Google Analytics is a tool that provides a way to track and analyse visitors to your website. For marketing purposes and to help you improve your website it is important to know what visitors are looking at, where they are coming from and how long they are spending on your website. With its robust web analysis and reporting tools, Google Analytics can help you find these things out.
Let’s talk Google Analytics for beginners!
The platform provides you with a complete picture of how your site is performing. It collects a huge amount of data and processes it intelligently. It then generates reports to display that data to you. The data it collects will show you:
– How many visitors your pages get;
– Where visitors come from;
– How those visitors progress through your site;
– What visitors do on your pages;
– How visitors interact with elements on your pages;
– How long visitors spend on your pages;
– Where users leave your site.
Is Google Analytics free?
For beginners, you do not necessarily have to pay for Google Analytics. People who just start or small businesses can learn to use Google Analytics for free. However, as the business grow, you may need to pay to access more advanced features to gather in-depths for your site.
Why you need Google Analytics
Google Analytics is straight-forward enough to be used for basic website reporting by a complete beginner. But it also offers in depth analysis that a professional can benefit from. The most common reasons to use it are:
– Marketing – Insights gained from Google Analytics are vital for marketing purposes. You can determine which content is bringing in the most organic traffic. If you are running a campaign it can tell you the adverts that are getting the most click-throughs. It can tell you which marketing channels are driving the most traffic to your site. Knowing all this will help you focus your marketing efforts on the areas that give the most conversions.
– Improve Site Performance – Google Analytics will tell you which pages of your site are performing the best, which receive the most visitors and which have the best conversion rate. It will also tell you how fast each page loads and how it is fairing on a mobile device. This will help you focus on the pages that work the best and enable you to change the pages that don’t do well.
– SEO – Google Analytics also aids your SEO. You can find out how much search traffic your site is getting, what keywords visitors use to find you, and what the bounce rate is from different sources. This will help you optimise or discard pages that don’t bring in visitors and create more pages, e.g. blogs, that do well in search engines.
How to set up Google Analytics
It is pretty straight-forward:
– Create a Google account
– Sign in to Google Analytics with your Google account
– Click the Admin button on the bottom left sidebar of your dashboard
– Select an account or create an account
– Click on the dropdown menu to create a property
– Click on Website and add your site’s name and URL
– Choose your industry
– Choose your time zone
– Click on Get Tracking ID
– Install Tracking ID on your website
How to add your Tracking Code
You need to add your tracking code to every page of your website. Or at least to every different type of page your site has. By adding the code to the header or footer, you can add the code to your whole site.
The tracking code needs to be added right after the < head > tag of your header file. If you have built your site using HTML files, that will mean adding the tag to those files. If you use a CMS like WordPress, you may also have the option to install Google Analytics via a plugin.
Once you have set up your account and installed your tracking code it is set up to start analysing. Try to keep your marketing goal in mind to avoid being overwhelmed by numbers. Some of the most useful reports are as follows:
1. Traffic Sources
Find out where your visitors are coming from. Just click on the ‘Acquisitions’ tab on the left sidebar and you’ll be able to view all traffic sources, such as channels, referrals and organic searches.
You’ll also be able to find which search terms visitors are using that led them to your website. Google Analytics automatically scans more than 20 major search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, MSN and AOL.
2. Tracking Visitors
Using the ‘Audience’ section you can see who is visiting your site, how many visitors you have and what they are doing on your site. It shows how long they stay and where they leave from. Under ‘Demographics’ you can find out the age and gender of your visitors, which is very useful for marketing purposes.
3. Tracking Content
By clicking on the ‘Behaviour’ tab you can track the way users behave on your site. This will show you which content is working the best as it shows how long visitors stay on a page and where they go from there. This will allow you to focus content creation on what attracts visitors.
4. Tracking Conversions
By setting goals within Google Analytics you can measure how many visitors are achieving those goals and converting. This may be filling in a form or requesting further information, or purchasing if you have an ecommerce site.
Go to the Admin panel on Analytics. From there, select the ‘Goals’ option. That opens a new page on which you should choose the ‘+ New Goal’ button. You can then decide whether to use an existing goal template or create a custom goal.
5. Analyse Mobile Performance
How your website performs on a mobile device is increasingly important with more than half of internet usage now on mobile devices.
Google Analytics allows you to measure this, under the ‘Audience’ tab is ‘Mobile’. Here, you can see website metrics broken down by device categories. For example, if you find certain device users are spending less time or money on the site, look into how your site looks and behaves on that type of device.
6. See what people are searching for
If you have an ecommerce site, or one with a lot of content it might be useful to see what people are searching for. You can do this under the ‘Behaviour’ tab click ‘Site Search’
Creating Custom Reports
Custom reports allow you to use your own metrics that are not included in the default settings. For instance, if you own an online store, this section allows you to track traffic based
on things such as size and colour. You can also integrate external data sources, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) software. Just click on the ‘Customisation’ tab and create your metrics.
You may want to add other members of your team to Google Analytics to share reports. This is easy to do, simply click on the ‘Admin’ tab on the left side bar, then choose an account and click on User Management. From here you can add new users with their email address and set permissions.
Google Analytics is an essential tool for any marketer or website owner. The reports it generates allow you to see where your visitors come from, what they do on your site and where they leave from. This enables you to optimise the content on your website and find out what works and what doesn’t. It also allows you to track campaign performance, showing you which adverts and channels generated the most traffic. It can boost SEO by showing what keywords visitors searched for to find your site. Basically, it gives you cold, hard data on your website’s performance which can allow you to make improvements, rather than just relying on instinct.
For help with your next website project call us on 01202 650 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need more help take a look at this video guide:Back to blog home