Every good traffic-building campaign needs to be monitored at every stage. This is something easily done with Google Analytics. Just sign up, paste the code into your web pages as instructed, and you’re ready to go. Beware–if you’re one of those personalities that monitors the daily fluctuations of the stock market, you may find Analytics just a bit addictive. If you’re a new website owner, get the Analytics program installed immediately. Down the road, you’ll realize the importance of traffic building activities and will be glad you took this initial step.
There’s no need to hire a programmer–some of my favourite reports are quick and easy to create using Google Analytics.
Create a Market Segment
If you’re a company that caters to local or regional clients, you may want to create an Advanced Segment first. This will allow you to view any reports–including custom designed ones–as they really apply to your target market.
Under Advanced Segments, create a new custom segment. For this example, we’re going to create a segment for the territory of Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York, Pennsylvania.
Select Visitors, then slide the “City” dimension over to the report form. For “Condition” select “Matches Exactly”, then type “Harrisburg”. Continue this process for Lancaster and York, ensuring that you Add “or” Statement between each.
Then, because some of these cities exist in other states, I will Add “and” Statement and slide over the Region dimension and “Match Exactly” to “Pennsylvania”.
The last step is to name your segment. In this case, I’m calling it “York-Harrisburg-Lancaster-PA”. Then click on “Test Segment” to view the results. You now have the capability of viewing that market segment in any report–custom or canned. Now let’s monitor your traffic building progress.
Monthly Organic Progress Report
Organic search results are unpaid traffic that is sent to your website from the search results. To easily view your monthly organic search results, click on “Custom Reporting”, then “Create New Custom Report”. You’ll notice the same format you used when you created your market segment.
Start with the metrics–slide over the metrics for Visits, Time on Site, Pages per Visit, Bounces and Bounce Rate. Most of these metrics are self-explanatory except for the Bounce Rate. The Bounce Rate is important–it’s the percentage of visits that immediately click off your site. It’s a great indication that either the wrong traffic is being sent to your site, wrong keyword usage, or the site needs some work.
Now, under the Dimensions section, select “Medium” and slide it over to your report. Medium is the breakdown of organic, referrals, or direct visits to your website. As a Sub-Dimension, slide over “Month”, then “Keyword” below that.
Be sure to edit the name to something you’ll better recognize. In this case I’m calling my report “Medium Progress by Month”. Your report layout should now look something like this:
To finish, select “Create Report”.
Save Your Report to the Dashboard
Select your report, then drill down to Organics, then Month. Apply your market segment filter by selecting the “Advanced Segments” in the upper right corner. Checkmark the “York-Harrisburg-Lancaster-PA” segment to apply to your custom report. You can deselect “All Visits” to view only your new market segment. Now that you have it the way you want to view it, select “Add to Dashboard” and you’ll have an instant view of the organic results every time you log onto your Analytics account. Or, better yet, click on “Email” and schedule this report to arrive in your inbox on a daily, weekly or monthly interval. Quick and easy–nothing to it!
Let me know how you make out and please share your own favorite reports.
About the Author
Marita Hines has over 9 years offering website solutions. Her firm Artspell Web Solutions designs affordable websites that are search engine optimized from day one.