An Introduction To Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful FREE tool that can be used to monitor the traffic within your website. Read on for an introduction to Google Analytics and how it can help your business.
Analysing your web traffic is all about asking questions and finding the answers.
- How many people are visiting your site daily?
- What do they do once they arrive?
- Are they becoming loyal to your brand or do they pop in and bounce straight off again?
There are a hundred and one questions you could ask about your website traffic and probably find the answers.
Google Analytics can also aid in the long game of SEO (search engine optimization) so it is well worth investing your time. Everyone who owns a website should use some form of data analytics so that they can learn more about their audience.
If you had the opportunity to get to know your readers and work on turning these readers into paying customers, wouldn’t you take this opportunity? I know I would!
What’s even better, is this is a free tool!
It’s free people!
Here is an introduction to Google Analytics
As this is only an introduction to Google Analytics. I won’t go into too much detail of each of the menu options. Expect to see more in-depth articles within the coming months.
It’s true, analysing the present it always more effective than analysing the past.
Real-Time, gives you everything that’s happening on your website right now.
It’s very easy to get a little obsessive over Real-Time data. I used to stare at the Real-Time screen after posting new content, waiting for whoever fancied having a look and be hugely disappointed when they left! (I do not advise staring at your Real-Time tab for too long when you are just starting out)
If you are a beginner you may not see much movement on this tab because you will probably need to build more content. The results will start to get exciting when your website momentum builds. If you consistently add content and work on recycling older content through social media you may see spikes in this data.
Real-Time is great for larger websites that upload new content multiple times a day and wish to see how traffic flows immediately after updating with new content. The benefits of this are that you can make effective and necessary changes immediately.
When just starting out, we really only have the option for analysing past data and this is where the rest of the 4 menu options of GA come in.
The overview of the Audience is the first place I go to when checking out analytics. This is the first step to checking out how much deeper you want to go into your analysis.
The audience tab is a numbers page, it tells you how many people are visiting your site. How many are new visitors and how many return. You can also find how many are from various countries and even the towns too! Your bounce rate is another important statistic (This is the percentage of visitors that arrive and leave your site without spending too much time there)
Acquisition shows you where your traffic is coming from. There are 4 different channels that your website can be reached from:
- Social – Through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- Direct – The visitors that enter your domain directly into their browsers.
- Organic – Where people have found your site through typing keywords into a search engine.
- Referral – Where another website may have provided your website as a link for more information.
By analysing your acquisition in more detail you can see what channels currently work and do not work for you so that you can find out what to improve. For me, most of my traffic comes through social channels and I want to increase the amount of organic acquisition. I need to work on increasing content on my website and my search engine optimization to boost these stats.
Behavior (or Behaviour, to the UK)
This is the one that I find the most interesting because it can tell you exactly where your visitors go as soon as they hit your website. (Check out the behaviour flow tab if you want to see this.)
Tracking the behaviour of your readers can teach you valuable things about your website. How interesting your blog posts are. Where people may get bored and leave. If you have any technical issues within your site. If you find a lot of readers “dropping off” a particular page, you may need to do something about that page. There may a glitch, or it may be taking too long to load. Either way, you need to fix this sharpish!
Site speed statistics can also be found here and considering 40% of readers will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, this is something you want to take notice of.
And of course, the more advanced our technology becomes the more impatient we are to wait for it!
This is certainly valuable when you know what you want to track most of all. You need to set your goals yourself for this to show any value to you and your goals should differ depending on your business. You should spend some time thinking about what areas mean the most to you and your business so that you can make the most of this section of GA.
- Blogger may want to create a goal based on how long they want their visitors to remain on their site.
- A site using e-commerce may want to track how many people get to the checkout page of their website.
- Someone selling an online course using a sales funnel may want to track where people are dropping off within a sales funnel.
- Businesses or freelancers selling a particular service may want to track how many people reach their “Pricing” page.
There are a lot of goals you can set here, so I advise taking some time to figure out which are the most important goals for your business. Start off setting basic goals that you want to track and you can always make them much more detailed the more familiar you become with Google Analytics.
I hope this introduction to Google Analytics has helped you feel confident about what you can do with this amazing free tool so that you can start using it for your website.
Are you apprehensive about using Google Analytics?
I’d love to know your thoughts on GA and what has made you take the plunge into your website data.
Write me a comment below.