3 Essential Google Analytics Reports

Taryn Hefner
2 min readSep 28, 2021


If you have a website, whether it’s for a small business, a nonprofit, or a trade association, you need to know what your website users are doing with your site! Getting into Google Analytics can be overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to three essential reports to keep track of your users’ behavior.

Acquisition by Channel

Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

Do you know which channel drives the most traffic to your website? Or which channel has the most engaged users? Highest exit rate? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need this report.

This report will allow you to see your traffic broken down by channel, including Referral, Direct, Organic, Paid, and other channels. You’ll have access to behavior metrics for each channel, as well as conversion metrics if you have them set up.

Use this report to prioritize your efforts to your channels that perform the best, or nurture ones that need a little more attention!

Behavior by Page

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

Take a peek at how individual pages are performing. This is especially useful if you have landing pages you like to keep track of, want to keep an eye on your blog posts, or monitor the performance of one or two conversion pages in particular.

This report can be especially useful when comparing date ranges to account for any seasonality in your business.

Page Speed

Behavior > Site Speed > Page Timings

Google looks at page load speed to determine rank. With this addition (new as of June 2021), it’s more important than ever to keep tabs on how quickly your pages are loading.

Take a look at individual pages and see if there is anything you can do to improve on your main conversion pages, your homepage, and any marketing pages you want to be found in search engine results. This report can help you prioritize which pages you want to focus on first, especially if one or two pages have glaringly high page load times.

Bonus Feature: Annotations

Annotations can make your life so much easier when you look back on your reports! If your website was down for eight hours, you can note it down so you know what caused the dip in your traffic! Note things like huge media mentions, website relaunches, or rebranding efforts that affect your traffic and conversions.

Wrapping Up

There’s so much to dig into when it comes to Google Analytics that it can be really overwhelming! When you have time, it can be valuable to click through all the reports available. But if you’re like most business owners and you’re short on time, these three reports will give you the best overview of how customers are using your website.

Originally published at https://www.joinit.org.



Taryn Hefner

Marketing Manager at JoinIt.org. Big fan of snacks. Like, in general.