Google Analytics is the most comprehensive online reporting tool available for webmasters. Not only does it report search engine performance, it also tracks traffic referrals from third-party sites and visitor activities. The breadth and depth of GA statistics are unparalleled, considering that Google holds 66 percent of the online search market.
To date, more than 15 million sites are running GA codes to track traffic and other web statistics. These GA figures are too important to be ignored by online marketers and SEO experts.
GA includes traffic data based on visits referred by Google and third-party sites as well. Traffic data is updated on a daily basis and can be segmented by the location of visitors, keywords, browsers and other variables. GA also tracks the time spent by each visitor, the number of pages visited and the bounce rate.
The bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who did not click a single link in a site after visiting it. A high bounce rate can mean that visitors found all the information they need on a single page, or it can also mean the opposite. The general sentiment in the SEO community is that a low bounce rate in the long run is a sign of poor content. The time spent by visitors on the site is just an estimate. GA does not include the time spent by visitors who bounced no matter how long they viewed the page.
Traffic statistics covers the region, city and country of origin of the internet service provider used by the web visitors. GA also generates a graph to show which countries have referred visitors to your site. Information about the operating system, desktop and mobile browsers is also included in GA.
Overall traffic is also segmented by landing page and key paths starting from your root directory. This reporting makes it easy to check which pages and website sections are getting the highest traffic and longest duration of visit.
The number of new and returning visitors are available in traffic summary and segmented traffic reports. These statistics are vital indicators of web authority and popularity. An increase in the number of returning visitors in the long run indicates improvement in domain recognition and user experience.
The Organic Keywords and Queries statistics guide SEO specialists in discovering keywords that can potentially improve search engine traffic. GA Keywords shows the actual query strings used by visitors to access your site, whereas Queries shows all the keywords that led to impressions in the search result page, regardless whether your site was clicked or not. These statistics can be used to leverage the current ranking score of your site by showing potential keyword mix you can adopt in your current SEO campaign.
Goal conversion metrics can be based on URL destination, duration of visit and number of page visits. Unlike the default traffic and search metrics, Goals should be defined first by webmasters before any conversion data can appear in GA.
For instance, your Goal can be designated as a specific URL destination that provides access to free coupons. GA allows you to set your own score on which it will base its conversion report. A Goal can also be categorized as Time on Site if your aim is tied to visitor behavior. This Goal requires you to set a level of user engagement for a certain section of your website.
Online shoppers usually visit several sites before buying. The channels taken by your customers can be captured by GA in Multi-Channel Funnels. The data can help you make better advertising decisions in macro level. The channels covered by this report were accessed by customers during 30 days prior to sale or conversion. With Multi-Channel Funnels, you can know the time lags, leading conversion paths, and how and when channels led to conversion. The data is presented in a pretty graph to help you visualize the interactions of different channels.