Let's click into Reporting in the navigation. When you are looking at the reports, the left-hand side of the page is taken up with the report finder. From here you can access all the reports for your website. The report finder has three areas:
- My Stuff: First up is “My Stuff”, where you can navigate to dashboards, shortcuts and intelligence events. These are three sections with personalized reports. You can create your own dashboard to provide an instant overview of what’s happening in your store. We’ll look at this in detail later. In “Shortcuts”, you can create shortcuts to the reports that most interest you. In “Intelligence Events” you can set up alerts to monitor your store’s traffic for interesting changes.
- Standard Reports: Now we get to the heart of the matter: the reports. They are divided into five sections that cover all aspects of your store’s traffic: Real-Time, Audience, Traffic Sources, Content and Conversions. You’ll notice that if, for example, you click into the Real-Time section, a panel will open up with a list of five different reports that provide real-time data. Similarly for the other sections, each one contains quite a few reports. We’ll look at the content of these sections a little later.
- Help: Below the standard reports, you’ll find some quickly accessible help information that relates to the current section or report you are looking at. There’s also a link to the help center and a facility to search through the help documentation.
The standard reports
Let’s get an overview of the five sections of the standard reports.
- Real-Time: In the real-time section, you can see what’s happening right now on your website: the geographical location of your current visitors, how they found your store, which pages they are looking at, etc.
- Audience: This section looks at what we know about your store’s audience (or visitors): their location, language, what technology they are using to access your site, if they are new to your store or are returning, etc.
- Traffic Sources: The reports in the traffic sources section show you how people found your store: from which websites, search engines or social sites they clicked to end up on your store. This includes which keywords people used to find your store in the search engines.
- Content: The content section shows what content visitors actually look at in your store. What are the most popular pages in your store? Which are the products that are consulted the most? What search terms are used in your store’s search facility?
- Conversions: Though it’s the last in the list, it’s probably the most important for an online store. Conversion is the process by which a visitor to your store becomes a customer. Analytics has two forms of conversion tracking: goals and ecommerce. We set up a goal of a purchase with the corresponding funnel of the checkout process earlier. We also set up your store to track purchases. In the conversion section, we can see the reports for these.
The date selector
Of course, apart from the real-time reports, which are in the here and now, all the other reports are displayed based on a range of dates. You’ll find that range of dates on the right-hand side of the page, just under the main navigation. Click on this to open up the date selector. Using this you can select the exact dates you want to look at. For the more adventurous, you can also compare statistics from two time periods.
Continue to Chapter 4: The most important reports for online stores (Part I) »