Your Guide To Getting Started With Google Analytics Image with Font and woman in the backround yellow overlay

Your Guide To Getting Started With Google Analytics

There is a wealth of information available from Google Analytics. A a lot of businesses use it to track data, and then don’t do much of anything with that data. If you aren’t analyzing your data, then you are missing out on important opportunities to grow your business. This is your step by step guide to getting started with Google Analytics.

How Google Analytics can help your blog?

It’s very hard to improve your blog when you don’t even know what is getting viewed and what isn’t. In order to grow your traffic, you need to understand your audience and their online behavior. Analytics gives you an opportunity to gather than information. Starting out from scratch and learning Google Analytics can seem a bit overwhelming, but there’s no reason to feel this way.

“Every business can use Google Analytics to make smart changes to website content, navigation, layout, and approach to promotions. First focus on content people care about!” advises Andy Wolber, writer at TechRepublic.

What exactly is Google Analytics and why is it mission-critical?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you analyze your website traffic.

Even though “web analytics” sounds like a very small area of your digital presence, the implications of Google Analytics are in fact huge.

This is because for most companies, your website serves as a hub for all of your digital traffic. If you are running any marketing activities such as search ads or social media ads, your users are most likely going to visit your website somewhere along their user journey.

Given that your website is the central hub of your digital presence, your website is the best way to give you a holistic view of the effectiveness of all the campaigns you are running to promote your product/services online. Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you track your digital marketing effectiveness.

That’s why over 50 million websites around the world uses Google Analytics. If you are not using it, you should set it up right now.

How does Google Analytics Work?

Simply, Google Analytics puts several lines of tracking code into the code of your website. The code records various activities of your users when they visit your website, along with the attributes (such as age, gender, interests) of those users. It then sends all that information to the GA (Google Analytics) server once the user exits your website.

Next, Google Analytics aggregates the data collected from your website in multiple ways, primarily by four levels:

  1. User level (related to actions by each user)
  2. Session level (each individual visit)
  3. Pageview level (each individual page visited)
  4. Event level (button clicks, video views, etc)

Familiarize yourself with the dashboard

“The first thing you will want to do is take a look at the dashboard and learn your way around it. Your main navigation function is on the left side of the screen. You’ll see eight options: dashboards, shortcuts, intelligence events, real-time, audience acquisition, behavior, and conversions. You can create multiple dashboards, each of which can contain multiple widgets. To create a new dashboard, simply go under Dashboards in the menu bar of your analytics and then select New Dashboard. Then add your widgets. You can choose from widgets that show you one particular metric, a pie chart comparing metrics, a timeline of one to two metrics, or a table showing a dimension with two specific metrics. Each type of widget can also be filtered. The best part of the dashboards is you can change the date range and see all of your widgets update with that date range’s data. This is great if you want to see an overview of your stats for traffic, goal completions, and other metrics of your choosing all in one place.” writes Neil Patel, co-found of Neil Patel Digitall.

Compare your site to industry benchmarks

With Google Analytics, you have at your fingertips data from over 1700 industries to use as benchmarks to compare your business with. The only thing you have to do to get access to this invaluable information is to share your own data. Start by clicking Admin, then under Account, select Account Settings and check the box that says Benchmarking and hit Save. Go to the left panel and select Audience. Now you can select Benchmarking and pick the kinds of benchmarks you want to see.

Find which pages need optimization and improve them

Check your Google Analytics landing page report to see which pages have problems with their bounce rate, average on-site times, and conversion rates. On the left-hand side, click on Behavior, and Site Content.

Choose Landing Pages, and then sort them according to bounce rate, average on-site time, and conversion rate. Once you know which pages are having trouble, optimize them by improving keyword relevancy by using similar copy and the same keywords as your AdWords ad. Use tools such as GTMetrix, Pingdom Tool to optimize your page loading speed.

Your audience and what they care about

Look at Pageviews (see Behavior > Overview) to understand the most viewed pages on your site. Limit your focus to the pages that get the majority—more than 50%—of your traffic. Use the Pageview % data to identify the most important pages. As you can see in Figure A, it takes just four pages before the “50% of pageviews” total is crossed (i.e., 36.74% + 6.59% + 4.69 + 3.32% = 51.34%). Extending further, just eight pages comprise 60% of Pageviews on the site.

Make sure the content on these most-viewed pages is up to date and accurate, since it’s the content the majority of visitors care about.

In Google Analytics, focus first on the most-viewed pages on your site. Note the % Pageviews, in the lower-right portion of the screenshot.

behaviour and audience distriutino

How are my users accessing my site?

Do you know what kinds of devices people are using to access your website? Google recently announced that more people are searching on mobile devices than on desktops. Hopefully, your site works well for mobile users, because that trend is only going to become more important as time goes on. To find out how people are accessing your site, go to the Audience, then Mobile, then Overview. You can even break things down by which devices are being used if you select the Devices section. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how well your page performs on mobile platforms.