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Headshot of Melinda Samson for How to track website traffic using Google Analytics Interview
Melinda Samson is a Google Analytics, AdWords and Google+ specialist who owns Click-Winning Content.

How to track website traffic using Google Analytics

 

Q1 Why is it important for business owners to know how to track website traffic using Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool provided by Google. Without Google Analytics, or another web analytics tool installed on your website, you’ll have no information about how your website is performing. And when you’re spending time, or money, or both, to increase your web traffic and ultimately your business profits, it’s critical to track, monitor and interpret which online marketing activities are producing the best results so that you can make the right decisions about how to allocate your time and resources most effectively in the future.

Q2. What website traffic statistics or related metrics would you recommend a Google Analytics beginner look at tracking first, and how would they go about finding these metrics?

Watch a 4 minute video that explains where to find and how to interpret some important but fairly basic, website traffic metrics. The metrics discussed are Users, Sessions, Ave Session Duration, Bounce Rate and Pages/Session, as found in your Google Analytics Audience Overview screen.

Q3 Are there any WordPress plugins related to Google Analytics that you would recommend?

Because it’s likely that you visit your website a lot and spend a lot of time there during a visit, ideally everyone should filter their own visits out of their Google Analytics reports, so that you don’t skew the data. This is best done by creating a new View and adding a Filter to remove visits from your own IP address. Read more about setting this up at https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034840?hl=en

However that option isn’t always straightforward for users to implement and sometimes, if you have an ever-changing IP address, it’s even more difficult.

Therefore, I use the WordPress plugin called Google Analyticator by Video User Manuals. It has a setting where you can select not to track WordPress users when they are logged in. By activating this setting, and always being logged in when you visit your website, you’ll effectively remove your own visits from the statistics and therefore get a clearer picture of how your website visitors are behaving.

Q4. Can you recommend any resources (for e.g. websites, blogs, courses etc..) that would help beginners learn how to track website traffic using Google Analytics more effectively?

Google offers free online courses to help you improve your Analytics skills at
https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com

Subscribing to the Google Analytics blog allows you to keep up with changes and new features. You can find it at Analytics.blogspot.com.au

I have a free Google Analytics 101 video series that goes into how to track website traffic using Google Analytics in more detail. It is available at www.ClickWinningContent.com.au/GA101.

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