Google Analytics & Organic Traffic
Interpreting your Google Analytics raw data is a must if you want to succeed in business. If you don't know where you stand, you cannot move forward with confidence in your decisions. Organic traffic is what you are after in a solid SEO (Search Engine Optimization) program.
Weekly SEO Reporting
Don't trust SEO reports. They are nice and pretty but do not give you the whole picture. They are useful for a snapshot to gauge how your business is doing in a nutshell but diving further into the analytics at least monthly is what I would recommend to a friend's small business. Direct, organic, and referral traffic can be found in your analytics.
There are 3 main types of traffic:
Direct traffic comes from people who bookmarked or added a page on your website to their browser to come back to later or if they type the website directly into the URL bar. Direct traffic can also come from an e-mail blast you sent out or from a document such as a pdf or word document. Another source is clicks from browser history. Direct can be compared to brand names or household names that have an incredible or memorable reputation.
Organic traffic is the meat and potatoes of SEO. You want to increase organic traffic as much as possible. These are unpaid search engine listings that can be influenced by your actions. Google changes its algorithm twice daily, so keeping up with changes in organic traffic strategies and best practices is extremely important.
Referall traffic can come from social media, partner sites, e-mails, blogs, and more. It's another website source referring traffic to yours. It's like asking a friend for a recommendation on where the best restaurant in town is. You can track these right in Google Analytics.
There is other traffic besides the main 3. This would include PPC campaigns (pay-per-click) or paid search like Google Adwords.
Tip: Set the time frame and look at the increases and decreases over time for each type of traffic all on 1 graph. There are many preloaded graphs you can choose from the Google Analytics community.