How to use the 4 most useful reports in Google Analytics

Editor's note: Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information – sometimes too much data. That's why we published this article on four Analytics reports that any content marketer should consider.

Although you can use Google Analytics data in a variety of ways, the four most useful reports for your marketing content traffic include traffic, navigation summary, organic search traffic, and traffic analytics. conversions.

Once you understand what this data is and how to track it, you can combine information to take advantage of the possibilities offered by your web content, generating more traffic to your site and (more importantly) exploiting more. you have.

RELATED HANDPICKED CONTENT: Simple Tips for Optimizing Your Site's Performance with Google Analytics

Circulation

Why this report is useful

The traffic report (called the Pages report in Google Analytics) looks at the pages that generate the most traffic on your website. By default, it also displays metrics such as the time on the site and the bounce rate.

How to find in Google Analytics

Go to Behavior> Site Content> All Pages.

To expand the list of pages, change the number of lines displayed by selecting Show Lines at the bottom left of the screen.

Also, make sure the report covers an appropriate period. I usually look at the research volume for the last quarter, six months, or the year for this exercise.

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How to act on these data

This list of pages is a gold mine. Because many people access your website through these pages, keep a permanent list and check it regularly. However, remember that the fact that a page receives a lot of traffic does not mean that it is effective. That's why you should check the pages that generate the most traffic:

Make sure the page highlights the best of your brand. Does this page contain a message? Does he have current information and the best calls to action?
Include your best links. Because busy pages attract a large number of visitors, be sure to include links to relevant, fast-converting pages and messages.
See what visitors are doing Do visitors spend time on the page? Do they go out or move to other pages of the site? (See the following section on Navigation Summary for more details.)
Just because a page receives a lot of traffic does not mean it's effective, says @MicheleLinn. Click to tweet
RELATED HANDPICKED CONTENT: The Secrets of Highly Effective Online Content

Navigation Summary

Why this report is useful

Although there are several ways to search the pages to see visitor behavior, my favorite report is the Summary of Navigation, where you can see 1) how visitors access a page and 2 ) where they click once that they are there.

How to find this data in Google Analytics

In the traffic report, click on any page. At the top, click the Navigation Summary option.

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This page shows how visitors are accessing this page from your website – and you can see where visitors are clicking. As with the traffic report, you can adjust the number of lines displayed.

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Previously, Google Analytics offered an In-Page Analytics report, which indicated where visitors clicked on a page on your website, but this report did not show how visitors accessed the page. You can add this feature to your browser with the extension of Google Page Analytics for Chrome.

Add the @Google Chrome Analytics Page extension to show how visitors are accessing your page. @MicheleLinn Click to Tweet

How to act on these data

Pay attention to two parts of this report:

The path of the previous page is useful for you to know which page a person has visited on your website just prior to their arrival on the page you are analyzing. This provides some context for understanding how people access this page, and can give clues to what information they have – and what they still need.
The path to the next page shows what users have clicked on this page to continue on your site. These data can indicate what issues people still have. In addition, you can see if people click on pages that convert correctly (more on this later).
Google's Next Page Path analysis can indicate the questions people still have, says @ michelelinn. Click to tweet

Trafficking in organic research

Why this report is useful

Not only do you want to know which pages generate traffic in general, but it is also useful to understand which pages are popular in organic search.

Search traffic is important for two reasons:

If a search generates a lot of traffic on a page, be more sensitive when making changes to that page. For example, you would not want to rewrite the text as this could significantly affect the ranking of this page by Google.
It offers the opportunity to learn more – with some additional work – on the traffic generated by these pages.

How to find this data in Google Analytics

Go to Acquisition> All Traffic> Channels. You see a list of channels generating traffic on your web pages.

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Select Organic Search, then Landing Page (under Main Dimension).

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To search for traffic on a specific page, such as a blog post, paste everything following the main URL into the search box. You can see the effect of organic search traffic on this page by viewing the absolute number of sessions as well as a percentage of your search traffic.

How to act on these data

Consider two things about pages that generate a lot of search traffic.

First, be careful when making changes. Understand that these pages are probably well ranked in Google. Pay attention to what you change on this page because you do not want to have a negative impact on the quality of the search. I do not suggest never changing the page, but to walk more carefully and monitor more frequently the behavior of the pages after the changes.

Be careful when editing pages that have a good ranking in @Google, advises @ micheleLinn. Click to tweet

The good news is that there are ways to learn more about why visitors visit these pages. I use SEMrush for this purpose. Here's an example of how to do this using one of our Magnet Research – Developing a Strategy pages.

Go to SEMrush and paste the URL of the page.

Scroll down to access the main organic keywords section.

In this example, users of this page want to know more about content strategy, content marketing strategy, marketing plan, and content plan. As such, it's a good idea to make sure the page addresses each of these topics. (Note: High traffic landing pages are often work in progress and need to be continually reviewed and updated to best answer the researcher's questions.)

Use @semrush to learn more about why people are visiting popular pages. @michelelinn #tools Click to Tweet

Check to what extent the results of the keywords on the page match your intentions. If you find that your intention for the page differs from the way visitors use it (and that their needs are relevant to your business), keep this page as is. Then create a new page that helps you better with the original topic you had in mind.

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Conversions

Why this report is useful

In most content marketing programs, conversions are an essential parameter. These are actions that visitors must perform when they arrive on your website. Do you want them to sign up for an email? Download something? Attend an event?

How to find this data in Google Analytics

The way you get this information varies and probably requires manual work. Start by defining your goals. Andy Crestodina, my goal-setting expert, describes the process described in this section of his video titled How to Set Up Google Analytics:

Once your goals are set, follow them under Conversion> Goals> Preview. You can examine the goals globally or by pages by converting them into specific goals.

How you can act on these data

While the raw number of conversions is useful, the number of conversions divided by the number of page views – the conversion percentage – is more useful.

The higher the conversion percentage, the more likely the visitor of this page is to be converted. These are the pages (which Andy calls the champions of conversion) that you should share and promote.

Once you have identified your conversion champions:

Optimize these pages so that they are more likely to appear in searches.
Push these pages on the social.
Link to these pages from your high traffic pages.

These are just four ways to use Google Analytics for you to take action. Want more? Read How to apply analytics data to make better decisions about content marketing.

Want more information to facilitate the measurement of content marketing? Subscribe to our free newsletter on weekdays.

Note: All the tools included in our blog posts are suggested by the authors, not by the CMI editorial team. No post can provide all the relevant tools in the space. Do not hesitate to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or those you used).

Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute

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