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A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Analytics

Posted: 1st June 2016
Google Analytics

How successful is your website? Do you know how to answer the question? Tracking the right metrics is one of the keys to accomplishing your goals. Learning a bit more about your website’s audience can give you a higher return on investment (ROI) and a chance to do effective lead generation.

Google Analytics is the tool that can help you make the most of your website. If you don’t have an account already, the time is right to get started with the tracking platform.

What’s Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free platform that’s developed, as the name suggests, by the biggest search engine. It’s used to track an array of metrics, giving you a better idea about the performance of your website.

Through the use of Analytics, you can identify your main sources of traffic, the amount of time people spend exploring your content, the demographic profile of visitors and many other important pieces of information.

Reasons to Start Using Google Analytics Right Now

The benefits of using Google Analytics are numerous. Some of the main reasons to begin utilising the platform include the following:

  • It’s free and accurate: Google Analytics is completely free to use, which makes it quite different from other traffic tracking tools and platforms. At the same time, the information that it provides is comprehensive and reliable.
  • You will learn more about the website visitors: how did people discover your website? Which pages do they find most engaging? How much time do these people spend on exploring your content before leaving the website? Using Google Analytics will help you answer all of these questions and address the issues that stand in the way of growing your audience.
  • Customization options: when using Google Analytics, you can set specific goals and determine what you’d like to track. The platform gives you access to customised reports that will answer the most important questions you have about the performance of your website.
  • You can track the performance of multiple websites: there are no limitations to the number of websites that you can track via Google Analytics. Each one has a separate profile set up, giving you access to comprehensive reports about all of your businesses or the campaigns you’re tracking.
  • Boost the ROI of your marketing campaigns: by keeping track of Google Analytics data, you can do adjustments to your marketing or SEO campaigns. Such adjustments will make it possible for you to reach the right target audience and maximise the campaign’s return on investment (ROI).
  • Improve the overall quality of your website: chances are that you have tons of online competition. How does your website compare to the online presence of other brands? Through the use of Google Analytics, you can improve both your content and the user experience. As a result, you can easily become the authority in the respective field without spending a large budget on marketing.

The Most Important Metrics to Track

Once you get started with Google Analytics, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed. There are so many metrics and reports you’ll get access to that you may get confused about what to track. Let’s explore some of the most important metrics, the ones you should definitely pay attention to:

  • Sessions: this metric refers to multiple interactions that take place on your website. A single session, for example, could refer to the number of pages viewed by a single visitor, social interactions and ecommerce purchases. A session expires after some time. Thus, if a single person visits your website several times, they could start multiple sessions.
  • Users: in this instance, user refers to the number of people that viewed your website or interacted with it.
  • Page views: each time a page is loaded and viewed, you’re getting an individual page view.
  • Bounce rate: bounce rate is the number of people who exit your website after viewing just one page. For example, someone could have come to a page on your website after doing a Google search. If these people aren’t interested in your other content, they’ll leave immediately. A high bounce rate could be caused by poor design and website functionalities, content that your visitors aren’t particularly interested in, a difficult to understand menu (navigation) or technical issues.
  • Average session duration: the average session duration is calculated by dividing the total duration of all sessions (measured in seconds) by the number of sessions. Low average session duration could be indicative of some of the issues already mentioned in connection to the high bounce rate.
  • New and return visitors: a new visitor is a person that’s visiting your website for the first time. Return visitors are the individuals that have opened sessions in the past and are coming back to your website time and time again. Having a high percentage of return visitors is indicative of building a loyal audience.
  • Exit page: exit page is the last one that a person has visited before leaving your website. Sometimes, people leave after viewing your website. On other occasions, they may reach a landing page and exit after that. The exit page gives you information about the overall performance of your website and its ability to retain visitors.

Needless to say, Google Analytics gives you access to many other metrics. You can see which websites and social media give you the most traffic. You can see the devices that people use to access your website, the countries and the cities where your visitors are located. Depending on the type of campaign you want to carry out, it would be a good idea to explore the relevant metrics that will enhance performance.

If you need help understanding your website analytics get in touch.