Google Analytics 101 – The Basics

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Most business websites (at least many of the successful ones) implement Google Analytics as a form of comprehensive data management. Those who forego the many services Google Analytics offers will find themselves missing out on valuable metrics that will otherwise be more difficult to compile and review. However, just because a business has decided to implement Google Analytics does not mean that they are utilising it optimally; it is easy to misuse.

So, what is it?

For those who are unaware, Google Analytics is a tool that can be used to gather reports about your website’s traffic; and, it’s free. It goes fairly in-depth in terms of its evaluation, letting the site owner see exactly where their audience came from, and how they interact with the site itself. Google also includes a sleek interface that clearly displays this data, which can save you a huge headache when assessing how your site has been performing.

 

Why Should I Use it?

If for nothing else, Google Analytics should be used for its ability to help you determine four statistics about your website: who is actually visiting, how they are getting there, what they are doing on your website, and your site’s conversion rate. With knowledge of these numbers, you can optimise your website to run as efficiently as possible in addition to providing valuable insights into any Google AdWords campaigns you might be running by way of connecting the Analytics and AdWords accounts.

 

Which Reports Should I Focus on?

There are five Google Analytics reports that you should focus on in order to get the most out of the software: Google Analytics Channels, Google Analytics All Pages, Google Analytics Search Query, Google Analytics Search Landing Page, and Google Analytics Social Channels. All of these reports combined offer you the entirety of necessary information to make sure the right visitors come to your site, and that they do what you want them to.

 

‘Channels’ Report

There are various categories in this report, and they all help you determine where traffic to your website is coming from. The report provides insight into the number of visitors who searched for your site through a search engine, typed your website directly into the address bar, visited from links, your paid-for advertisements, or through any email campaigns you are currently running.

Knowing how your visitors are getting to your site will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses in terms of marketing.

 

‘All Pages’ Report

Not all pages of a website are treated equally by visitors; some are more popular than others. The homepage, as one would expect, often tops the list. However, it is where your visitors go next that truly matters. Understanding how users navigate your website can help you better allocate your efforts by becoming aware of what is and is not working optimally.

 

‘Search Query’ Report

The ‘Search Query’ report conveniently tells you what keywords your users are searching in order to find your website. Your standing in terms of keyword ranking, and what actual keywords are being used on the way to your site will help you better develop your content so that it not only becomes more relevant, but effective as well.

 

‘Search Landing Page’ Report

Similar to the ‘Search Query,’ the ‘Search Landing Page’ report tells you what website page people are being redirected to through organic searches. Some pages of your website may unintentionally be more relevant to your consumers than your homepage, which is valuable information to know when building your website to be as efficient as possible.

 

‘Social Channels’ Report

One of the reports that carries a significant weight is the ‘Social Channels’ section of Google Analytics, which outlines which of your business’ social media accounts are playing a role in bringing people to your website. Rather than tediously check each channel individually to see how it is performing, Google Analytics streamlines this data and provides a convenient overview of what is working for your website, and what is not.

 

Overall Analysis

Google Analytics is an innovative tool that offers a powerful opportunity to optimise your website, which in turn delivers better content to its viewers. Over time, better content also needs leads to more user engagement, which ultimately results in better word-of-mouth advertising to accrue an even larger following for your product or service.

 

Check out this video from the Google Small Business team as a great introduction go Google Analytics:

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