A web analytics service like Google Analytics provides basic analytical tools and statistics for marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). It is a free service offered by Google Marketing Platform to anyone with a Google account.
The purpose of Google Analytics is to track the performance of a website and to collect visitor insights. It can help organizations determine top sources of user traffic, assess the effectiveness of their marketing activities, track goal completions (such as purchases, adding products to cart), discover patterns and trends in user engagement and obtain other visitor information such as demographics.
Small and medium-sized retail websites often use Google Analytics to analyze various customer behaviour analytics, which can be used to improve marketing campaigns, drive traffic and better retain visitors.
To find out how Google Analytics works, read on.
Also Read: A/B Testing: The 5 Steps to Starting an A/B Test Campaign
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free tool that helps website owners understand how their visitors interact with their sites. It provides data about the number of visits, page views, bounce rate, time spent on each page, referring sites, search terms, and much more.
The features of Google Analytics
Using Google Analytics, users can identify trends and patterns in how visitors engage with their websites. These features enable data collection, analysis, monitoring, visualization, reporting, and integration with other applications.
Among these features are:
- Dashboards, scorecards, and motion charts that display changes in data over time are some of the data visualization and monitoring tools available;
- The filtering, manipulation, and analysis of data;
- APIs (application programming interfaces);
- Anomaly detection, intelligence, and predictive analytics;
- Analysis of subsets, such as conversions, through segmentation;
- Advertising, acquisition, audience behaviour, and conversion reports;
- email-based sharing and communication; and
- Integration with Google Ads, Google Data Studio, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Google AdSense, Google Optimize 360, Google Search Ads 360, Google Display & Video 360, Google Ad Manager, and Google Search Console.
The Google Analytics dashboard allows users to save profiles for multiple websites and view details for default categories or custom metrics. Tracking categories include a content overview, keywords, referring sites, visitors overview, map overlay, and traffic sources overview.
Dashboards can be viewed on the Google Analytics site, and widgets or plugins can be embedded into other sites. The dashboards can also be customized by independent vendors.
Google Analytics Tips for Beginners
Today, Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools used by webmasters. By using this tool, you will be able to gather information such as how many visitors come to your website, where they came from, and what pages they visited. You can also measure the performance of your site by tracking visitor behaviour.
Here are some of the best tips for beginners:
When using Google Analytics, there are several things you should keep in mind if you are new to it.
- First, make sure you set up an account with Google before starting to use it. You need to do this because, without an account, you won’t be able to access any data.
- Second, you need to understand what each section of the interface does.
- Third, you need to learn how to navigate through the different sections of the interface.
- Fourth, you need to learn what each metric means.
- Finally, you need to learn the basics of how to interpret the data.
Follow the below-mentioned steps to get started:
Step #1: Set up Goals.
Once you have set up your account, you will need to decide what goals you want to achieve. This includes setting up goals for your website as well as goals for individual pages. Setting goals helps you monitor your progress towards achieving them.
Step #2: Create Custom Reports.
You can also use custom reports to see how visitors interact with your site. These reports allow you to view data such as bounce rate, average session duration, and more.
Step #3: Measure Conversions.
If you’re looking to improve your conversion rates, then you need to start measuring them. There are several ways to do this, including using Google Analytics. This free service will help you understand what users are doing on your website and where they go after leaving.
Step #4: Analyze Data with Charts.
You can use charts to analyze data in Google Analytics. They allow you to see trends in your data and compare different metrics across multiple pages.
Step #5: Analyze Data with Segmentation.
You can segment data by date range, location, device type, browser version, operating system, and other criteria. This helps you see what’s happening across different groups of users.
Step #6: Automate Reporting.
If you’re using Google Analytics, there are some things you can do to make your reporting easier. One thing you can do is set up automated reports, so you only need to check them once every few days instead of checking them daily. Another option is to use the “Segment” feature to group your visitors into categories based on certain characteristics.
Other free tools from Google for marketers:
1. Google Webmaster Tools
This is a free service offered by Google that gives webmasters insight into how their websites perform in Google’s search engine. It includes tools to help them find out what keywords they should use to optimize their pages for SEO purposes.
2. Google AdWords
AdWords is a paid advertising platform that lets businesses bid on specific keywords to appear at the top of users’ searches. Businesses pay-per-click (PPC) based on the relevance of the ad and the likelihood that the user will convert.
3. Google Trends
Google Trends is a free online resource that shows real-time global interest in topics over time. You can compare worldwide interest in different subjects across regions, countries, languages, and even individual cities.
4. Google Keyword Planner
Keyword planner is a free tool that allows you to enter a keyword and get suggestions for related keywords. You can then choose the best ones to target your ads.
5. Google Analytics Dashboard
The dashboard is where you’ll find all the information you need to analyze your traffic and performance. Here, you can view reports on your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly statistics.
6. Google Search Console
Search console is a free tool that enables you to track and manage your search rankings. You can submit your URL to Google and check its status. If there are any issues, you can fix them immediately.
Google Analytics Basics
In the previous section, we walked through the basic structure of Google Analytics and the data you can find in a Google Analytics account. As you use Google Analytics, it is helpful to keep in mind that the reports you find in Google Analytics focus on three main areas.
- Life Cycle
In the life cycle section, you will find data about how users come to your site or app, what content they engage with and which actions they take (potentially leading to monetization). You can also find data here on whether people return to your site.
In this section, you can find data that give you a bit more insight into who your users are – their demographics as well as the tech they are using to access your site or app.
This section specifically focuses on the actions that you have identified as important for your users. You can see the number of conversions (which could be sales or other actions like for instance subscriptions to a newsletter) as well as the number of specific events that led up to conversions.
Adjusting the reporting window
All reports you find in your Google Analytics dashboard will default to the last 7 days, but you can easily adjust the reporting window.
The real-time view gives you information about the users who visited your site or app in the past 30 mins.
Google Analytics FAQs
What is Google Analytics used for?
The Google Analytics platform collects data from your websites and apps to create reports that provide insights into your business.
Can I use Google Analytics for free?
You can improve marketing ROI with Google Analytics, which gives you free tools to understand the customer journey.
What is Google Analytics for example?
The Google Analytics service provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing. Anyone with a Google account can use the free service, which is part of the Google Marketing Platform.
What data does Google Analytics collect?
- Time spent on each web page, pages visited, and time spent on each page of the website.
- Details about the site (such as the URI a user used to reach it)
- Browser type, etc.
What are the 4 scopes of Google Analytics?
Scope levels include product, hit, session, and user: Product – value is applied to the product for which it has been set (Enhanced Ecommerce only). An individual hit’s value is applied to its value.
What are the 5 types of data analytics?
As data is processed at different stages of business analytics, there are five types of analytics – descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive, and cognitive.
Is coding required for Google Analytics?
Utilizing Google Analytics doesn’t require any coding skills. So, this guide is primarily aimed at those who do not consider themselves or their primary professional duties to be technical. The guide focuses on only the essential elements of Google Analytics to make it easier for you to get started.
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