Google Analytics can definitely be overwhelming, especially with so many different types of reports to track. What are the best Google Analytics reports to track for your unique business and website?
While every business and every website is different, there are a few reports that are helpful for pretty much everybody.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the 8 best types of Google Analytics reports to track for almost every website.
Note: This article focuses on Universal Analytics (UA). Are you using Google Analytics 4 (GA4)? If you want to use both GA4 and UA on your WordPress site, find out how to set up dual tracking.
The Best Google Analytics Reports Are…
1. The Audience Overview
This report is the most basic overview you can get about your main metrics. It contains the metrics you’re probably the most concerned about overall:
- Total users
- Total sessions
- Pages per sessions
- Average visit duration
- Bounce rate
These are the bread-and-butter metrics for any website. These are the ones you want to keep an eye on and try to improve. They’re a broad look at your overall site health and traffic numbers. The Audience » Overview report numbers are great ones to report on monthly in a spreadsheet to get a general look at how your website is performing.
Tip: Check out this post to find out how to share your important reports from Google Analytics.
2. Mobile Overview
Are most of your visitors using mobile devices to visit your site? Or are more of them coming via desktop?
This is an important metric to consider! Not only can it give you insight into how your visitors are browsing when they find you, but it can also help you see if your mobile site is performing as well as your desktop site.
In general, people spend less time on a website on mobile vs. desktop. However, if the differences in your numbers for mobile vs. desktop are big, that can indicate that your mobile users aren’t finding what they’re looking for or are having a hard time navigating your site, or are leaving quickly because it’s not loading fast enough.
3. Geo Location
Whether you’re trying to attract local, regional, national, or international traffic, it’s important to know where your visitors are located.
For instance, if you’re a local business, you can click on the country, then state/region to see your visitors at a city level. This can be super helpful to know, for example, which suburbs you’re getting traffic from.
If you’re targeting a national audience, seeing which states you’re attracting the most can help you figure out where to target paid ads, or help you determine what kinds of content you want to create that’s relevant for different regions.
How are your visitors finding your website? How many are you sending to your site via your social media pages? How many are finding you in search results?
These are all incredibly important questions to answer. This report can show you what channels are working the best for you, and which ones need work. See at-a-glance how long your social media visitors are spending on your site, what your bounce rate is for organic visitors, and more.
Then, click into a channel to see even more specifics on those visitors.
This is one of the top Google Analytics reports that every website owner is the most interested in. Please note, the Queries report isn’t available in Google Analytics by default. To get this report to show up, please follow our tutorial on connecting Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Once you have the two tools connected, you can see the keywords people are using to find you in search results. Not only that, but you can see how many impressions you’re getting (how many times you’re appearing in results), the click-through rate, and average position in search for each keyword/query.
This report is super helpful when you’re working on building up your organic traffic. You can quickly see which of your keywords you’re gaining traffic for, and which ones need more work.
6. Landing Pages
Which pages are your website visitors arriving on? It’s definitely not always your home page! Seeing which pages your visitors are arriving on (or “landing” on) can be very helpful when you’re looking into how your pages are performing.
For example, let’s say that users who land on your blog pages are spending over a minute there, reading your posts and interacting. Those who land on your homepage, however, are bouncing at a pretty high rate and not spending long on your site. That would definitely mean that you need to evaluate your home page. Is it too slow? Is it confusing to navigate? Is it working on mobile? Is there a clear call to action?
7. Site Speed
How quickly your website loads initially and continues to load during browsing is a huge deal for your visitors and Google. PageSpeed has been a ranking factor for years, and now we have to think about Core Web Vitals as well. If your website isn’t fast enough, not only will your visitors not wait around for it to load, but you also might see lower rankings in the search results.
So, it’s important to keep an eye on your site speed report in Google Analytics. In general, you want your Avg. Page Load Time to be under 2 seconds.
In addition to this report, we recommend using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Or, if you’re an ExactMetrics user, you can access a site speed report at any time inside your WordPress dashboard.
Goals are what you can use to really see how well your website is converting visitors into subscribers, customers, or just engaged users. It’s really important to try to use Goals in Google Analytics, as that’s how you see (in most cases) if your website is really successful.
Goals are custom to every website, though, so they need to be set up by you for Google Analytics to track them.
For example, let’s say that filling out your contact form is a Goal that you want to track. You have to tell Analytics that as soon as a person visits your /thank-you/ page, that triggers a goal. For more on setting up Goals, read How to Set Up Goals in Google Analytics.
If you’re using WordPress, there’s an easier way to set up Goals! ExactMetrics will track multiple goals for you out of the box, including form submissions, outbound link clicks, and enhanced eCommerce.
That’s it, our top 8 types of Google Analytics reports to track. Before we wrap up, though, let’s take a look at the best way to track all of these things in WordPress.
The Easy Way to Set up Analytics in WordPress
ExactMetrics is the best premium WordPress analytics plugin. With ExactMetrics, there’s a whole list of things you can set up and monitor in Google Analytics and your WordPress dashboard.
Our most popular features include:
- Easy enhanced ecommerce setup and tracking through WooCommerce
- Top outbound and top affiliate link clicks
- GDPR compliance
- Scroll tracking
- Form tracking
- Popular posts or products widget
- Enhanced link attribution and anchor link click tracking
With ExactMetrics, all your most important metrics are right there in your WordPress dashboard.
For more on what kinds of report you’ll get with ExactMetrics, check out all of our features.
If you found this article helpful, we think you might also like How to Enable Google Analytics Demographics & Interest Reports.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see all the latest Google Analytics tutorials.