Vision Blog

Thought Leadership, Best Practices, Insights and Examples


Taking a Deeper Dive with Google Analytics

by Tom Humbarger
Post Date:11/16/2015

In an earlier blog post, we provided an introduction to Google Analytics. This follow-up post shows you how to uncover some interesting insights when you take a deeper dive into the analytical results. It also points out the importance of looking beyond the surface and include trends, comparable data periods and benchmarks in your analysis.

We will help you answer the following questions:

  • How Important is Mobile Web Traffic?
  • What Technologies are Your Users Using?
  • Where Are Your Visitors Coming From?
  • What Pages are Most Popular?
  • Where are People Clicking on Our Homepage?

Download the Vision Google Analytics Guide 

How Important is Mobile Traffic?

Traffic from mobile and tablet devices has grown fairly quickly over the past few years. Google Analytics makes it easy identify this traffic on the Audience Tab, under Mobile Overview.  

In this example for the month of September 2015, you can see that Desktop traffic is driving 55% of the total traffic for this community while traffic from Mobile and Tablet devices is 37% and 8%, respectively. Upon further examination, you can see that desktop visitors have a far lower bounce rate, and above average pages per session and average session duration when compared to Mobile. This makes sense as people using their phones are probably looking for a specific page or piece of content, and they leave as soon as they find it.


While this information is interesting as a point in time measure, it is more insightful to see how this data has changed in the last year. When comparing to the month of September 2014, mobile traffic increased from 26.57% to 36.89% which is a 39% increase. Tablet traffic actually stayed about the same in terms of total sessions, but decreased on a percentage basis as over all traffic is up 19% compared to the same month last year.


One final insight on mobile traffic can be found by comparing these results to the Vision Internet Google Analytic Benchmarks. For this particular city, the percentage of mobile and desktop traffic is slightly above the average benchmark.


What Technology Are They Using?

Another interesting insight can be found by analyzing the technology used to access your website. In this example, 40% of the website visitors are using a Safari browser, 31% use Chrome and 16% use Internet Explorer. This information can be used as a proxy for the technical preferences for your community.

You can find this information by going to the Audience tab, Browser & OS page under Technology.

Where Are Your Visitors Coming From?

Google Analytics also provides you with the geographic location of your website’s visitors. This can be interesting from many different angles. This information is found under the Audience tab, Geo and Location page. The page opens with a world map and you can then zoom into your state or regional area.

If your community is a destination or vacation spot, you can use this information to provide resources or information to make sure that your website is meeting these users’ needs. Since tourism can be a boost for the local economy, you may want to work with your chamber of commerce or tourism board to develop joint programs to attract similar visitors.


 Another insight from the example below points out that more than 50% of the website traffic comes from communities within a 10 mile radius. This community is a regional draw which can be exploited on the website by creating content to make local visitors feel welcome and cross-promoting community activities in local newspapers and other outlets.

You can also add a Secondary dimension to the Geo report and select Page Title (under Behavior) to view which pages are the most popular with a given geography. In this example, the top pages coming from Los Angeles include Employment Opportunities, Concerts in the Park, Polliwog Park, Contact the City and Parking Services.


What Pages Are Most Popular?

Did you ever wonder which pages are the most popular on your site? You can discover this information by going to the Behavior Site Content section of Google Analytics.

In this example, the top visited pages include Employment Opportunities, City Calendar, Search and Contact the City. Using this information, you can make sure that links to these pages are easily found on your home page. You could even experiment by creating larger buttons for this most important content and ensuring that the content on these pages is well-written, organized and up-to-date. 


Where are People Clicking on Our Homepage?

The In-Page Analytics analysis identifies where people are clicking on your site and percentage of clicks to the total clicks.  This is an interesting page to review on a regular basis to make sure you have optimized the content on your homepage to deliver what your customers are regularly seeking.

After analyzing the results of this page, you may want to consider moving buttons or content to different parts of the page to increase visibility and clicks, or de-emphasize less popular links and content.  


You can access this feature by going to Behavior section and selecting In-Page Analytics.

We have only scratched a fraction of what can be analyzed with Google Analytics, and hopefully these examples will provide useful information for your own analytics.

Where Can I Get More Information on Using Analytics?

You may also want to download the Vision Internet Google Analytics Guide



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