Google Analytics is a tool to track your website. This includes the basic three metrics like unique visitors who come to your site visits that they inaugurate and views of pages.
There are other metrics like bounce rate time on site etc. Google Analytics is also available in a paid premium version. It comes loaded with more powerful features and functionality.
For the new entrepreneur, the free version has enough features and functions to cater to the needs of his or her small business. Of course, you can switch to the paid version in the future.
It is a robust tool that tracks and records your website traffic and analyzes how your customers interact with your website.
In simple terms, it shows you how your target customers find your business on the Internet and what experience they go through from searching your business to making a purchase.
While Google Analytics is a very powerful tool rich in features and free of cost many new entrepreneurs find it challenging to keep track of all the features and get optimum utility from the software.
How do people use Google Analytics?
Watch traffic over time
Looking at a simple audience overview will show you whether more or fewer visitors are coming to your site over time. What a lot of marketers miss is that site traffic is in most cases a very seasonal affair.
So they should also use the comparison to the previous year’s feature to see for example if this December’s traffic is greater or less than last December.
Confirm organic traffic is going up
The channel and source or medium reports will show you where traffic comes from. Marketers usually click into an organic traffic report confirm visits are going up then leave.
You also need to check year over year traffic stats to understand seasonality. And you should confirm that this organic traffic tracks to leads/purchases.
Check out top pages
Marketers usually check out this report to see where visitors go most often. I would add that they need to set up goals like product page view form page view and form page submission to see if those pages are leading to anything valuable from the perspective of the business.
Then use this information to test the hell out of your highest-traffic landing pages. Improving conversion rates through testing is the most powerful strategy any web analytics master will pursue.
Check out campaigns
I’m surprised by how many marketers don’t use the ‘campaign’ feature in Google Analytics. I think most hear about UTM parameters and freak out.
Maybe because some insane analysts like myself too closely guarded their utms and made them fear ever breaking their naming convention.
But fear not. Learn about UTM parameters use utm_campaign follow a naming convention and then look at reports about campaign traffic and conversions to see what works and what doesn’t.
Look at any number of dimensions
There are all sorts of other dimensions in Google Analytics like referral source, device, city, country, network, browser, etc. Some of these can prove useful at times.
Looking at traffic by the device can help make the argument that you need a responsive site.
Measure on-page events
This is more advanced and I highly recommend implementing Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager so that you can set up events yourself.
Google Analytics does not track whether someone clicks on your image slider or shares a page on social media or checks a filter box or anything that happens on a page without changing the URL.
Setting up custom events can help you know whether design features you’ve added on a page are being used. With some tricky custom segmentation, you can even see if they help convert traffic.
Measure SEO results
Because we’re talking about Google, you might assume that they’d automatically track what kind of search queries were being performed to reach your website or how many impressions your landing pages get or which other sites are linking back to you.
Unfortunately, these are not out of box features but if you connect your site to a Google Webmaster Tools account you can get a lot of this information. And you can push much of it over to your Analytics instance as well.
Google Analytics is a robust and resourceful tool in that it not only collects data but also analyzes the data and presents the information in the form of meaningful useful reports.
You can generate a number of custom-tailored reports such as audience overview report acquisition report visitor behavior report landing page report active user report and conversion report. Each of these reporting categories has subcategories that give you the option to see different metric-based reports.