A Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is a free tool that provides vital analytics for your website. With it, you can see how many people visit your site and analyze important data. At the moment, almost 40 million sites use GA.

The following article covers the ins and outs of Google Analytics, and provides valuable information on how it will aid your business!

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is the premier analytics platform used by millions of businesses today to track their sites’ or apps’ performance. The platform is extremely user friendly and easy to follow. It shows you exactly how your site or app is performing, through data collected, which is then processed. Its dashboard displays all the data that is easy to understand, and gives you vital information on how your site or app is performing, and how many people visit it.

The following is all the information it provides:

  • Data Collection – It tells you how much traffic you get, as well as what regions of the world your site’s visitors are from. It informs you what all those visitors do when on your site, and also reveals the bounce rate—the amount of time they spend on your site, and at what stage, or page, they leave.
  • Tracks Hits – GA tracks page view hits, event hits and transaction/e-commerce hits. Pageview hits indicate when a person visits your page; event hits indicate when someone interacts with your site by filling in a form, playing a video, or clicking a link; and transaction or e-commerce hits speak for themselves—they indicate when a person purchases something from your site or app. Further details are provided as to what products they bought, and how much they spent. 
  • Data Processing – GA processes important data, and separates it by users and sessions. User data processes all the data on each individual visiting your site or app. GA creates a random user ID for every new person visiting your site. This way, it identifies returning visitors. Session data tells you how long someone stays on your site, and what actions were performed by them. 

  • Detailed Reports – These reports are presented as highly intricate visuals that are easy to understand, expressed in both dimensions (for example, country of visitor) and metrics (for example, how many sessions occurred over a certain length of time).

Why is Google Analytics So Important?

GA helps your business in several ways:

  • Aids Your SEO Efforts – SEO is key to every page of your site. GA works with your SEO, and lets you know which search queries users write in the Google search bar, the amount of search traffic your website gets, the bounce rate of visitors from different sources, and which landing page attracts the most traffic.
  • Improves Future Marketing Strategies – With all the data collected by GA, you will be able to improve your future marketing strategies. It does this by informing you about the location of your site visitors, the amount of traffic your site receives through different marketing channels (such as social media marketing, PPC, etc.), the conversion rates of visitors from all the different channels, as well as which sites refer the biggest group of visitors. 
  • Improves Site Performance – Of course, the purpose of any analytics tool is to give you important data to improve the performance of your site. GA informs you of the speed at which your site’s pages load on desktops, the pages that attract the biggest amount of traffic, the pages that your visitor’s leave, as well as the load times of your site on mobile devices. 

How To Get Started With Google Analytics

Getting started with Google Analytics is simple, and doesn’t offer a steep learning curve, provided you work through it thoroughly, and step-by-step:

  • Set Up an Account – The first task at hand is to set up a Google Account. Once you have your Google account, log into it and you can start the process of setting up Google Analytics, and adding this important tool to your website. On the GA homepage, you will see a “sign up” button. You’ll need to click that and then provide the information that GA will ask from you about yourself and your GA needs.
  • Choose an Account Name – You will then choose a name for your account, and choose what you desire to measure. 
  • Enter the Precise Details of the Site That Needs to Be Tracked – The last step of setting up your Google Analytics account is to enter all the precise details of the site that needs to be tracked. The minute you have set up your GA account, you will have the opportunity of adding up to 50 different sites. At this stage, you will need to enter the URL you need your account to be linked to. 
  • Click Create – All that’s needed now is a click on the “create” button, and your GA account is ready. A tracking code will then be provided, and this is what allows GA to collect all the information and data from visitors to your site. You will then need to add this very important tracking code to your site

Conclusion

This is only a beginner’s guide to Google Analytics. Follow all these steps and then Google Analytics’ instructions as to what to do next. Work through these steps and you will slowly, but surely master Google Analytics!
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Need help with your Google Analytics and all your Google marketing needs? Contact one of our digital marketing strategists today, and they will be more than happy to assist you and help drive your business forward.