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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Site Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the best tools out there to keep track of your site’s traffic and improve your web content. When your content is fresh, it’ll rank higher in search engines. However, with several reports and complicated sections in Google Analytics, not knowing what to do with all this information can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve prepared five simple tips to easily and quickly improve your CMS site using Google Analytics. Follow these tips to make some quick fixes go a long way!

Quick links on your homepage are a great way to easily access popular 2nd and 3rd level navigation pages (pages that take 2+ clicks in the navigation to reach). Check your Analytics for your most visited 2nd and 3rd level navigation pages by clicking Content > Site Content > All Pages. Consider choosing these pages for your quick links. If there are no popular 2nd and 3rd level pages (not in the top 10), select your most popular pages as your quick links.

A broken link is a link on your site that leads to a non-existent page. The error code for broken links is 404. By navigating to Content > Site Content > All Pages in Google Analytics, and by entering 404 in the search bar, you can find the broken links within your site. You can often find where the link is located and what page it is trying to access by taking a look at the URL.

404s in Google Analytics

The ‘page=’ section of the URL tells you what page the user is trying to access, while ‘from=’ shows you where the user clicked this link. If ‘from=’ is blank, the location is untraceable, or could be a manual typo. If ‘from=’ is within your site, navigate to that page in WordPress and modify or remove the link. If it is from another Carleton website, consider contacting the site owner to change or remove the link.

3. Check your keywords

Keywords are the search terms users are entering in search engines like Google or Bing. You can see what keywords users are entering by navigating to Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimization > Queries, and sort by Clicks. If the keywords don’t match your site, or what you’d like users to be looking for, improve your SEO by using the Yoast tool in WordPress. If the keywords are representative of your site, continue to make your content people are searching accessible by using the Yoast function.

4. Check your site’s mobile traffic, Carleton’s mobile site, is the fifth-most visited site on campus, with traffic increasing every day. Making your site mobile-friendly is extremely important, and checking your mobile traffic stats can emphasize that. Navigate to Audience > Mobile > Devices to see how many visits are coming through mobile phones. The higher the percentage of visits coming from mobile devices, the more important it is that your site is mobile-friendly. You’ll be surprised by how high your mobile traffic truly is!

5. Clean up your navigation

If your navigation is quite large and you have more pages on your site than you’d like, Google Analytics can help determine which pages are worth getting rid of. Navigate to Content > Site Content > All Pages, and sort in reverse order by clicking on the Pageviews column. If there are pages that have 1 view, ditch them. If pages with important content have less than 5 pageviews a month, consider merging the information into one page with headings and/or anchors.

Aim to check your Analytics once a month. Checking your Analytics too often can be counter-productive, but never checking them is unfortunate when such a great tool is available and ready to use. If you’d like to make the most of your Analytics, these tips are only the beginning! Learn more about Google Analytics by visiting our Google Analytics Overview and Tracking Communications video tutorials. If you’re still puzzled about Analytics, or if you would like a Google Analytics site review conducted, please visit our training registration page.