Google Analytics: The Navigation


Google Analytics: The Navigation

This is an overview of the original Google Analytics Dashboard and Navigation on the upper left hand corner of the page. They have a new version that is out, but it is not widely used, and in my opinion, is much less user friendly than it’s original version. You do have the option to toggle between the two version when logged in to Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Overview


google-analyticsThe dashboard tab is basically an overview of your website’s analytics. It is a redundant link also listed under the “Visitors” tab. The overview allows you to alter what is shown on the dashboard, but the default shows you the visits for the date range, site usage numbers, a visitor overview, traffic sources overview, and a content overview. Nearly every option listed in the Google Analytics Dashboard can be clicked to further drill down to data. There are also drop-down boxes that allow you to filter and sort the results of your data based on more specific criteria.


google-analytics-intelligenceThese are basic alerts that you can setup to receive reports via PDF, Excel or XML.

Daily Alerts:
Allows you to receive automatic daily updates via email.

Weekly Alerts:
Allows you to receive automatic weekly updates via email.

Monthly Alerts:
Allows you to receive automatic monthly updates via email.


This is the redundant overview tab discussed earlier.

Map Overlay:
Allows you to view an interactive world map. The map’s countries, states and cities can be clicked to drill down and view the data according to your choice. You can view which countries, states and cities provide the most traffic, and even drill down to page views, content, sources, and other data for each geographical location. This also displays in a text list under the map. This can greatly benefit how you plan your marketing by showing you where your clients/visitors are located.

New vs Returning:
This shows the amount of new visitors versus the amount of returning visitors to your website.

This shows the language source of the IP for each visitor that visits your website.

Visitor Trending:
Visitor Trending is analytical data about your website’s visitors that includes visits, absolute unique visitors, pageviews, average pageviews, time on site, and bounce rate.

Visitor Loyalty:
Visitor Loyalty is analytical data about your website’s visitors that includes loyalty, recency, length of visit, and depth of visit.

Browser Capabilities:
This allows for you to see what browsers your visitors are using, along with what operating system (Vista Safari, Windows 7), screen colors, screen resolutions, and which update of Flash and Javascript they have installed on the computer that they made their visit from.

Network Properties:
This allows you to see the service providers (Mediacom, AT&T, Comcast, etc.). and hostnames that your visitors use.

This gives you insight on which mobile devices and which mobile carriers were used to visit your website.

Traffic Sources

google-analytics-traffic-sourcesThis is probably the most important feature of Google Analytics in regards to analyzing your marketing efforts. The Traffic Sources page will give you information about how visitors found your website, which search engines they used, what keywords they typed in, and much more.

Overview: This is an overview the traffic sources related to your website.

Direct Traffic:
Direct traffic refers to a visitor that typed your website domain name in directly into their search engine. They did not use Google, or click on a sponsor ad. They simply typed in your website address and became “direct traffic.”

Referring Sites:
A referring site is another website that has a link to your website on it. For example, if you own and you have a link to your website on, if someone clicks that link, then is going to be a referring website.

Search Engines:
This displays the search engines that your visitors have used to find your website. The current trend has Google being the number one search engine generating about 85% of all searches. Yahoo, Bing, AOL, and Ask follow far behind.

All Traffic Sources:
This is basically a pointless navigation option as it displays redundant information that can be found in the overview.

If you use Google Adwords, then this tab will be beneficial for you. You can view which of your Adwords campaigns are working the best, along with all of the more detailed data that is provided on your regular traffic reports.

This provides you with a list of actual keywords that your visitors typed in to get to your website. When a user goes to Google and types in “find your website” and then clicks on the link to your website, then that keyword phrase would show up on your keyword list. You can also see keyword trends to find out what popular searches are being used to find your website.

This allows you to view information regarding any custom campaigns that you might have running. This is most likely used by advanced users.

Ad Versions:
This allows you to view specific ad versions. This is most likely used by advanced users.


Here you can find all of the analytics regarding the content on your site. This means that the pages on your website will all provide a certain amount of data pertaining to the visits made to a particular page.

Top Content:
This is the most viewed pages on your website, how may views the pages have gotten, how many of them were unique, the time spent on that page, and the bounce rate for that page. The page is displayed on this list using the page’s URL.

Content by Title:
This shows the same information as the Top Content, but it displays it by the page’s meta title, rather than URL.

Content Drilldown:
This displays the page content on your site based on category or top level navigation. This is especially useful if you operate a blog because you can view your highest viewed categories and not just pages.

Top Landing Pages:
A landing page is simply the page in which a visitors lands on after a search.

Top Exit Pages:
An exit page is the page which people are on when they exit the website.

In-Page Analytics (Beta):
This allows you to view a first-hand view of your website with pageview traffic displaying on your actual website.


google-analytics-goalsGoogle says that Google Analytic Goals are “conversions are the primary metric for measuring how well your site fulfills business objectives. A goal is a website page which a visitor reaches once they have made a purchase or completed another desired action, such as a registration or download.”