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Tracking Organic Traffic and Leads for Free Using Google Analytics

February 9th, 2009 | | Analytics

I mention that tracking organic traffic and leads is free because I’m afraid that many small business owners may still be unaware that they can track their website data for free using Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a completely free tool that allows you to track all kinds of data from your website.  In this post I’d like to show you a few reports that can help you track your SEO traffic and leads.

After you create your free Google Analytics account and you’re logged in, the first page you see of Google Analytics should be the dashboard.  In order to begin tracking any data from your website you must implement the Google Analytics code to each page of your site. To get this code click on ‘edit’ under the actions column or you can click on ‘Analytics settings’ in the upper left hand corner of the main page. (see screen shot below)

Once you enter to profile settings page, click on the ‘check status’ text in blue in the mid-upper right hand corner of the page, and your tracking code will be on the next page. Copy and paste this code to each and every page on your site for proper tracking.

Once finished, and some time has passed in order for Google Analytics to begin collecting data on your site, you can go back to the dashboard section of Analytics, and click on ‘traffic sources’, then ‘all traffic sources’ located in the left hand navigation.

From here you can see all the sources that are driving traffic to your website. Anything labeled organic is obviously organic traffic or natural traffic. Anything that says (direct or none) is considered direct traffic, meaning people came to your website just click typing in your domain name. this is typically the larger source of traffic and how most repeat visitors get to our site.  This report not only shows you organic traffic, direct and referrals, but it breaks it down even further by search engine or the source of referral.  Your top three search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) should drive the majority of your organic traffic, but all search engines that drive traffic to your site will be listed in this list.  You can click on any of the sources of traffic to get even more detailed information about that particular source like bounce rate, time on site, number of pages per visit and % of new visits.  This is great information to compare what kind of traffic each search engine drives to your site.  (see screen shot)

Back on the ‘all traffic sources’ page, there is a drop down menu right below the graph, if you click on the drop down and select ‘medium’, this will show you all organic traffic from all search engines into one number.  This is great for comparing total visits for organic traffic to all other traffic sources.  Also, if you have goals set up to track organic leads, you can click on the tab that says, ‘Goal Conversion’ in order to see which traffic source is responsible for generating leads.  (screen shot)

Google Analytics, or at least some Analytics program is a must if you’re doing any SEO work on your site. Like any marketing program, being able to track your progress and performance will help you determine changes you make that positively affect your websites performance as well as negatively affect its performance. If you have lead tracking set up within Analytics, you will also be able to see which keywords are actually driving those leads.  Stay tuned next week for a tutorial on how to set up lead tracking goals!

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