Which Reports Indicate How Traffic Arrived At A Website?

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The Entrepreneur’s Guide to website traffic and tracking!

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, understanding how your website traffic arrived at your website and what those users are doing once they get their is crucial for growing your business and profitability.

But so many business owners I talk to aren’t exactly sure which reports actually indicate how traffic arrived at their website. So in today’s post, we are going to break down a few different reports in universal analytics that show you where your website traffic is actually coming from. I’ve even included a few Loom video tutorials for those of you that like an added visual (like me)!

Note, if you don’t have Google Analytics set up yet, you will need to do that first before being able to utilize any of the reports or tips in this blog post! Hootsuite has an awesome Google Analytics set-up guide if you need a tutorial.

Expert Tip: Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics in July 2023, so you will want to make sure you start collecting G4 data soon. What does this mean? If you’re interested in reports for G4, hop onto my email list to be the first to know when I release that content.

Why is Tracking Website Traffic Important?

Before we go any further, let’s chat for a minute about why tracking your web traffic is important. I am always surprised at how many entrepreneurs (even those making multiple six figures) don’t really have a solid understanding of where their revenue is coming from. Crazy, right? But we can fix that because you can’t truly scale your business if you don’t actually know what is or isn’t working. 

Knowing which web channels your traffic comes from and what actions they are taking on your website are must-have data when it comes to business growth. For example, do you know what percentage of your Instagram traffic actually signs up for your newsletter? What about your podcast? Do you know if your listeners are converting to website visitors? 

All of this information is critical when growing and scaling your business. You don’t know what you don’t know.

In order to track traffic properly, you need to use some type of tracking parameters or values to help Analytics platforms better understand where each individual user is coming from. Luckily, there is a super easy way to do this and it will help you better understand how ALL of your marketing efforts across multiple platforms are working for your business.

How to Track Traffic From Third-Party Websites (like social media)!

What Are UTMs?

UTM’s are an easy way to track web traffic online if you’re sharing links on any social media platforms or even in your email campaigns! UTM’s use specific parameters that are added to the end of a URL. They integrate with analytics platforms so you can easily see exactly which links and from what platforms are driving traffic to your website.

Why Are They Important?

UTM’s are important because as business owners, we need to know where traffic is coming from and how it’s converting on our website’s. Platforms like Google Analytics aren’t always 100% at providing us with the correct referral or website source information, so UTMs act as an additional way to ensure you know where your traffic originates from.

How Do You Use UTMs?

In order to use UTM’s, you need to understand what they are. There are 5 different UTM parameters you can use, but Google requires you to use at least the first three so we are just going to focus on those in this post.

UTM Parameters Simplified

Campaign Source

This is the source of the traffic. Think Google, Newsletter Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc. 

Ex: utm_source=instagram

Campaign Medium 

This parameter indicates the type of traffic. For example, organic social, paid, email, etc.

Ex: utm_medium=organic

Campaign Name

Ex: utm_campaign=novchallenge

Your final URL might end up looking something like this: 

https:ninagibson.co?utm_source=instagram+&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=challenge

Don’t worry! Google has an easy-to-use UTM builder so you don’t have to create your UTM URLs manually! And if you’re thinking that your URLs will start to get too long and look spammy, you would be right. I strongly recommend using a URL shortener like Bitly (and so does Google).

Ok, now that we’ve covered why tracking is important and a key component for getting the most out of your Analytics reports, let’s dive into the reports.

Different Website Traffic Reports in Google Analytics

The Acquisition section in Google Analytics is going to be your new best friend. This is the EXACT section of Analytics that will tell you where your website traffic is coming from. 

It will give you information on the traffic channel, i.e. whether your traffic is coming from Direct (think bookmarked URLs), Organic, Social, Referral or Paid. 

You can then break down the channels into specific traffic Sources/Mediums. For example, Instagram and Facebook for Social or Google vs. Bing for Organic. 

If you want an overview of how to find these reports in Google Analytics, I made you a Loom!

Watch the Loom! How to find the Acquisition Tab in Google Analytics!

How to Track Launches or Campaigns

Now, let’s say you recently launched a new service or offer and you’re curious how your launch social posts are performing, or maybe you’re spending money on paid ads. This is where your UTM parameters are going to be super useful, especially if you’re a product based business! You will be able to see exactly how many orders and revenue are coming from different web channels or marketing campaigns. 

Under the same Acquisitions section of Analytics is a section called “Campaigns.” This is where the campaign data that you set in your UTM parameters will get pulled through and you will be able to see exactly how many users are coming to your website from the individual campaigns – paid or organic – that you have running! Pretty cool, right? 

And finally, if you’re curious which URLs your organic traffic is landing on, then the landing page report in Analytics is your go-to. The great thing about this report is that you can 

Follow these steps to view landing page traffic

➡️ Go to the Behavior tab

➡️ Then Site Content 

➡️ Then Landing Pages

If you want a video tutorial, check out this Loom!

Watch the Loom! How to find the Acquisition Tab in Google Analytics!

Let’s Wrap It Up

Ok! We’ve covered why you should be tracking your website traffic, how to do it and which reports indicate how traffic arrived at your website in the first place!

And if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to track your website traffic without having to do anything except click a button, the NGCO Google Analytics Dashboard is a must-have! Use code BONUS to save 15% today!

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