In this Blog article we look at some basic information that will help you to start using Google Analytics (GA) as an integral and helpful part of your marketing strategy. Google Analytics is a set of tools provided free of charge by Google, that gather information about visitors to your website.
Here are just a few of the many questions about your website that you’ll be able to answer using Google Analytics:
- How many people visit my website?
- Where do my visitors live?
- Do I need a mobile-friendly website?
- What websites send traffic to my website?
- What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to my website?
- Which pages on my website are the most popular?
- How many visitors have I converted into leads or customers?
- Where did my converting visitors come from and go on my website?
- How can I improve my website’s speed?
- What blog content do my visitors like the most?
SETTING UP GOOGLE
Getting Google Analytics up and running is a very simple job. The only pre-requisite is a Google Account (Gmail address or a Gmail hosted mail account). Head over to Google Analytics and click the Access Analytics button. Sign in using your Google Account credentials when asked and then hit the sign-up button on the next screen and follow the prompts.
To begin with we’ll just look at four key areas and reports: Audience, Real-time, Acquisition and Behaviour.
Tells you more about who is on your site and what devices they are on. The Audience Report provides you with a lot of valuable information. Here are the terms and what they mean in plain English!
- Sessions – The total number of visitor ‘sessions’ to your site
- Users – The total number of unique visitors to your site
- Page Views – The total number of pages viewed on your site
- Pages Per Session – The average number of pages viewed per visit
- Average Session Duration – The average time visitors stay on your site
- Bounce Rate – Percentage of visitors leaving your site after viewing one page
- New Users – Percentage of total visitors who arrived at your site for the first time
Shows you what’s happening on your site right now. Real-Time shows you information about visitors currently connected to your site. The report shows you where your traffic is coming from as well as how many pages are being viewed per minute.
Tells you how your visitors found your site. Acquisition tell us about the sources of traffic to your website. Generally there are four sources of traffic.
Direct – where the visitor typed your address into the address bar.
Organic – where the visitor found you using Google’s search results.
Referral – where the visitor clicked a link from another website that led to your site.
Social – which is almost the same as Referral but is limited to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
As a general rule you want Direct traffic to be the bottom source. If this is high, it is indicative of not enough social media output, SEO content and link building to build significant traffic from the other three core traffic sources.
The Aquisition report shows you where your website ranks in Google’s organic results. The report shows you the average page position for each search term as well as how many times someone clicked through to your website.
Just under Queries you can view a report called Landing Pages. This shows you which pages people are landing on when they first arrive at your website. Again, this is great for tracking and measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns that have an associated landing page attached to them.
Tells you what content visitors interact with. Behaviour reports focus on two important sub-reports.
The first is Site Content – All Pages. This report gives you a breakdown of page views for specific pages of your website. It also tells you how long people spend on each page and what percentage of people leave after any given page. This report is great for revealing problems with content. If you have a long blog article with a very low average time on page, then people are not engaging with it properly and you may want to revise it.
The second report providing useful information is the Site Speed – Page Timings. Page loading times are important for SEO so you need to make sure that your site is as optimised as possible. If you notice a page has a higher than normal average load time, then it may indicate an issue with content that you need to address. This is commonly seen in content managed sites where images have been added without appropriately resizing first.