How I Grew my Website Traffic by Over 600 Percent by Using Google Analytics

Over the last couple months of running Studio Krystal, I've quickly learned the importance of having Google Analytic's. Learning to navigate the platform to see exactly what I needed was one of the biggest things I had to learn, along with understanding the data that Google was putting forth to me. As I've continued to study my Google Analytic's, I've been able to put it to good use by growing my monthly website traffic 600 percent.

Yes, 600 percent!

How many of you are looking at the number and saying "I want to do that"?

In today's post, I'm going to be sharing all that I know about Google Analytic's and how the platform directly effects how I've grown my traffic. I'll start by breaking down the platform so that you fully can understand what Google Analytic's has to offer and sharing the main areas on Google Analytics you should focus on. And then, of course, I'll also be providing you with a FREE checklist of 20 ways you can grow your website traffic and use Google Analytic's to measure this growth!

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free premium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic {Wikipedia}. Google Analytics is the program widely used by many bloggers, small businesses and fortune 500 companies. 

However, while this definition sounds pretty basic for Google Analytic's there is so much more data inside the program that helps you not only track your traffic but understand them, their movements and how you can better produce content directly affecting them! 

Terms to Understand in Google Analytics:

PAGEVIEWS are the total numbers of pages viewed (repeated views of a single page are counted in this total number).

SESSIONS are the period of time that a user is actively engaged with your website. 

USERS are visitors who have had a least one sessions (although on user can have MORE than one session) within the selected date range (these counts include both new and returning visitors). 

BOUNCE RATE is the percentage of single-page visits your website has gotten in the selected date range. 

AVG. SESSIONS DURATION is the average length of one session.

LANDING PAGE is the page in which an individual comes to your website and lands on first. Typically this is your homepage, but depending on the links you promote, it can be other pages within your website.

CHANNELS are the methods in which traffic is brought to your website. These channels can include; social, direct, referral and organic search.

Different Data Collection Areas of Google Analytics:

AUDIENCE OVERVIEW is the area that you are going to become most familiar with as you study your analytics information. This area shows you all of the important information about your traffic such as; number of pageviews, users, sessions, bounce rate percentage and other important information directly related to your audience. 

If you dive deeper into the Audience area within Google Analytics you are also able to find information about the age range visiting your website, gender and other demographic information directly related to your audience.

ACQUISITION OVERVIEW (formerly known as Traffic Sources) is the area where you are able to view further in-depth information about where your traffic is coming from and how they are getting to your website. This is the area that I study most often so I can use the platforms that are driving the most traffic to my websites to drive even more traffic.

BEHAVIOR OVERVIEW is the area that is probably least familiar to you in Google Analytic's. It's the area that digs deeper into your website traffic and tells you where your viewers land first and how they travel through your website. There are other features to this area directly in relation to your website traffic and the patterns they take. However, I only use it for some of its basic uses.

Now that we know the basic terminology and areas with Google Analytics, I'm going to share with you the areas that I pay the most attention to and use to help grow my website traffic!

Don't worry I'll also be sharing how you study this information and then how to set goals to directly use this information to influence the growth of traffic coming to your website.

Changing the Date Range to View Data:

Most of the time we don't always want to view our analytics from the default time period that Google presents to us. For me, I like to view my analytic's on a daily, weekly and monthly basis so that I can fully analyze what can help me to build my traffic. 

Below is the default screen that will appear when you first get inside your Google Analytic's dashboard. To change the date range simply click the dates in the upper right-hand corner. Select the date you want your analytic data to display from and then, of course, the date you want the analytics data to end at. 

Feel free to experiment with these date ranges to best suit your website needs!

Understanding Where Your Traffic is Coming From:

One of the most important sources of information for me was to find out where my website traffic was coming from. There are a few different ways in Google Analytics you can view this information but I'm going to show you the easiest and most comprehensive way.

1) Head over to your Google Analytics Dashboard
2) Select Acquisition in the left-hand sidebar
3) Select 'Overview' from the drop down menu

Here is what you should be seeing:

This area clearly tells you the main platforms (or sources) that traffic to your website is coming from.

SOCIAL TRAFFIC is pretty basic and this means that your traffic is coming from social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

DIRECT TRAFFIC refers to visitors who are actually putting in your URL to the address bar or they have clicked a link from a bookmark that directly comes to your website. 

REFERRAL TRAFFIC is Google's way of tracking traffic that is coming from outside of its search engine. When someone shares your link on their website any traffic that uses that link to come to your website counts as referral traffic.

And finally, there is ORGANIC TRAFFIC which refers to visitors coming to your website through unpaid search results within search engines like Google itself. For example, you've typed 'Studio Krystal graphic design' into Google and you click to visit my website. This counts as 1 session towards my organic traffic.

Some of you might also be able to see E-MAIL TRAFFIC and this traffic refers to those individuals who have clicked your website link within an e-mail newsletter and came directly to your website. As of right now, I don't get this kind of traffic but one day I hope to.

Digging Deeper to Understand your Traffic:

While the categories are important to understand for you to know where you traffic is coming from it's the actual social platforms and links we want to know about. To learn more about what websites your traffic is coming from just simply click on the channel methods in the bottom chart. Here is what would pop up for social traffic when you do this:

How I use this Information to Grow my Business:

This is the most important area on Google Analytics for directly influencing my business. As you can see from the screenshot above my top traffic source is Facebook. Knowing this I can better target my promotions and time to Facebook rather than other platforms that I know aren't doing as well. This information also tells me that Pinterest is the platform that provides the least traffic to my website so I know that I need to really dedicate more time for this platform.

All of this data really helps me know what platforms to attack next and how much time and dedication to put into each platform.

Where Traffic Lands When they View Your Website:

When someone visits your website they automatically come to your home page, right? WRONG!

When someone visits your website they can start off by landing on your home page, services page, blog or even a specific post you have within your blog. Did you know? Google Analytics tracks these landing pages for you so you can understand the flow of traffic within your website. 

1) Head over to your Google Analytics Dashboard
2) Select 'Behavior' in the left-hand sidebar
3) Select 'Site Content' from the drop down selection
4) Select 'Landing Pages' for the second drop down selection

Here is what you are going to see:

By looking at my Analytics, it's pretty clear that my home page actually is my main landing page for my traffic but then we start to get into my blog posts. Since I share my home page link the most, this doesn't shock me that most of my traffic lands on this page first.

How I use this Information to Grow my Business:

This information allows me in the future to know what pages get the most traffic so that I can continue to update these posts so they stay relevant for those reading them. For example, if this information were to change and my portfolio page became the page that viewers landed on first. I would spend time updating this page with new content, new layouts, and new features to keep it relevant and interesting.

Understanding What Devices Your Traffic is Coming From:

With the explosion of cell phones and tablets, there is a 50/50 chance that our visitors are no longer visiting our websites from their desktops or laptops. Once again, Google Analytics tracks this information for us so we can optimize our websites for these new devices.

1) Head to your Google Analytics Dashboard
2) Select 'Audience' in the left-hand sidebar
3) Select 'Mobile' from the drop down selection
4) Select 'Overview' from the second drop down selection

Here is what you should now be seeing:

How I use this Information to Grow my Business:

Using this information is very simple. For any website and any business, you want to make sure that your website can be viewed on desktops, phones, tablets and other devices without any errors. Hiring a website designer will make sure you get these benefits and don't have to worry about all the code!

Are you tired yet? Because my fingers and brain certainly are from making sure I got down all of the information that I wanted to. 

Google Analytics is a HUGE platform and I've only just touched on the basic information that is important for any blogger or business owner to know. This information can really make or break your business depending on how you chose to use it. Which I suggest doing wisely!

Obviously, I have used each section of what I just talked about to directly influence my business for the better! I've been able to grow by 600 percent and I believe that you can too by digging deep into these areas of Google Analytics!

But we all want to know how to GROW our website traffic? Growing your traffic is super easy with the help of my checklist which includes 20 fool-proof ways to help grow your website traffic!

Click the image below to download your checklist and get started growing your website like never before!