How To Use Google Analytics To Get More Traffic Today!

This tutorial will teach you how I use Google Analytics to increase traffic to the blog.

While Google Analytics is pretty robust and feature rich, it does overlook some of most basic features and reports.

The biggest one it is missing…

Is having the simple ability to get a complete list of all of the full referring URL’s that have sent you traffic.

Sure you can get a list of referring domains and then within that partial URL’s but that isn’t any good for increasing traffic!

What You Will Learn

  • How to use Google Analytics to get more traffic
  • How to create a custom profile
  • My personal ‘magic filter’
  • How I use this to grow traffic

YouTube video

Learn how to start a blog that people notice in 7 days

Don’t Like Videos? Follow This Instead!

Today I have a fast tip to increase your website traffic using Google Analytics.

I’ll show you how to:

  • Make a custom GA report
  • Use my personal filter
  • Use this technique to get more daily traffic

What Are Our Traffic Sources?

On our main Google Analytics homepage, we can click on Traffic Sources to see where our traffic is coming from.

My referral rate is about 30% so to see what sites those are, click on Referrals under Traffic Sources.

You get a long list but no specific URL, even if you click on it. What we need to do to find out what the URLs are, is to make a custom report and apply a filter.

So how do we actually get more traffic by doing this?


As shown above, one of my referrals is from Blackhatworld so I can go back and answer any outstanding questions there may be and that’ll bump the thread the top. 

There is a referral from ProBlogger where I was featured so there may be comments there that I can respond to and bring more traffic. 

So you get the idea of how knowing which URL is bringing me traffic can further increase visits to my website.

I go through this report weekly making sure I check all the referrals.

Creating The Report

Making this report is pretty easy, it just takes a few steps!

  1. On the main GA screen, click on Admin
  2. Click on your profile
  3. Go to Profile Setting and click Copy this Profile on the bottom right corner

copy profile

Give the new profile a name and click Copy Profile. I’m going to name mine Matthew Woodward Tutorial since I already have my referral profile set up.

After that’s done, you’ll see the newly created profile in the list. Click on the new profile and then on Filters on the top.

new filter

Name the filter, tick custom filter and select Advanced.  Now we need to select the fields so for the first box of field A, select Referral. In the second box, type (.*)

Field B is left blank and select User Defined for the Output to and enter $A1 for Constructor.


Make sure Field A is ticked Yes, Field B is ticked No, Override Output Field is ticked Yes and Case Sensitive is ticked No.

And that’s it!

We just created our own custom report so we can see where all our referrals are coming from. It will begin in 24 hours so if you check it right away, you’ll see zero for all your numbers.

One more step we need to do is to create an advanced segment to filter through some of the junk like Google or Facebook.

  1. Click Advanced Segments
  2. Click New Custom Segment
  3. Choose Add “And” Statement
  4. Select User Defined Value, Excluse, Containing and then enter the website you want to exclude including the www.

google facebook

Wrapping It Up

So that’s how you set up a report to see your referrals and drive more traffic to your website.

Just visit each of the referring URL’s and see if there is an opportunity for more traffic.

Learn how to start a blog that people notice in 7 days

  • If it’s a forum post – bump it
  • If it’s a review from a website – contact them

…you get the idea.

It only takes 10-15 minutes to do each week but will bring you great rewards over time!

And, if you want to go deeper into reporting, check out my SEO reporting software post.

Do you have any other awesome tips like this? Let us know in the comments below!

PRO TIPS: To improve your SEO performance, make sure to use all the Google tools available. Don’t know anything about these tools? Take a look at my list of Google tools.

100 Responses

  1. Abhishek Thakur

    Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome info . Your article is excellent and informative about google anaylitics. increase in website traffic increases SEO page ranfing keep it up with such great content.

    • Matthew Woodward
      October 14th, 2020 at 10:55 am

      Thank you, Abhishek!

  2. Kunal Gathe

    Thank you.
    Can i share thi pist on my social media

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 12th, 2020 at 7:03 am

      Yes of course, please do.

  3. Matka 420

    This artical is very informative for me keep it up admin

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 28th, 2020 at 1:54 am

      There’s plenty more where this came from :)

  4. Joseph Kiglin

    Thanks for sharing. My google analytics will be put into great use now.

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 7th, 2019 at 2:55 am

      Glad to hear it, thanks Joseph

  5. shristi patni

    It was a great content.Cheers to that.Also the feature of google analytics is not very well known to people but ensured to provide the complete and enough knowledge about it to the readers .Great work.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 16th, 2019 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks Shristi

  6. Pawan Purohit

    Excellent. I didn’t know that we can also use GA in this way. I will read this article again when I will do experiment with my GA account.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 3rd, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Hi Pawan, go for it, I hope you get good results

  7. Tim

    You might want to update this tutorial as the screens on GA have changed a bit!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      I’ll be doing it soon :) Trouble!

  8. Mike S

    Google analytics has become a household name in the blogging industry. I could not imagine going through my campaigns without it. Thanks Matt for showing me the functionalities of Google that are not known to me.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 8:57 am

      No problem Mike!

  9. Priya Negi

    Hi Matthew,

    Really Great posts. I was also watching your youtube channel. Can you please share a post setting up tracking code through GTM? A complete tutorial I just want to start with GTM. By the way which tool have you used to create your videos?

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 12th, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      I use Camtasia Studio for the most part :)

  10. Devon

    Hi Matthew, first of all, thank you for your wonderful blog, it’s extremely helpful. I realize that GA has changed slightly since this post was written, but i am struggling to find the profile settings. I was digging all last night, but no dice. Can you please point me in the right direction to get to profile settings and then I should be able to take it from there. Thank you!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 25th, 2016 at 9:58 am

      That is in the admin area now

      • Devon
        January 26th, 2016 at 3:43 pm

        Thank you!

  11. John

    Google Analytics in my site has few referrer from copyrightclaims.org and buttons-for-website.com
    it as referrer spam, Matthew?

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 17th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      It sure is :) You can use the WP Block Referrer Spam plugin to take care of that

  12. Miguel Salcido

    Would it be proper to use the advanced segments to also weed out referral spam from sites like get-your-social-buttons.info and other crap like that?

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2015 at 4:23 pm
      • Miguel
        December 3rd, 2015 at 10:52 am

        Thanks Matthew. I checked out that plugin but it has terrible reviews. Plus, less plugins = faster site and less vulnerabilities. I guess the good ole fashioned ways are the best to stop referrer spam in GA.

        • Matthew Woodward
          December 8th, 2015 at 2:17 pm

          The problem with the old fashioned way is new referrer spammers are made every day, which means you have to manually identify and update constantly – where as the plugin route that gets taken care of automatically.

  13. Konrad

    Hey Matthew,
    I’ve got some problem with the limit of 10 million hits per month. I heard that upgading my GA to GA Premium can solve this problem but I don’t want to pay a lot for something like that. Can you help me? Is this one gonna work for me?

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      If it fits the needs of your business then its good to go!

  14. Gabi


    As always your content is so timely! Thanks for always making such detailed tutorials. You’re one of the few that actually gives all the nitty-gritty without leaving important stuff out.

    I’ve always wanted to drill down into GA but to be honest, they learning academy that Google provides is like Greek to me.

    I’d love for you to do a whole GA series, that would be legendary!

    Thanks again,

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 5th, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Hey Gabi,

      Thanks for your kind words, I might do something more in depth for analytics in the future :)

  15. Sana

    Yummy stuff! Just yummmayy!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 5th, 2015 at 4:42 am


  16. harry

    I noticed that you have to use OR now instead of AND in the exclude.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Yes they have made a few changes

  17. Kaleo

    When I go to my google analytic account and click on admin, there is nothing showing click on profile. has there been changes since you made this video?

    Maybe I have my analytics account set up wrong. I am tracking data for 3 different sites, getting confused

    Do I need to click on each individual site I am tracking and the click on admin and then profile. if so, I still do not see profile.

    any suggestions?

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 12th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Yeah they have changed the layout a bit, it takes a bit of digging but it is there. I will update the tutorial in due course for the universal analytics change as well.

  18. Dinesh

    Thanks for sharing such Good information, but i m not able to download the video :(

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 10th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Can you explain more?

  19. Joe Simmonds

    Awesome work, as pre usual, Matthew! :-) Thanks!!

  20. dave

    hey matt nie vid but looks like GA changed their interface and I am finding this pretty difficult to follow. A quick note/update might be helpful – thanks!

    • dave
      March 7th, 2014 at 2:13 am

      looks like they replaced profile with views so you have to go to view settings and copy view. Then it seems to work for the most part, not sure about the custom exclusions at the end and the goals you set? Will check in 24 hours once it populates.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 7th, 2014 at 8:17 am

      I’m going to record a dedicated universal analytics series at some point

  21. Jesse Aaron

    Nice vid Matt! I have a view just like this that also excludes all the t.co / buffer / social sharing links. I discovered a lot of weird places where trickle traffic was coming from. One of them I’m not sure I can squeeze any more because it’s just a link in one of those “Around the Web / Related Posts” lists at the end of articles. It is on HuffPo so it counts as a nice link but nothing I can really do I think haha.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Hahaha nah just reap that link juice :)

  22. George

    Hey Matt!

    I just revisited this posts due to your email and just wanted to recommend you do a full google analytics tutorial. I think it will be awesome since you explain things so well and I think many ppl including myself want to master things such as setting up goals, measuring conversions rates, how to set these things up with your website.

    Just a thought :-)

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 26th, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Make me a full list of what you want to see covered and I’ll see what I can do :)

  23. Iain

    Thanks for the cool tutorial Matthew.

    How do you think this would work if you don’t get very much traffic already?

    Do you think it would be as effective as you have been with it?

    I set it up, so I will have to see what happens when it populates.

  24. awemous

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the video. Amazing stuff and clearly there is loads more to Google Analytics than I previously thought.

    Just a quick question. Why did you add another profile to add this custom variable into? I’ve checked and the setting is still available and active in the normal profile too…

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 4th, 2013 at 11:09 am


      Because when making key changes like this, if you mess it up you will lose data. So I always make fundamental changes on seperate profiles just in case :)

      • awemous
        March 4th, 2013 at 11:18 am

        Thanks Matt. This video was great so I’ll be sure to check back for more Google Analytics stuff in future. This afternoon’s adventure is to check out that BuzzBundle video review of yours.

        • Matthew Woodward
          March 5th, 2013 at 10:34 am


          No worrys let me know if you have any questions :)

  25. Rob

    Hey Matthew,
    Nice video again, didn’t think too deeply before into the uses of google analytics. I tend to use pwik but this is making me reconsider. One question though which is not related, is the transcript a plugin for wordpress as I see Google indexes it?

    Thanks again

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 23rd, 2013 at 2:21 pm


      No worrys – seems a lot of people want tutorials on this subject so I’ll put a mini series together at some point.

      The transcript stuff isn’t a plugin, I hand write it all from the video which is really tedious and I absolutely despise doing it. I just allow people to toggle the view of it, for the most part people don’t need it because of the video but some people prefer written transcripts and I’ve had a number of emails thanking me for providing them for various reasons which makes the pain of producing them worth it I suppose!

  26. Julius MInor

    Great video!.. I’m still sitting here wondering how you came up with that.. Especially the whole (.*) thing and the placement of it. I never thought to look that deep into GA.. That’s pretty sick!

    • Julius MInor
      February 22nd, 2013 at 4:33 pm


  27. Jon Poland

    Matthew: Learning how to use Google Analytics in my business is something that I have been meaning to do. Your video has inspired me to move on this. Great stuff.

    I did not realize that GA could track clicks on your affiliate offers. On a somewhat related subject, it looks like your use a tool / plugin to cloak your affiliate links. Can you share what tool / plugin you use to do this?

    Thanks. — Jon

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 22nd, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Hi Jon,

      As a business owner – can yo tell me what you want to achieve with analytics? Why are you meaning to do it?

      I’m using prettylink to cloak, but this isn’t actually cloaking its just a redirect that makes no difference other than looking better.

  28. Ad


    Really useful video thanks.

    Just one minor nitpick/grumble if I may, youtube is blocked at work so I was following the transcript – the transcript uses lots of terms like “go here” which without the video makes no sense, for example:

    “And that is it, that is the custom profile and filter ready to rock and roll. So if we jump into the profile now which you can do by coming up here and you can see the new profile there.”

    Granted its pretty dumb to have youtube blocked at work, but thats another story!

    Thanks again for the video!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 21st, 2013 at 1:44 pm


      To be honest there are some parts your going to need the video. The transcript is a transcript of what I’m saying and not a written guide. I have toyed with the idea of self hosting all the videos but just watch it when you get home and quit slacking off :P

  29. Huang

    Great tutorial and very helpful, Matthew. Thanks!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 21st, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Any others you would like to see?

  30. Ogi

    Thanks Matt, but I’m already using very similar GA report.

    What I don’t have and what I’m waiting for, is your announced Web 2.0 mini sites tutorial. :)

    I know the most about that, but it would be nice to see your tips, as I picked up something very useful from every tut that you made. So, are you still planing to make Web 2.0 tutorial?

  31. MAC Design Inc.

    Amazing tutorial, thanks a lot for sharing!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 21st, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      No worrys!

  32. jespana

    Thanks Matt could you create a video how to do slit testing asnI will need to do that on my site when it’s ready.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 21st, 2013 at 1:29 pm


      Do you mean like the logo split test I’m running now? That will be covered when I publish the results of that case study

  33. Sam Matla

    Great tutorial Matthew! I appreciate the help. I’ve always wanted to see the ‘value’ of my traffic from referring URLs but I never knew how, this will help a lot.


    • Matthew Woodward
      February 21st, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Sam,

      No worrys – you can do the same with social networks as well!

  34. Tim Sumner

    Thanks for another awesome tutorial! I’d also love to see more GA tutorials! Keep em coming!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 21st, 2013 at 1:26 pm


      Any specific areas you would like covered?

  35. Steven

    You should consider doing a full G Analytics tutorial because honestly I’m sure it can do a lot more and show a lot more info than most people realise. I didn’t realise I could find out which visitors from specific sites signed up to my list, converted etc.

    Also using the experiment feature is confusing and there’s no good tutorials on it online that I could find…could be a job for you.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 21st, 2013 at 1:26 pm


      I think doing it in one tutorial would be to much but I might plan out a mini series! Anything else you would like to see covered in it?

  36. Ryan

    Very timely Matthew. I was just googling this the other day and eventually gave up as there wasn’t any recent turtorials that showed the process. Much Thanks.

    I have the profile setup now and waiting for traffic to come though to test this out.

    One question: As far as you know, there isn’t any way to apply this to your current profile so you can have a backward look at the full referral paths?

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 19th, 2013 at 7:26 pm


      No worrys :)

      No you cannot apply this to your current profile or get a historical view – perhaps if you modified your existing profile it might work but that’s got its risks and I wouldn’t give it a bash personally.

      Worth researching further though. Give it a try if you have an old profile you dont care about.

  37. Wraith Sarko

    dis work for any reffering url then right?

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 19th, 2013 at 7:24 pm


      Indeed it would!

  38. kacmi

    Awesome Matt! It would be great to see how to setup more stuff in GA, like conversion rates for opt-in list etc :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 19th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      You guys would like that?

      What about reports like this http://i.imgur.com/hElAtGR.jpg

      • Ryan
        February 19th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        A post on how you setup your conversion goals would be very helpful.

        • Matthew Woodward
          February 19th, 2013 at 7:26 pm


          Ok will slam that on the list, pretty quick one to make as well!

        • Nate
          February 19th, 2013 at 8:30 pm

          Yup, I agree – I saw your conversion analytics in your video – good stuff!

          • Matthew Woodward
            February 21st, 2013 at 1:27 pm

            Thanks Nate!

      • Peter
        February 19th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

        We would def. like that. Your Social Media report looks awesome!

        • Matthew Woodward
          February 19th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

          Also on the to do list :) I’ve got all sorts of custom interfaces I have put together like an email sign up performance dashboard – didn’t realise this was an in demand topic so much!

      • Kimmi Celander
        February 19th, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        That report would be so helpful to have set up, I didn’t know GA could track affiliate/link clicks, I knew it could track downloads, but I think it was a Wordpress Plugin that helped me set that up. So I guess there’s not much difference in setting up tracking downloads and link clicks.

        Seems like it’s true what I have heard that Youtube converts the best, and I can see that’s both through for link clicks and email signups.

        • Matthew Woodward
          February 21st, 2013 at 1:28 pm


          Are there any other areas would like covered in more analytics tutorials?

          I’ve spent all of yesterday and today optimsing my youtube videos/channel, only finished 1 video so far which is this one – if you rewatch you’ll see what I did :P

  39. Asif Khan

    Another great post Matthew, Thanks.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 19th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      No worrys :D

  40. Oliver

    As ever top tips. You are the man Matt. Thanks

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 19th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Glad you enjoyed them, hopefully they pull you some traffic!

  41. Dustin

    Great tutorial. Btw I like the new logo.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 19th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      I haven’t quite decided on the new logo just yet :) Split test data > my opinion

      • Dustin G
        March 4th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

        Yeah I noticed later that you were split testing haha.. Are you still testing?

        • Matthew Woodward
          March 5th, 2013 at 10:39 am

          Not at the moment :) Got a few test upcoming though, I’m sure you’ll notice ^^

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