Whether you’re running a traditional blog or a website for your Fortune 500 company, one tool you absolutely must be taking advantage of is Google Analytics. There are many others that will make a lot of sense too, but nothing has the same reputation or gives you the right information as this classic, and best of all it’s free. Still, if you find you’re having a hard time making sense of the data it provides then these are our top three Google Analytics tips that can help you.
Get Rid of Internal Traffic
It is vital that you not let internal traffic cloud your results. This is as true for one-person companies as it is for those with thousands of employees. Far too many people have had to learn the hard way that their spikes in traffic actually weren’t all that impressive. You probably visit your site from time to time to check on how it looks. If you have employees, they most likely do the same. In both cases, you could be accidentally adding traffic Google Analytics will pick up on and report, though clearly it’s not the kind you had in mind. Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to handle this problem.
Log into your Google Analytics account and go to the Admin tab.
There, find your account and any of those you want to filter out.
Click “Filters” and then “New Filter.” Give it a name. For the drop down, select, “Exclude
> From the IP addresses that are equal to >” and then enter in your IP address.
If you’re not sure what your IP address is, don’t worry.
You can literally Google “what is my IP address?”
Be sure you reset your IP address in Google Analytics any time you work from a new network.
Create a Google Analytics Referrals Report
Getting traffic to your website often comes down to referrals from other sites. These backlinks are something everyone should strive for as it usually means qualified traffic too. Google also takes these backlinks into consideration when deciding your page rank.
However, while Google analytics will show you referral traffic, it won’t give you the URL you want for the sake of doubling-down on this type of resource.
What you’ll want to do to remedy this is:
Go to your Admin tab again and then click on your profile.
Then, at Profile Setting, you want to click on Copy This Profile.
It should be down at the bottom right-hand corner of the page.
Give this new profile an appropriate name.
Now you should see the new profile in your list.
Click on it and then on Filters up top.
Again, give it a name, then check the box for custom filter and hit Advanced.
Next, select Referral in Field A.
In the second box, just enter “(.*).
Leave Field B blank, but select “User Defined for the Output to” and put in “$A1” for Constructor.
Finally, just make sure you’ve ticked Yes for Field A, no for Field B, Yes for Override Output Field and No for Case Sensitive.
Establish Event Tracking
Any time your visitors click on something, Google considers this an “event.” You want to track these closely, because they basically tell you what elements of your site your visitors are interested in and what tactics are getting you clicks.
All you need for this is a Google Event Tracking Code Generator. Then just enter in the type of tracking you’re interest in doing, the category (e.g. “contact us”) you want to track, the action (e.g. “download”) and a label you want to give it, though this is optional.
Google Analytics is meant to be fairly user-friendly, but many people have found it more than just a bit confusing to take full advantage of. With the above three tricks, you’ll be well on your way to understanding more about your traffic thanks to this popular tool.