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Google Analytics™ Third Edition by Mary E. Tyler, Joe Teixeira, Jerri L. Ledford

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Chapter 16. Traffic Sources

Understanding where your site visitors are coming from—not geographically, but from where on the Web—can help you target users to bring even more traffic to your site. But to do that you have to know basics such as how many of your visitors came directly to your site and how many were referred by outside sources, search engines, or advertisements.

The reports included in the Traffic section give you all that information. Then you can use that data to draw (or drive) additional traffic to your site. And that's hugely important because the more people who see your site, the more likely you are to achieve the goal conversions you're trying to reach. (Remember that goal conversions mean that transactions are completed, whatever those transactions might be for you.)

What Traffic Analysis Can Tell You

Where does your web-site traffic come from? Do you know? Do you know why you should know?

Where your web-site traffic comes from is one of the most basic analytics measurements, but that doesn't make it less valuable. It's important to know where your site traffic originates because this helps you to know where to target advertising dollars and marketing efforts.

Here's an example. Say you have a web site that's been around for a while. Every week you have an overview of your traffic sources sent to you from Google Analytics and after a while you begin to notice a pattern: nearly 25 percent of your traffic is coming from one web site that you haven't done business ...

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