Training

Google Analytics Summary Plugin: Understanding Searches, Referrals and Pages

The Google Analytics Summary in your WordPress dashboard provides you with a very high overview of some key performance measurements. You may see some unfamiliar terms (you can find definitions to those terms here) and you will also find information on Pageviews, Referrals, and Search data.

Google Analytics dashboard

Top Pages

This report outlines the top 5 pages on your site in terms of pageviews. A pageview is counted every time someone views a page on your website. The pages listed here are the top 5 most viewed pages on your site.

Pro Tip: If you see a backslash (/) that means your homepage.

Top Referrers

This is a list of websites that are sending visitors to your site and how many visitors they have sent to your site.

Top Searches

This list is a little more complicated. In the past search engines would share the search terms that a searcher used to find your site. For example if I had gone to Google and searched for “marketing agencies” and clicked on Vivid Image in the search results Vivid Image would be able to see what I searched for to find them. This is valuable information for marketers. When you know what people searched for to find you, you know you have reached the right target market.

In 2013 Google changed their policy and decided not to let search data pass through to website owners. Now all keyword data that Google would have shared with you now falls under (not provided). Bing, Yahoo and other search engines (as of today 12/31/14) still allow some of that search data to pass through. This means you will see some search terms but it is not uncommon for (not provided) to take anywhere from 60-90% of that information away.

If you want to know more about this issue there is an in depth blog post on vimm.com.