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Using Google Analytics to help with your “online cuttings” file

Here’s a nice little tip for those of you who find it productive to use Google Analytics to explore where your website visitors are coming from. As you build up good content on your website, it should start to attract spontaneous links from other websites, some of which you might not even know, never mind having targeted. The first you might know about these links is when they appear in Google Analytics under the list of sites which are sending you traffic. Great news, but where exactly are these mentions which are sending you visitors? You get to see the websites listed, but if they’re big sites, there’s often very little chance of being able to track down the page where you’re mentioned. And if you need to keep a “online cuttings” file, that’s no good. Take this “acquisition” report for my website, for example:

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Terrific news, I’ve got a mention on The Guardian’s website. But where? Fortunately, that information is available in Google Analytics, you just need to know where to look. And “where”, in this case, is under “Referring sites”. Click the site in question, and you’ll see the exact page (or pages) which are sending you traffic. So in this case, I discover that there are a whole bunch of pages on The Guardian’s website sending me visitors. Thanks, Guardian readers!

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