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For complete beginners, using Google Analytics to increase website traffic may be an intimidating task. The busy charts and tables that you encounter when you start out can be confusing. However, spending a little time to understand the Google Analytics basics can really pay off.

Google Analytics is undeniably one of the most powerful tools to monitor your website traffic. It is used in large and small businesses alike. And it is so powerful because 92.5% of web users in the UK use Google as their primary search engine (source

Google Analytics will reveal a lot about the behaviour of your customers and help you learn what to do to increase website traffic.

When you know which metrics to focus on, you will know what to post in order to increase website traffic. Ultimately, this will help you get more customers and sales for your business.

So, let us move on to my top tips for Google Analytics beginners that will help you increase your website traffic:

Tip 1: Set up Google Analytics even if you don’t know how to use it yet

As soon as you set it up, Google Analytics will start tracking the activity on your site. But it cannot do this retrospectively. This means that if you set up your site a year ago and set up Google Analytics today, you may have missed out on valuable information about your early adopters.

How to link Google Analytics 4 to your website

Most websites will have a build-in tool that will allow you to get analytics about your website. The best thing is to link your Google Analytics account to your website. Depending on your website provider, the tools to link GA4 with your site will look slightly different. Check out this guide by Google to get started: Set up Analytics for a CMS-hosted website

Tip 2: Focus on the right metrics to increase website traffic

Ask yourself: What are the business goals that you are trying to achieve by having a website in the first place? You may want to sell products or services through your website. Perhaps your goal is to have more registered users, or to get more returning customers. Think about setting some SMART goals for your website.

For every business goal there is a set of metrics on Google Analytics that will help you track your success.

Here is an example of a business goal, and how Google Analytics can help you increase your website traffic from search engines.

Example business Goal:

I want my site to show up on Google searches (this is called Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short).

Important metrics to help you measure this goal:

In the Acquisition section, the ‘Organic’ channel will tell you if people are finding your website online and where most of your traffic is coming from. Is there a specific set of keywords that gets you more traffic? You may want to create a new page or blog that features those keywords, to improve your SEO and get more traffic to your website.

Key metrics you could look at:

  • How people find your website (traffic source)
    This is an essential metric. Firstly, it lets you know how people end up on your site. It will show you if you are showing up on searches, and with the added dimensions it could tell you exactly what people are searching before they land on your website.
  • How people interact with your website (engagement and events)
    This tells you how long people are staying on your pages. It will give you an idea of how they are interacting with your site, or of how they are engaging with your written content.
  • If people are buying (Sales and Cart activity)
    If you have an e-commerce site, this is a key metric to track. Of course, sales are a great thing. But also, you can see how people are using their basket. Are there a lot of full baskets that do not convert into sales?
  • Conversion rates (Goals)
    Set your goals in Google Analytics to track the most important actions. If one of your goals is to get people to sign up to your newsletter, you should track conversions on that goal. 
  • How many visits you get (Total traffic)
    This is a simple but effective metric. Getting more people to visit your website is probably a key part of any goal. Use this metric to monitor the rate in which your audience is growing. It is also interesting to know how many of your visitors are new versus how many are returning. 

I recommend capturing these key metrics every month. You can do this manually on a worksheet. If you have more time to spend on this, you can also set up dashboards in Google Analytics to capture these metrics automatically. This will allow you to track your growth and see if things are going the way you expected. 

Tip 3: Use the Google Analytics Academy

Google has created over 40 hours of free training to help you learn how to use Google Analytics. I have to admit – the constantly smiling instructors are a little creepy. If you can ignore their robotic joy, you will learn a lot right from the first module. 

You or a member of your small business team can use this free training to learn as much as you need to get started. After a while, using the reports will become more familiar, and you will find it easier to use Google Analytics to increase website traffic.

Check out Google Analytics Academy

These are my top three tips for beginners who want to use Google Analytics to increase website traffic.

What do you think? Do you track website traffic in a different way? If you want to receive updates from me with useful tips like the ones I shared in this blog, join the Work Happy Community.