Google Analytics the FAB FIVE

Google Analytics is without doubt one of the sexiest tools on the planet. Of course I know how sad that sounds and would you believe I left the world of I.T because I didn’t feel geeky enough. Still, when you have access to this much data, it really does give you great insights into the sort of traffic your website is getting. The following are 5 filters / hacks / reports that I have found really useful, so maybe you will too ….

1. Brand Keywords

Do you know that 80% of searches in the U.K last year were brand orientated. I got this stat from hitwise and don’t have the link anymore, so please let me know if I have made it up. Still, knowing the brand vs general keyword ratio in terms of your traffic is incredibly powerful. You can visibly see how if your organic campaign is bringing in more users on general keywords (which it should be).
The following image is from an affiliate blog I setup in June to advertise a particular brand of runners. I should probably explain this more before you look at the graphic:

a. I don’t recommend sneakers or fashion in general for affiliate blogs
b. This blog was optimised for branded search, hence the huge amount of brand traffic.
c. The traffic stats are note bad for a blog setup in June …


I have simply created an advanced segment which includes all key phrases that contain the branded keyword.


2. Landing Pages

Another one I often check is individual stats per landing pages. In particular what keywords + sources brought users into that landing page. The reason for this is to try and lower bounce rates. I was going to explain this a lot more but I am going to show you an image of where you can see this, then provide a link to someone who explains it a lot better than me 🙂


Check out this post by Occam Razor, a really really great post.

3. First Click vs Last Click

Is your PPC traffic being stolen by organic, well this is a great way of finding out. Google Analytics will always assign a transaction to the last medium (unless it’s direct). For example, if you had the following conversion process:

PPC -> Organic -> Direct -> Transaction

Organic in all it’s glory would get the transaction. You may want a profile that keeps the first medium as the referral, in this case PPC. You may then want to append this data onto transactions so you can see it in the Ecommerce tab. Finally you may want to have the same data in a separate profile under last click so you can compare individual transactions. Well you need to check out this post from the wonderful guys at ROI Revolution, they rawk at analytics.

4. Splitting Traffic

I am a huge fan of splitting traffic up into different profiles, especially the following:

– Blog
– Paid vs Free

The last one in particular is really good for membership sites. You may find your data being skewed by paid members and you are only really interested in what free members are doing as you want to convert them.

Separating Adwords traffic is pretty straight forward, it can be done with two filters:



I will come back to separating blog traffic. This will be a post all by itself.

To separate paid vs free member, look to use the


5. Site Overlay

Site overlay is the just great for the visual person in us. To see where you user are clicking gives you great insights. This is something you should definitely be checking out …


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About Kieran Flanagan

Online Marketer who implements both inbound and paid strategies to help companies grow internationally. Lover of content marketing, SEO, analytics, CRO and strategy. A highly motivated marketing geek high on data crack.