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SEO Tools: Making Google Analytics Work For You

Gazing into the sprawling, exhaustive database that is Google Analytics for the first time can feel a little overwhelming for the uninitiated.

There are sweeping lines, multiple colors, various tabs, customizable dates and a variety of charts that can appear like a randomly assembled collection of arbitrary data with little chance of being meaningfully interpreted. You assume the smorgasbord of metrics serves a grand purpose (especially since us SEO's hunch over it like 14-year-old girls as if it contained locks of Justin Bieber's freshly shorn hair), yet ultimately still have trouble identifying how to successfully use the tool.

Apply that idea to attempting to explain certain traffic trends to your clients, many of whom aren't well-versed in analytics, and the rabbit hole gets deeper. Sometimes the interaction feels a bit like an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll's, "Alice In Wonderland":

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

With that said, I'm naturally a big fan of any SEO tool that minimizes complexity and, even better, visually explains noteworthy occurrences in data or analysis with easily recognizable specifics. Something that provides the "why" behind the "what" Google Analytics amply supplies.

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