1 December 2023

Discover Where Your Website Traffic Comes From with Google Analytics

By Ronald Smith

Google Analytics can be overwhelming at first, but don’t worry. I’ll show you step-by-step how to use it to find out where your website traffic is coming from. Plus, I’ll teach you how to track and compare different sources to see if your traffic is growing.

Understanding Google Analytics

Accessing Your Traffic Report

Once you log in to Google Analytics, you’ll see a screen like this. Look for the Traffic Sources option towards the bottom left:

Discover Where Your Website Traffic Comes From with Google Analytics

If you want to see more information about where your website traffic comes from, you can open the Traffic Sources section. Just click on it, and it will expand to show you more details.

After that, click on Overview and you will see a screen that looks like this:

Discover Where Your Website Traffic Comes From with Google Analytics

Types of Traffic Explained

  • Search Traffic: This is traffic that comes from searching for something on the web.
  • Referral Traffic: This is traffic that comes from clicking on a link to your website from another website.
  • Direct Traffic: This is traffic where the source is unknown. It can happen when someone types in your website’s URL directly or clicks a link in an email newsletter.
  • Campaign Traffic: This is traffic that comes from an adwords campaign, which is a type of online advertising.

Going Further Into the Sources

If you want more detailed information about a specific source of traffic, simply click on Sources just below Overview.

Let me show you something cool. I’ll take you to a different set of menus where you can dive deeper into a specific source. You’ll find a chart there that looks a lot like the one you saw earlier, but this chart will only show the traffic source you select.

Now, let me show you how to do it. I’ll click on the option that says Search Traffic… Overview.

Discover Where Your Website Traffic Comes From with Google Analytics

When I look at my search traffic, it gives me a closer look at how it’s doing. Right now, it seems to be staying about the same with no big changes. If I were working on improving my site’s search engine optimization (SEO), this is where I’d come to see how well it’s working. I mean, if I’m optimizing for search, I should see my search traffic increase, right?

Where to Check in Different Situations

I already covered the basics of Google Analytics and where to find information on traffic. Now, let’s talk about specific situations related to web traffic and where you can see the trends for that kind of traffic.

Situation 1: I Recently Wrote a Guest Post for a Popular Website

When you write a post for a popular website, and you include a link to your site in your profile or bio at the end of the post, you should expect to see an increase in the number of people who visit your site through that link. This increase is called the Referrals category.

Scenario 2: I Just Released a Statement to the Media

Sharing a statement with the media is a great way to get attention for your company, product, or service. It’s also a secret (and sometimes controversial) strategy for improving your website’s visibility in search engines. When you send out a statement to the media, you can expect to see more people coming to your site from the links included in the statement. This increase in traffic will show up in the Referrals category of Google Analytics.

Scenario 3: I Just Spent $1 Million on Google Ads

If you have a good understanding of how much each customer is worth to your business, you might decide to invest a lot of money in Google Ads. When you do this, you can use Google Analytics to track the results of your ad campaign. Look for the data in the Paid Search section. It will show you how many people clicked on your ads and came to your site as a result of your investment.

Scenario 4: I Just Changed Up My Content Strategy

I just finished giving my website a little makeover and created some awesome new content for my blog using fancy search terms that people are looking for.

The cool thing is, if I check out my website’s stats on Google Analytics, I should start seeing a bigger number in the Organic Search area.

Scenario 5: I Just Got the Oprah Treatment

Wow, I can’t believe it! Oprah herself is giving my website a shoutout. It’s gonna be crazy busy!

When Oprah tells her billion fans to go to my website all at once, I’m gonna see a big jump in the Direct Traffic section on my site. How awesome is that?

Let’s talk about Google Analytics, a super cool tool that’s gotten even cooler and more complex as time has gone on. Seriously, it’s amazing that such a powerful tool is free! But here’s the thing – Google doesn’t exactly give you a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

Figuring out how to understand, measure, and track your traffic sources is a crucial part of your SEO strategy. And that’s where Google Analytics comes in. Hopefully, this guide gave you some helpful tips on how to make the most of it. Happy analyzing! Keep rocking your online marketing! Leave a comment below if you’ve got any questions.