The first three statistics you need to address in Google Analytics to target your customer and save resources.
As a beginner in Google Analytics (GA), you want to learn the most efficient way to get off to a good start and benefit from the vast power of GA. The best way to do this is to consider what your goals are in having a website, and furthermore, in using GA. The primary reason to drive traffic to your website is so your content will be digested by your targeted user.
Therefore, there are several key areas where you need to dedicate your energy. Where is your traffic coming from? If they did not type in your URL directly, what caused them to click on the link to your website? And, are they staying on your website once they arrive?
3 Key Statistics
GA breaks down your traffic sources into three different categories: direct traffic, referring sites, and search engines. Traffic sources can be further aggregated to include additional marketing sources your company may be using. These may include bulk mailings, email advertisements, or print media with vanity URLs. Once you know from where your customers are, or are not, reaching you, you can adjust your efforts accordingly.
GA further subdivides your traffic sources by which keywords users have submitted to search engines, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. These metrics will guide your Google Adwords campaigns as well as help you write better targeted copy for your webpages. The keywords report is an invaluable resource to optimize your search engine optimization (SEO) energies.
The number of people that decide to leave your website immediately after arriving is called the bounce rate. If you are not using well defined landing pages your bounce rate will be high. You may expect some pages to have a high rate, such as a news item. However, if you are attempting to attract traffic to your site in hopes of further engagement, a high bounce rate is bad. GA will show which pages are poor performers.
Once you are drawing users to your website and keeping their interest long enough to achieve your conversion goals, GA has vast metrics which can help you. However, the beginner should concentrate on what source their customers are coming from, how they are attracting them, and how long are they remaining on the website.