Google pretty much dominates when it comes to how a website ranks on the web, so it's not surprising that Google Analytics would have an elaborate system of tracking your website's performance. The Google Analytics system has many great metrics to measure so that you can stay on top of how your website is doing, engagement, who and where your audience is coming from geographically, amongst other data.
A really important metric is learning how your audience is getting to your website (eg, where your traffic is coming from). This is called "Acquisition." The four main categories include the following:
- Direct acquisition is someone who types your website address into the search bar and clicks "enter" or "submit."
- Referral acquisition is someone who clicks on a hyperlink from another website that connects (or points them) to your website.
- Organic acquisition is when visitors search an inquiry into their favorite search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and it yields a result with your website and then they click to visit your website. The importance of understanding how this work is detailed in our SEO Like a Pro blog series.
- Social acquisition is visitors coming to your website from a social media network like Facebook, Twitter, or even Reddit.
It's crucial to up your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy in order to get more organic traffic. But knowing exactly what search terms are being used for organic acquisition and which website or social media network is getting you the most traffic to your website.
Google Analytics has a wealth of information, but save yourself a step and at least 10 minutes a week and just have these reports emailed to you directly.
Here's how to do it in three easy steps (and this applies to any of the reports, not just the acquisition and traffic reports):
01. Log in to Google Analytics and go to the "Reporting" tab
When you first login, you will see your website as a link, then "All Web Site Data" as a sublink. Click that sublink that says "All Web Site Data." Then you can click on the "Reporting" tab.
02. Choose the desired information you would like to create an auto-email report on.
In this case, you go to view "All Web Site Data," choose the "Reporting" tab, scroll down in the left pane to "Acquisition" and select "Channels" under "All Traffic." (Reporting > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels).
Now that "Acquisition" is selected, you can see those top channels we were discussing earlier.
Right now you can start to view your channels. You can see Skill Space's number one channel is organic search results. This is usually most people's number one, especially if they are doing SEO correctly.
You can further specify your acquisition data by clicking on "Source/Medium" in the left pane. This option shows you the channel (organic, social, direct, referral) and the actual website (for instance, instead of just saying "Social" it will also specify "Facebook").
Make sure you have the page open to whichever route you decide to choose ("Overview," "Channels," "Source/Medium," or another report altogether).
03. Choose your email preferences and you are all set.
On you preferred page, in the top left corner of that page you will see the following options: Email, Export, Shortcut amongst others like Customize. Select "Email." A pop-up window will give you options for how you want the report sent to you (as PDF, spreadsheet, etc), how often you would like it sent, and for how long you would like to receive reports.
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