Google Analytics – The beginner’s guide

How users see and reach your website? The easiest way to find out is by using a helpful tool like Google Analytics. This represents a complete beginner guide, which explains all you need to know about Google Analytics, why it’s so important for your business and how to start using it.

Understanding Google Analytics

What is Google Analytics? It’s a free tool which tracks users and offers detailed data about the visitors and the actions they made when they are on your page. It’s the most comprehensive tool in analyzing a website.

With the help of this tool, you can take easy marketing decisions based on data, in order to increase traffic, sales and also the ROI.

Benefits of using Google Analytics:

1. Is it free? Yes, it is a free tool, which offers solutions for all sizes and types of websites.

2. Is it offering easy to understand reports? Also yes! This tool shows what is working and what must be changed for improving your site. Even if you aren’t an expert in analytics, you can understand and easily interpret the gathered data, in order to improve great experiences to the users.

3. Is it comprehensive? Yes, it is! It offers everything you need to know about your visitors, no matter what role you own in the company (editor, owner of the company etc.)

Why use Google Analytics?

It’s a pleasant feeling to know the benefits of knowing your traffic’s website, but this is not the only reason for using Google Analytics. Beside of telling the number of visitors on your website, it can tell more information.

We can find data about:

  • Location: we can easily identify the geographic area of your users
  • The traffic source: we can identify from which site our users came
  • Content: we can find what are the most popular posts from your blog or pages from your website
  • Ecommerce: this option helps in understanding the behavior of purchases of your users and gives you a report that includes sales and revenue, and many others.

When you will understand the behavior of the users, the content they like and how they reach your website, then you can adapt your strategies in increasing your traffic even more.

Let’s see an example. After we analyze the data gathered in Google Analytics, you might see that are hours or days when your site is visited. By publishing a new post in the said moment, you will reach more visitors with your content.

Or maybe you discover that even if you spend hours and hours every week to update your Facebook page, this won’t send users on it. Then decide to invest time in a different platform, which will increase traffic and where you save time and reach visitors.

Based on the strategy of your website, on the knowledge you will learn by using Google Analytics, you can increase more efficient traffic and save time in the process.

Using Google Analytics Reports

After installing Google Analytics on your website, it could take some hours till it begins to collect some data.

Let’s take a quick look on what types of reports we can find in Analytics.

1. The Home page of Google Analytics

The Home page of Google Analytics can offer a quick stat about the traffic for a certain period of the time. You can easily change the time-range of the report if you want.

On the Home profile of Google Analytics you can find:

  • Overview audience reports: it show the number on user who have visited your site in the range of time selected
  • A real time report: it will show how many visitors are in that moment on your site (live)
  • How do you acquire your users? It shows the channels from where your users came on your site
  • How well do you retain users? It shows a report of the visitors who came back on your site
  • And other basic reports

2. Privirea generala asupra audientei

The overview audience report is another important value, which can be found on your Google Analytics profile. It provides a clear view over the number of people who visited your site. This report can be found in the section Audience -> click Overview

In this report we will also find:

  • Sessions: it’s a group of user interactions with your website that takes place within a given time frame. An example of a simple session: the page views, the purchase of products, downloading videos etc. Those are considered one session.
  • Users: it’s defined as the total number of users that engage with your website, for a requested time period.
  • Page Views: it’s defined as the total number of pages viewed.
  • Bounce rate: it’s the percentage of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further.

How do we analyze different traffic’s report?

Google Analytics is offering different traffic reports for analyzing. For example: if we take a look on the total traffic report. We’ll show you how you can analyze this report and where to find it.

In order to find all traffic report we select Acquisition -> then All Traffic -> click Source/Medium. In the opened report, it’s shown from where our visitors came on our website.

The table displays raw data of the traffic. For a better understand, we can change the way they appear by selecting either one of the icons from the right side of the table just like we see in the below image.

How to create a goal in Google Analytics?

The goals in Analytics allow us to measure how often the users finish specific actions, like completing contact form, purchase of products, download of apps or ebook, etc.

When a visitor makes a specific action that we define before as a goal, Google Analytics measure it as a conversion.

We can create four different types of goals:

  • Destination: we choose it if we the viewing of a page represents a conversion for us.
  • Duration: the time spent on a page will be count as a conversion.
  • Pages/Screens per session: the number of views of a certain page per session will be count as a conversion.
  • Event: track site visitor interactions on your website that Google Analytics doesn’t normally record like as online form conversions, downloads of material such as PDFs, time spend watching a video etc.

This is a little step in learning Google Analytics.