The easiest and most popular way to find out how many visitors your website gets and what people actually do when they’re there is through a free piece of software called Google Analytics. You’ll likely have heard of it but might not be sure what it actually is, or does. It’s worth its weight in gold for any business owner or marketing team. Google Analytics is a free web-based tool that enables you to see what people do when they visit your website. There is nothing to download, it is entirely web-based and online. Among other things it tells you: how many hits (visitors) you get over a selected time period, if visitors are new or returning, how many pages people viewed per session, which pages they viewed and so much more.
But how did the user find you? This is where the Acquisition section becomes so valuable.
Acquisition Overview lets you see the channel visitors came from. Click on Overview. In the image below we see that most people came from organic search, then direct (perhaps by typing the URL directly into the address bar, or bookmarking your site), then via referrals and a small number from social. Digging further down you could create an email channel by creating a unique URL and name for a campaign, or set up an Adsense (Google advertising, or Pay Per Click) campaign to appear here.
You could then compare the success of your advertising campaigns vs organic search for example. Which channel drew the largest numbers of new users? Who stayed on site the longest? Which is the best channel for certain products, or seasonal offers? Can I get more visitors quickly from email and social media than organic search? Are organic visitors more valuable than those from an email campaign? What are the implications? You’ll need to build an email list and generate a social media following.