Today, we're kicking off a five-week educational series about speeding up your business in a slowdown. We'll be revisiting the basics of online publishing to help you grow your business, and we'll share tips about using AdSense and other Google products that you can apply to your business now. In the coming Thursdays, you can look forward to tips for making your site more user-friendly, bringing in more visitors, increasing your revenue potential, and attracting more advertiser budget. Along the way, we invite you to share your own suggestions for growing your business by leaving comments at the end of each post. You can also follow the campaign at

In today's post, you'll hear from Avinash Kaushik, Google's own Analytics Evangelist, about the importance of understanding your traffic, analyzing how your site performs, and using data to make decisions. Here are a few small to mid-sized ideas that -- in Avinash's own words -- can add up to remarkable results for your website. They're all things you can do today with free web analytics tools, like Google Analytics.

Idea #1: Discover what content and traffic sources keep people coming to your site again and again.

How many times does a visitor have to visit your site to be considered valuable? Use the Visitor Loyalty report in the Visitors section of Google Analytics to pinpoint the visitors who come to your site that many times or more. Put that data into an advanced segment and apply that segment to your core reports to understand things like where these valuable visitors come from and what content they consume. You can then use this information to optimize how you acquire new visitors and the content on your site for loyal visitors.

Idea #2: Figure out which pages to improve on your site.

Many people ask the question: "How do I know which pages on my site to improve?" Take a look at the Top Landing Pages report in the Content section of Google Analytics. This report tells you the first page people see when they enter your site. Sort this report by bounce rate. Bounce rate measures how many people come to your site, only see one page and leave right away (or as Avinash calls it: "I came, I puked, I left"). Once you identify which of your top landing pages are not able to get a single click from your visitors you know which pages need to be improved.

Idea #3: Find out where AdSense performs best on your site.

If you've linked your AdSense and Analytics accounts, the Top AdSense Content report in the AdSense section of Google Analytics will tell you where on your website AdSense ads get the most clicks. This is a win-win for your business and your customers, as it helps you identify what type of content to produce more of based on what content people are most interested in as well as where people most often click on your AdSense ads.

If you haven't already, link your AdSense and Analytics accounts in order to take full advantage of what Analytics can offer. If you don't yet have an Analytics account, you can sign up today.

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