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Screenshot example of Monthly Google Analytic Report

How to Read your Monthly Analytic Report about your Website Traffic

If I am the person you call to make changes on your website, you might have noticed a new report in your email the past few months. The report is sent the first week of each month. We now send out monthly reports about your website traffic. Look for an email with the subject: “(Your store name) Website Report”. If you can’t find one you might also try looking in your spam folder or search for “From” noreply-analytics@google.com.

Attached to this email you should find an attached .pdf file: “Analytics All Web Site Data (your store name) Website Report (beginning and end dates).pdf”. If you can’t find this report and would like to see it, shoot me a email with the address of where it should be sent or your phone # so I can give you a call.

Here are some guidelines to help you read this report:

screenshot of example Google Analytics Session

Q: What is a “Session”?
A (from Google): A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. For example a single session can contain multiple page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions.

You can think of a session as the container for the actions a user takes on your site.

Graphic detail on sessions.

A single user can open multiple sessions. Those sessions can occur on the same day, or over several days, weeks, or months. As soon as one session ends, there is then an opportunity to start a new session. There are two methods by which a session ends:

Time-based expiration:
– After 30 minutes of inactivity
– At midnight
Campaign change:
– If a user arrives via one campaign, leaves, and then comes back via a different campaign. Read more about session’s

Referral Channels pie chart example.

Q: What are “Referral Channels”?
A: Default System Channel Definitions:

Direct – When your customer knows what your domain name is and types it directly in the browser address bar.
Referral – Example: Local Newspaper website has an ad for your store. If the ad links to your website, the newspaper website is a “Referring Site”.
Organic Search – When a person uses a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing) to find information that results in your website being listed, and your website link is clicked on. This happens most when your customer knows you have a website, but can’t remember the exact domain name.
Social When a link to your website in a Social Media Post is clicked.

Page Views example.

Q: What is the “/” page and why it so popular?
A: The “/” page is your home page which is most likely the page link clicked the most when a customer does a search in their browser.

Landing page This is the first page a customer lands on in your site after clicking an outside link. Sometimes a Facebook post or an email blast about your new weekly ad will link directly to page 1 of your ad on your website. However, if you are running a promo, and your website has a page with instructions on how to sign up, the landing page will most likely be this page instead.
Sessions vs. % of New Sessions This means, for example, out of 377 Sessions, 54.01% of the sessions were new sessions.

Q: How can I tell which page of my ad my customers looked at most?
A: Typically page one gets the most views then it goes down from there. Also ads normally get the most traffic before holidays. If you want more specifics send me an email with the path like “/WeeklyAd/Dynamic/3/Base/1/160629_AWG_FC/Weekly Specials/_SS_” this path varies between which ftp we send the ad to and the file name of the .pdf file that gets uploaded. We realize this is not real helpful but that is how it is for now.

Users by Device pie chart example.

Users by Device – This is fairly self-explanatory. This pie chart gives you an idea of the screen size your customers are looking at when viewing your website. I normally combine the “tablet” and “mobile” together to simplify so then their is just two categories “Desktop” and “Mobile” (big vs small screens) . It is very important to look at your website, especially if it’s new or having changes made, using a mobile phone and your desktop computer. The experience of viewing a website on a desktop computer is quite different from a phone. Sometimes important graphics get covered up or can disappear on a phone that you normally see on your desktop. If this pie chart is 50/50 it’s possible only half of your customers know about your sale, for example. It’s good to also look at your website on a tablet and a laptop computer if you have access. This is why I might ask you to look at your site on your phone in addition to your desktop computer while making changes or start working on your website. We expect your mobile and tablet % to only increase in the future.

Hopefully this will help take some of the mystery out of these reports. Ideally this info will become a useful tool to help you learn more about what your customers are most interested in.

Why do I work at AWG? “It’s hard to find a native Kansan who doesn’t have family living in a small town community... and I am no exception. My family tree is full of farmers who have helped put food on our tables for over 100 years. So when I hear of a small town’s only grocery store closing down it hits home. Even though I now live in a big city, I like to know through my work I can help keep small independent grocery stores stay open for future generations to enjoy.” -Sharlyn