CEO Series: 4 Google Analytics reports you won’t want to miss in 2012

by · Filed Under Analytics, Paid Search, SEO

It’s a brand new year filled with new data, reporting, marketing campaigns and ideas. Hopefully, one of your resolutions for 2012 is to focus on your website marketing strategy. A great place to start is with Google Analytics.  There are thousands of meaningful and compelling reports within Google Analytics.  Here are four reports that you won’t want to miss in 2012.

1. Mobile Traffic
With the continual increase of smartphone and tablet adoption, mobile will become an even more important marketing channel in 2012.  Using Google Analytics, you can easily identify traffic coming to your website from a mobile device.  You can also determine which type of device, service provider, and operating system they are using.  As these numbers continue to go up, it’s crucial to optimize the mobile marketing initiatives around this data.

2. Flow Visualization
According to the Google Analytics blog post announcing this new report on October 19, 2011, “Our goal is to help marketers and analysts better optimize their visitor experience by presenting the ways that visitors flow through their sites in an intuitive and useful way”. With Flow Visualization, you can graphically visualize how visitors use the website, including entrance and exit points and goal conversion.  This report is highly interactive, providing additional information when hovering over certain nodes within the Visual Flow.  Click here for more information regarding Visual Flows.

3. Multi-Channel Funnels
With the new version of Google Analytics also comes the addictive reporting referred to as Multi-Channel Funnels.  These reports allow you to identify not only the last click leading to a conversion, but also the preceding clicks – or “assists” – which influenced a desired action.  For example, a customer may ultimately make a purchase through a CPC ad. However, prior to making the purchase, they may have interacted with an email campaign or a display ad.  Now, using Multi-Channel Funnels, you can view this rich data set in an easy to absorb graphical display.  For a video with additional information about this type of reporting click here.

4. Real Time Reporting
Up until now, Google Analytics has done a great job reporting on past performance of the website.  Now, you can actually see what is happening currently with the website traffic. This new report was rolled out toward the end of 2011 and has been a lot of fun for marketers to begin using.  A few key things we can track using real time reporting include new vs. returning visitors, pageviews per minute or per second, top keywords, top active pages, and top locations.  Real time reporting allows you to access analytics before and during your marketing campaigns critical launch phase.  You can also easily identify which channels are sending your traffic into the site, in real time.

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