overwhelmed with using google analytics with all the options there are. But I am also a little confused. For example if your making a pie chart, it seems as though your only able to look at one specific thing. Instead of comparing like 5 different things. Either that or I am using it wrong. For example I would like my pie chart to show new visitors, returning visitors, subscribed visitors ect. But I can only get it to show one thing. I might need a tutorial on how to set up the charts and pies to show/compare multiple stats.

    +2
  • Kyle

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 19:34

    10

    These are absolutely great tips, but very basic. A way to really know what your traffic is doing on your site, you need to setup goals… A very powerful feature in google analytics.

    0
  • Damian

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 14:18

    9

    Cheers for this Ryan. Very timely blog post as have spent most of today analysing keywords and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Seems like a never ending task but we’ll get there :)

    0
  • Larry James

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012 03:36

    8

    I like your suggestion of using Google Analytics to find the top ten performing keywords and then going back through my site and inserting them into my website content. Your suggestion seems like an excellent way on getting even more targeted traffic to my website. I can do this for my clients websites also, great idea. Thank you Ryan.

    0
  • Joe Zim

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 23:57

    7

    I’ve been using most of these tips for a while now for my blog.
    Google Analytics is quite amazing for being free. Hopefully I can apply a few new tricks to drive even more traffic to my site.

    +1
  • Mandy Edwards

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 21:02

    6

    Great article! I use Google Analytics and love it!

    0
  • Prity

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 19:26

    5

    I am unsure of the content published here. Especially regarding Infusing Keywords. When you see that the site is already visible with top 10 keywords, then why should be place those same keyword again. Instead an effort should be in using those keywords through which you are least listed in search results.

    Hence, I suggest to work on least performing Keywords.

    +1
  • Mukesh Kumar jat

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 18:59

    4

    A good Knowledge i have gain from here.. i have visited on analytics But wasn’t know how to use that.. You have teach me.. how to use that.. Thank you very much

    0
  • Manuel Garcia

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 14:51

    3

    This is the reason why I subscribed on this blog. Nice Post. Bookmarked!

    0
  • Fred

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 14:02

    2

    Thanks.I need to learn more on how to install analytics to my websites.

    0
  • Humayun

    Saturday, January 7th, 2012 13:03

    1

    Certainly this is very effective and helpful article. We always expect article like this from this site.

    0

Comments are closed.

54.90.128.222 - unknown - unknown - US