Web Analytics Reports: 10 Key Types and How to Use Them


You can’t optimise your website to drive better results if you don’t know how visitors are engaging with your site.

But how do you correctly analyse data and identify patterns? With the right platform, you can use a wide range of web analytics reports to dive deep into the data.

In this article, we’ll discuss what website analytics reports are, different types, why you need them, and how to use reports to find the insights you need.

What is web analytics?

Website analytics is the process of gathering, processing, and analysing data that shows what users are doing when they visit your website. 

You typically achieve this with web analytics tools by adding a tracking code that shares data with the analytics platform when someone visits the site.

Illustration of how website analytics works

The visitors trigger the tracking code, which collects data on how they act while on your site and then sends that information to the analytics platform. You can then see the data in your analytics solution and create reports based on this data.

While there are a lot of web analytics solutions available, this article will specifically demonstrate reports using Matomo.

What are web analytics reports?

Web analytics reports are analyses that focus on specific data points within your analytics platform. 

For example, this channel report in Matomo shows the top referring channels of a website.

Channel types report in Matomo analytics

Your marketing team can use this report to determine which channels drive the best results. In the example above, organic search drives almost double the visits and actions of social campaigns. 

If you’re investing the same amount of money, you’d want to move more of your budget from social to search.

Why you need to get familiar with specific web analytics reports

The default web analytics dashboard offers an overview of high-level trends in performance. However, it usually does not give you specific insights that can help you optimise your marketing campaigns.

For example, you can see that your conversions are down month over month. But, at a glance, you do not understand why that is.

To understand why, you need to go granular and wider — looking into qualifying data that separates different types of visitors from each other.

Gartner predicts that 70% of organisations will focus on “small and wide” data by 2025 over “big data.” Most companies lack the data volume to simply let big data and algorithms handle the optimising.

What you can do instead is dive deep into each visitor. Figure out how they engage with your site, and then you can adjust your campaigns and page content accordingly.

Common types of web analytics reports

There are dozens of different web analytics reports, but they usually fall into four separate categories:

Diagram that illustrates the main types of web analytics reports
  • Referral sources: These reports show where your visitors come from. They range from channel reports — search, social media — to specific campaigns and ads.
  • Engagement (on-site actions): These reports dive into what visitors are doing on your site. They break down clicks, scrolling, completed conversion goals, and more.
  • E-commerce performance: These reports show the performance of your e-commerce store. They’ll help you dive into the sales of individual products, trends in cart abandonment and more.
  • Demographics: These reports help you understand more about your visitors — where they’re visiting from, their browser language, device, and more.

You can even combine insights across all four using audience segmentation and custom reports. (We’ll cover this in more detail later.)

How to use 10 important website analytics reports

The first step is to install the website analytics code on your website. (We include more detailed information in our guide on how to track website visitors.)

Then, you need to wait until you have a few days (or, if you have limited traffic, a few weeks) of data. Without sufficient website visitor data, none of the reports will be meaningful.

Visitor Overview report

First, let’s take a look at the Visitor Overview report. It’s a general report that breaks down the visits over a given time period.

Visitor overview report in Matomo

What this report shows:

  • Trends in unique visits month over month
  • Basic engagement trends like the average visit length and bounce rate
  • The number of actions taken per page

In general, this report is more of a high-level indicator you can use to explore certain areas more thoroughly. For example, if most of your traffic comes from organic traffic or social media, you can dive deeper into those channels.

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Location report

Next up, we have the most basic type of demographic report — the Location report. It shows where your visitors tend to access your website from.

Location report in Matomo

What this report shows:

  • The country, state or city your visitors access your website from

This report is most useful for identifying regional trends. You may notice that your site is growing in popularity in a country. You can take advantage of this by creating a regional campaign to double down on a high performing audience.

Device report

Next, we have the Device report, which breaks down your visitors’ devices.

Device report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • Overall device types used by your visitors
  • Specific device models used

Today, most websites are responsive or use mobile-first design. So, just seeing that many people access your site through smartphones probably isn’t all that surprising.

But you should ensure your responsive design doesn’t break down on popular devices. The design may not work effectively because many phones have different screen resolutions. 

Users Flow report

The Users Flow report dives deeper into visitor engagement — how your visitors act on your site. It shows common landing pages — the first page visitors land on — and how they usually navigate your site from there.

Users flow report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • Popular landing pages
  • How your visitors most commonly navigate your site

You can use this report to determine which intermediary pages are crucial to keeping visitors engaged. For example, you can prioritise optimisation and rewriting for case study pages that don’t get a lot of direct search or campaign traffic.

Improving this flow can improve conversion rates and the impact of your marketing efforts.

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Exit Pages report

The Exit Pages report complements the Users Flow report well. It highlights the most common pages visitors leave your website from.

Exit pages report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • The most common exit pages on your website
  • The exit rates of these pages

Pages with high exit rates fall into two categories. The first are pages where it makes sense that visitors leave, like a post-purchase thank-you page. The second are pages where you’d want your visitors to stay and keep flowing down the funnel. When the rates are unusually high on product pages, category pages, or case study pages, you may have found a problem.

By combining insights from the Users Flow and Exit Pages reports, you can find valuable candidates for optimisation. This is a key aspect of effective conversion rate optimisation.

Traffic Acquisition Channel report

The Acquisition Channels report highlights the channels that drive the most visitors to your site.

Acquisition report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • Top referring traffic sources by channel type
  • The average time on site, bounce rates, and actions taken by the source

Because of increasingly privacy-sensitive browsers and apps, the best way to reliably track traffic sources is to use campaign tracking URL. Matomo offers an easy-to-use campaign tracking URL builder to simplify this process.

Search Engines and Keywords report

The Search Engines and Keywords report shows which keywords are driving the most organic search traffic and from what search engines.

Search engine keyword report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • Search engine keywords that drive traffic
  • The different search engines that refer visitors

One of the best ways to use this report is to identify low-hanging fruit. You want to find keywords driving some traffic where your page isn’t ranked in the top three results. If the keyword has high traffic potential, you should then work to optimise that page to rank higher and get more traffic. This technique is an efficient way to improve your SEO performance.

Ecommerce Products report

If you sell products directly on your website, the Ecommerce Products report is a lifesaver. It shows you exactly how all your products are performing.

Ecommerce product report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • How your products are selling
  • The average sale price (with coupons) and quantity

This report could help an online retailer identify top-selling items, adjust pricing based on average sale prices, and strategically allocate resources to promote or restock high-performing products for maximum profitability.

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No credit card required

Ecommerce Log report

If you want to explore every single ecommerce interaction, the Ecommerce Log report is for you. It breaks down the actions of visitors who add products to their cart in real time.

Ecommerce log report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • The full journey of completed purchases and abandoned carts
  • The exact actions your potential customers take and how long their journeys last

If you suspect that the user experience of your online store isn’t perfect, this report helps you confirm or deny that suspicion. By closely examining individual interactions, you can identify common exit pages or other issues.

Funnels report

For non-ecommerce goals, you can dive deep into the performance of specific funnels with the funnels report. 

Funnels report in Matomo analytics

What this report shows:

  • A specific funnel’s conversion rate
  • Where people drop off during the funnel

This report can help lead-based companies (like marketing agencies, for instance) identify weak pages in the nurturing progress of their visitors.

Important web analytics metrics to understand the reports

In case you’re not an analytics expert, we’ve broken down ten key metrics that will help you understand the reports listed above:

  • Pageviews: the total number of visits to pages on your site.
  • Unique visitors: the number of identifiably unique visitors to your site. 
  • Returning visitors: the number of visitors who have previously visited your site and return.
  • Actions: specific actions visitors take on your site, like viewing a page, clicking a link or signing up via a form.
  • Bounce rate: the percentage of visitors who leave after visiting just one page.
  • Exit rate: the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing a specific page.
  • Average visit length / average session duration: how long visitors stay on your website on average.
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who complete a desirable action (like signing up for a newsletter, submitting a contact form, trialling a feature or purchasing a product).
  • Abandonment rate: the percentage of visitors who leave a funnel or shopping cart without completing a purchase.
  • Average order value: the average cost of a customer order on your website.

Get more insights from reports through segmentation

By creating segments based on demographics or referral sources, you can explore specific audiences’ engagement and ecommerce trends.

For example, you can break down your visitors by specific states or areas in your most important markets.

Segmentation options in Matomo

You can then compare the performance of regions against each other. 

And that’s just one example of custom segmentation. You can also segment audiences based on traffic source, device, landing pages, and more. Experimenting with segments is a good way to unlock meaningful insights you can use to improve your site and campaigns.

Leverage these (and more) web analytics reports with Matomo — without worrying about privacy issues

In 2024, marketers can no longer track their visitors using any means necessary without consequences. Stricter privacy regulations have led to companies getting fined for using Google Analytics — not just Google themselves.

If you want a web analytics platform that offers advanced features, 100% accurate data, and is GDPR-compliant, then look no further than Matomo. 

Try Matomo for free for 21 days (no credit card required). Understand your visitors better without worrying about regulatory issues or inaccurate data.

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A powerful web analytics platform that gives you and your business 100% data ownership and user privacy protection.

No credit card required.

Free forever.