Friday, June 22, 2007

Google Analytics: Traffic Sources

Ok, it's been a while since I've done a post on Google Analytics, so here's one. Today, we are going to be covering the section entitled Traffic Sources:

Now, before I talk about the actual content, I'd like to bring this up. That gigantic spike that occurred when PZ linked to me has finally passed. The big graph now makes a lot more sense, and is on a more appropriate scale; thank goodness.

Ok, so, traffic sources is basically telling you from where people come from. The overview page has that line graph, as every page does. It also gives you a couple of statistics about where people come from: directly vs. search engines vs. referrals. As you can see, I'm pretty popular on search engines. It also gives keywords that people used to get to your site. As you can see, there must have been a report on persuasion, because a lot of people visit my site to check on the different types of appeals. And it's also fun to see the random terms people get to you by, my favorites are "open source gould stephen" and "bible striped stick" (actually, now that I think about it, it seems rather sensible). So yeah, tons of fun!

Now we're going to "direct traffic". This is basically a few statistics on how much your site is visited. I don't know exactly what bounce rate is, but I was able to find out that if a page has a lot of it, you should update it. Not much here.

"Referring Sites" is precisely what it sounds like. It lists the sites that refer you. Now, if you want more detail on a specific site, just click on it, and it will give you the specific page which refers you. I don't know, for me, most of them come from blogger. But your stats may vary.

"Search engines" is also precisely that. I know it seems weird that GOOGLE Analytics would provide a page for this, but that's how it is. And surely enough, >90% of searches come from google for me. If you want more detail, just click on the search engine. It'll tell you the keywords people used to get to your site.

"All Traffic Sources" is basically a comparison of the last three categories put together. You can compare ALL of the sources in this view. Like for me, I know that google is the #1 source of my visits. More than even direct visits (that seems weird for me).

"Keywords" is also self-explanatory. It's the keywords that people used to get to your site. Of all companies, I would expect Google to get this right.

The next three things have to do with advertising. So, I don't know much about them. If you haven't noticed, this web site is entirely volunteer-driven. So, I don't make money from you guys. So yeah, there's everything I know about traffic sources. You can have a lot of fun in this section. Now I'm going to let you loose and see where your visitors come from. Enjoy!

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