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How to Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics can provide a wealth of information about how visitors are accessing and using your site.

Visitors Overview

Upon logging into Google Analytics, you will see that the Visitors Overview shows many useful stats at a glance. The terms below are frequently used in Google Analytics.

Metric name



The number of times your visitors has been to your site (unique sessions initiated by all your visitors). If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original session.

Visitors [and Unique Visitors]

A user that visits your site. The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional visit and an additional visitor. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitors.


This field indicates the total number of pageviews for your site when applied over the selected dimension. For example, if you select this metric together with Request URI, it will return the number of page views over the returned result set for the Request URI for your report.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page).

Source: Google Analytics Metrics Definitions

Date Range

To view statistics for a particular time period, click on the date box at the top right of the page.

New and Returning Visitors

See the ratio of new to returning visitors by number of visits and percentage of visits.

Google Analytics Visitors Overview

Traffic Sources

Visitors can come to your site in a variety of ways including directly, by referral, and by search (engines, keywords, etc.).


To see the search terms visitors used to access your site, on the left, click on Traffic Sources –> Sources –> Search –> Organic.

If you notice that one or two search terms in particular is frequently listed, you may consider enhancing the section of content on your site that uses these terms. This will provide users with the information they are looking for and increase overall traffic to the site.

Google Analytics Organic Search Traffic

Google Analytics Landing Page Link


See where visitors are before they come to your site and where the traffic on your site is being pushed. Click on Traffic Sources –> Incoming Sources –> Referrals.  You will be able to see which sites sent (referred) visitors to your site.

Just below the graph, click on Landing Page to see which pages on your site those visitors were sent (landing pages).

Google Analytics Referral Traffic

Site Content

Google Analytics Content PageTo see your most viewed pages, on the left, click on Content -> Site Content -> Pages. To view information about a particular page, click on the link for that page.

Landing Pages

On the left, under Pages, click Landing Pages. Landing Pages allows you to see which pages are the first pages your visitors are seeing upon entering your site and how people are finding those pages. Click the Entrance Paths tab to see which pages your users viewed after viewing the landing page.

Exit Pages

On the left, under Pages, click Exit Pages. In the Exit Pages section you can see which pages are the last ones people see before leaving your website. If you notice that many users are leaving after looking at one page in particular, you may consider revising the content on that page.

Google Analytics Landing and Exit Pages

Site Search

On the left, under Content, click Site Search -> Overview. The site search report allows you to see which terms are being searched for in the search function of your site.

Note: If users have not yet used the search function on your site, you will not see these statistics.

Google Analytics Site Search

More Information

For the Google Analytics help guide, visit