How To Drive Traffic To Your Joomla Site - A Google Analytics Tutorial

You are most likely using some type of online tool to track the traffic and hits on your Joomla site. Chances are that tool is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool designed to help you measure the customer traffic to your website.  These metrics can help you determine which of your SEO strategies are working and which need to be tweaked a bit or refined. There are many resources and articles available online which recommend Google Analytics.  There is also information on how to use Google Analytics effectively to improve traffic to your website.

Google Analytics has a variety of reports you can use to improve the effectiveness of your website. There are also instructions in how to read these reports, advice in choosing the right report, and the best ways to use the data to improve your website hits and traffic. When working with Joomla websites, I used Google Analytics to help improve the performance of the site, resulting in increased traffic and sales. This is a step-by-step guide to help you improve the effectiveness of your Joomla website. The three primary ways to improve traffic and the effectiveness of your Joomla website include:

Increasing the traffic from various sources.

Improve the quality of traffic coming in from your AdWords campaigns.

Improve the quality of your organic traffic from search engines.

Increase your traffic by more than 10,000 sessions.

To see the effectiveness of these strategies, below are comparisons in traffic for our website:  

The first set of numbers is from Sep 19 to Oct 19 2015. Compare these to the second set of numbers which are from Aug 19 to Sep 18 2015.

You can see that the number of hits to our website increased to above 10,000.

Increase or bring back traffic from an old or existing source.

When you are selecting parameters for this report, pay close attention to the source of the traffic. Compare a previous period to a current one and check the numbers. You should check the source because of the following three reasons:

The source is already sending you traffic.

This source is effective and you know the quality of the hits.

You can take action to improve the traffic coming in from this source.

You can analyze the data from Google Analytics on each of these traffic sources to determine why the number of hits is down. Here's how to find these traffic sources:

1. Under the tab Reporting, first select Acquisition, then select Source/Medium.

source medium report

This will bring you to the report for Source/Medium.

2. Select the "Compare to” box. This turns on the comparison function. Next, select two time ranges for comparison.

compare time range
View and compare the data from each time range.

3. When you select the different time ranges, the report will display the percentage of change as a value under each source.

The Change in Percentage Report

4. If you have more than 50 sources of traffic, create a filter to select the ones you want for the report. If there are less than 50, you just select the sources with a negative percentage change. If you need to create a filter, you will need to download the report to Microsoft Excel and then  sort by the negative percentage column.

To download the report to Excel, go to All Traffic under the menu, then select Export as a CSV file.

csv report

Microsoft Excel will read the CSV file, but you may have to rearrange the columns and data. To save this report in Excel, save as a .xls file.

5. While still in the Excel file, you can find the changes in the percentage by subtracting the current value from the last period's value. This is done with a formula. In our example, the formula is "=C6-C9". You would then put this formula into all the percentage of change cells for each source.

csv report with changes
The Report With The Changes

6. To create this report in Excel, select Data from the top menu, then select Filter. This provides you the option to filter the numbers in each column. Next, select Change, then Number of Filter, then Less Than 0. Now, you should be able to see this in the Custom AutoFilter box.
custom autofilter
7. 7. This report has the data filtered by negative percentage of value changes for each traffic source.
decreased source
8. 8. You can use the information in these reports to develop strategies for improving traffic to and sales from your website. These increased traffic and sales revenue strategies may include news releases, guest blogs, keyword and key phrase placement, and linking.

Improve the numbers and quality of traffic sourced from your Adwords campaign.

Google Analytics has metrics which can help you analyze the effectiveness of any Adwords campaign that you have on your website. These metrics include the bounce rate, the e-commerce statistics such as hits and conversions, and the name and number of pages visited and for how long. You should also have your Google Analytics account and your Google Webmaster accounts linked for the best data results. Below are detailed instructions from the Google Webmaster Team.

1. First, link your Google Analytics and your Google Webmaster accounts together. Next, select Acquisition, then Adwords, then Campaigns.
bounce rate adword campaign
The first report to check is the bounce rate data.

Comparing bounce rates can tell you a great deal about the type of traffic your Adwords campaign is bringing to the site. For example, if you have two campaigns with the same CPC and one has a lower bounce rate than the other, then you may want to spend more money on the campaign with the lower bounce rate since these are better quality clicks.

2. 2. The next report is the Keyword Report.
keywords adwords campaign
First select Acquisition, then Adwords, then Keywords.

Analyze the report to determine the effectiveness of your keywords.  In this example, two keywords have the same CPC, but one keyword is getting a larger number of sessions and page views, as well as transactions.  This may mean you should invest more money in that keyword.

Improving The Type And Quality Of Traffic From The Search Engines

To check the effectiveness of your organic search engine traffic, Google Analytics provides data in the Source/Medium report. One of the disadvantages of using Google Analytics for keyword reporting is that it does not list all of the keywords used to search for your site. Google Analytics will only show the top keywords used to find your site. The rest of the keywords used by individuals searching the internet are hidden and not displayed by Google Analytics. This is not helpful since almost 97 percent of the organic traffic to your website will be from these hidden keywords. This is where Google Webmaster can help.

1. Login into your Google Webmaster Search console and select the website you are analyzing. To view the search queries report, select Search Traffic, then select Search Analytics.
search analytics
2. Once you have the Search Analytics Screen, then select the following boxes:

search analytics metrics
These are the set of metrics which can provide the best picture of your current organic search results. Once you have the data for these metrics, you can do an analysis and develop strategies for improving your keyword search results.

3. To generate the report, select Dates, then Compare Date Ranges, then Custom. This will show you how search engine traffic and keywords change over time.
select dates comparison
4. 4. This report will tell you which keywords are working and which are not. You will then know which keywords to concentrate on when doing your website SEO.

If you follow these step-by-step instructions and look at the examples, you should have a good idea on how to improve the traffic to your website. These tips on which reports to analyze will help you develop the best strategies for improving your sales and growing your online business. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would also be interested in any ideas you may have on how to increase quality traffic  to your website by using Google Analytics. We appreciate hearing from you, it helps us a great deal.

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