Google Analytics has a ton of interesting reports, but at times it can be tough to separate the signal from the noise.
One report I like to run that helps me gauge whether a site is heading in the right direction is a monthly view of organic search traffic from Google. While some forms of traffic can be quite volatile, such as links from major blogs or social networking sites like Digg, is the general trend in organic search is up and to the right, chances are pretty good that your site is getting indexed and growing in authority over time.
Here is an example:
To create this, I set the time period to May 1, 2007 to May 31, 2008, then to view data by month to smooth out the volatility of daily or weekly traffic. For the report, I click Traffic Sources > All Traffic Sources > Google Organic.
In this case, the site has more than doubled the organic traffic levels from a year before, although things have slowed down a bit in recent months. This would lead me to investigate whether this is a seasonal change or whether a structural change made have been made that shunted growth among other possible variables.