You might have thought about using Google Analytics but may find it hard to use.
If you're not familiar with it, Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that helps website owners understand how users are interacting with their websites.
You can use this information to improve your website's design and functionality or see which areas are most popular.
Google Analytics is an indispensable tool for every online business. It helps you understand what people are doing on your website and how they interact with it.
For starters, you can use the information collected to develop better content and provide a better user experience.
By using Google Analytics, you will learn how to improve your website's usability, increase your conversion rate and make informed decisions about the product and marketing strategies that work best for your business.
Even if you are a beginner, this blog will give you every nitty-gritty of using Google Analytics and how to leverage it.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that helps website owners and developers understand how their visitors interact with their websites.
Google Analytics allows you to track the following information about your website visitors:
• Time on page
• Engagement (clicks, scrolls, etc.)
• Demographics (age, gender, etc.)
• Conversion rates (from organic search results, email campaigns, etc.)
How Does Google Analytics Work?
The tracking operation collects information about the page request in various ways. It sends that info to the Analytics server in the form of a list of parameters attached to a single-pixel image request.
Is Google Analytics Free?
Yes, Google Analytics is free to use with almost all the essential features. There is also a paid version of Google Analytics called Analytics 360.
The free version of analytics is best suited for small to large businesses. However, the enterprises might need to upgrade to the premium version of Google Analytics.
With the paid version of Analytics, you would get features like:
- Advanced funneling options and attribute modeling.
- More dimensions and metrics.
- 360 reporting.
- Unsmapled data
- Dedicated support.
However, Google Analytics isn't cheap. It may cost you around $150,000 per year (invoiced monthly). Well, that's a bit expensive, and that's why businesses stick to its free version.
Key Features of Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most popular web analytics tools. It offers a wide range of features that help you find everything you need to know about the site and user behavior.
Google Analytics "Home"
Google Analytics offers a "Home" page that you can use to view key metrics for all of your website's traffic sources.
This includes organic (unpaid) traffic and referral and social media traffic.
You can also see how different pages are performing relative to each other and identify any changes in behavior over time.
The Google Analytics dashboard shows various metrics, including users, sessions, bounce rate, session duration, traffic sources and more.
Let's understand each term further:
- Users: This is the number of individual people who have visited your website.
- Sessions: This is how many times a user has visited your website.
- Bounce rate: The bounce rate measures how many visitors leave your website without completing any action. This can be due to poor design or navigation or an issue with the content on your site. It's worth noting that a high bounce rate could also mean that your website attracts a lot of spam traffic.
- Session duration: This measures how long a user spends on your website.
- Traffic sources: This shows which websites contribute to the traffic flowing to your site. It includes both organic (unpaid) and paid traffic, and referral and social media traffic.
Sessions and Users
One of the most important metrics in Google Analytics is Sessions. This shows how many times a user has visited your website. You can see which pages are performing well and which need improvement by analyzing the number of sessions for each page.
By tracking this data over time, you can see whether there have been any changes in behavior - for example, if users are spending more time on certain pages or not returning at all.
This can help you improve your website design or navigation and ensure that the content is engaging enough for your users.
The Audience Section
One of the most important features in Google Analytics is the Audience section. This allows you to see which websites contribute to the traffic flowing to your site. You can see how much traffic each source is contributing, whether it's from organic (unpaid) or paid traffic, as well as referral and social media sources.
By understanding who is visiting your website, you can decide where to allocate your marketing efforts more effectively. This can help increase your website's traffic and conversion rates.
The Users Flow section in Google Analytics provides a visual representation of how users move around your website. This can help you understand which sections of your site are most popular and where users are spending the longest time on each page.
This report provides a visual picture of where people are coming from, which page they are landing on when they first enter your site, and where they go from there.
By understanding user behavior, you can better target your marketing efforts and ensure that they reach the right people. This data can also help you optimize your website's design and layout to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
People can stay engaged on your site for longer by interlinking your content and suggesting other posts at the end of each one.
This report is also a goldmine of data if you need to turn readers into email subscribers or customers. It's a great deal of information because you can know exactly where possible customers leave off.
Geo allows you to track the location of your users in real-time. This data can help you understand where your users are coming from and which sections of your site are most popular.
This information can also be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that will reach more people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
The Acquisition report in Google Search Analytics provides a detailed breakdown of the sources of traffic that your website has received. This information can help you to identify where your visitors are coming from.
It showcases where your visitors arrive from, such as search engines, social networks, and website referrals. This key section of the website demonstrates which online marketing tactics are drawing the most visitors to your website.
The acquisition section also provides information on what keywords are used to find your website, as well as how often they're being searched.
This data can help you determine which topics or keywords are most popular on your site.
The Referral section in Google Analytics shows you how many visitors came to your website through a referral from another website. This data can help you track the success of your online marketing campaigns and see which strategies are working best.
You'll also be able to see who referred the most traffic to your site, as well as what type of referrals they were. This information can help you develop new marketing strategies for future campaigns.
Clicking on the Referral section in Google Analytics will take you to a page that displays all of your referral sources. This includes websites, social networks, email addresses, and more.
The Social Network section in Google Analytics shows you how many visits your website received from people visiting through their social media accounts.
This data can help you understand which topics or keywords are popular on social media and where your audience is coming from.
Google Analytics also gives you the ability to see which social media platforms drive the most traffic to your website. This information can help you identify which social media channels are most effective for reaching your target audience.
You can also set up the Google Search Console account with Google Analytics to keep track of your SEO efforts.
Once you have set up the account, go to the "Search Traffic" section and select "All organic traffic."
You will then be able to see how many visitors your website received from Google searches. This data can help you track your progress and where you need to improve.
The User Behavior section in Google Analytics provides detailed information about how users behave on your website. This includes data on which pages they visit, the time spent on these pages, and whether they made any purchases or generated leads from your website.
How many of your visitors never visited your website before vs. returning visitors.
This data can help you understand user needs and preferences and design more effective marketing campaigns that target specific demographics.
Google Analytics reports in the behavior section give metrics like:
The Site Content section in Google Analytics displays information on which content on your site is most popular.
This data can help you understand what topics or keywords resonate with your audience and identify any areas of your website that could use improvement.
Site Speed & Performance
The Site Speed & Performance section in Google Analytics provides data on how quickly your website is loading. This information can help you identify any issues with your site’s speed and make necessary adjustments.
This data also gives you an overview of your website’s overall performance, including which pages are taking the longest to load, and what factors are causing these delays.
You can also sort pages by loading speed or pageviews to find critical issues.
The Events report section is useful when using event tracking on your website.
In Google Analytics, the event is defined as the user interactions with content that can be measured independently from a web page or a screen load.
Events can be used to track specific actions people may take, such as clicking on a social share button, which can help you understand how your content directly impacts the overall business.
Events can be used to trigger action through Google tag manager or directly through Google analytics account.
The Conversion section in Google Analytics displays the number of visitors who converted into a lead, email subscriber or purchase. This data can help you understand what actions drive conversions on your website and optimize your content and advertising campaigns accordingly.
The Conversion section includes a “Goal Summary” for each goal type. This summary shows the total number of conversions for that goal type and the percentage of visits that led to conversion.
Setting up goal tracking will help you determine the value of your various pieces of content and traffic sources (desktop, mobile devices or tablets).
By goal, it can mean anything from the amount of time spent on a page or the number of pages viewed in a single session.
Reverse Goal Path
Reverse Goal Path is a feature that allows you to track the path that visitors took to convert.
You can use the reverse goal path in two ways:
1) To track the paths visitors take from one area of your website to another. For example, you could measure which pages are most effective in driving conversions and use this information to design more effective pages.
2) To see which areas of your website are most likely to convert visitors. This can be useful for identifying where you need to improve your marketing efforts or your web page design.
You can also create reports for eCommerce websites in Google Analytics. To run this report, you'll need a unique Ecommerce tracking snippet.
GA Custom Reports
You can either choose the Google Analytics default report or create a custom report using various dimensions and metrics of your choice.
When you create a custom report, you'll be able to select which goals are included in the report.
Here are the examples of Google Analytics custom reports that you can create:
Website Traffic Reports
Website Traffic Reports detail the hours and days of the week when your website will see the most traffic. Using this information, you may plan a more effective marketing campaign for your company. Business-to-Business (B2B) enterprises can benefit greatly from these Google Analytics Custom Reports.
Content Performance Report
The Content Performance Report helps you identify which content is performing the best on your website.
This report is best for content marketers who want to track their success and win rates.
Content Performance Reports will give you a lot of information on the results of your marketing campaigns and will assist you in optimizing them.
These Google Analytics Custom Reports include data on various topics, including the material that attracts the most visitors, the most interesting subjects, and the blogs that generate the most leads.
Social Media Traffic Reports
A Social Media Traffic Report will show you how much traffic your website gets from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other popular social media platforms.
This information can help gauge the success of your web page marketing campaigns. You may also want to consider hiring a professional specializing in online marketing to help you with more effective strategies.
Internal Website Reports
These reports can be used to examine how visitors interact with the search box on your website. You can examine what searches visitors are looking for on your website and how they process search results using Internal Website Search Reports.
If people leave your website after looking for certain terms, you need to add material to your website connected to those terms.
How to Create Custom Reports in Google Analytics?
Step 1: A menu should appear on the left side of the screen. Locate and pick the “Personalization” tab from the menu, then the “Custom Reports” option.
Step 2: Click the “+New Custom Report” button in the Custom Reports section.
Step 3: You can name your custom report and customize it according to your needs using the “New Custom Report” menu. “Report Tab Name, Tab Type, Filter Options, and Viewer Options” must all be present in a custom report.
Step 4: Then, according to your needs, adjust the “Filters” and “View Options” and click “Save.”
How to Set Up Google Analytics?
Here is how you can set up your Google Analytics account step by step:
Step 1: Create a Google Analytics account
To create a Google Analytics account, you'll need your email address and password. You can either create a new account or sign up using your current account.
Step 2: Add the URL and name of the website that you want to track
Once you have created your Google Analytics account, you'll need to add the URL of your website. To add your website, create and name your property along with the site name, URL, and industry.
In the next step, create your view of the site. Use the GA menu to create a view, name the view and select the type of view (browser website or app).
This way, you can create up to 25 different views of your website.
Step 3: Add tracking code
After creating a property, you will get a unique tracking ID and a global tag code. This Google analytics tracking code and the tag will then be pasted on each site page that you want to measure.
Finally, you can choose the type of site as dynamic or static. Make sure to choose the right site type as it will help collect data accurately.
Step 4: Check if the tracking code is working
After adding the tracking code, you will need to verify if your tracking code is working right. Open your Google Analytics account and go to Property > Overview to verify.
You can now see the tracking information for all website pages that you have added to your account.
And, your Google Analytics account is verified and working.
What is a Metric in Google Analytics?
A metric is a calculation that helps you measure progress and learn more about how visitors are interacting with your website.
In Google Analytics, the following are the types of metrics:
- Sessions: Sessions refer to the total number of visits made over a specific time frame (for example, one day).
- Pageviews: Pageviews refer to the total number of pages viewed in a single session.
- Conversions: Conversions represent the number of visitors who converted from one type of interaction (for example, a lead form) to another.
- Bounce rate: Bounce rate is simply defined as the percentage of users who leave your website without taking any actions.
- Session duration: Session duration is the amount of time spent on your website divided by the number of sessions. This metric gives you an idea about how long visitors are staying on your site and whether they are leaving prematurely.
- Top pages: The most popular pages of your site.
What is a Dimension in Google Analytics?
A dimension is a grouping of data that helps you understand how your visitors interact with your website.
The following are the different types of dimensions in Google Analytics:
- Landing page
- Customer type
The dimensions are rows in the Google Analytics report, whereas the metrics are columns.
In this tutorial, you have learned about Google Analytics and how it works. You also learned about the different types of metrics tracked in Google Analytics and how to create dimensions for data analysis.
We hope you found this guide useful and value-adding. If you have any doubts, feel free to reach out to us in the comments section.