Google Analytics Overview

Goals:

    Please click the [ Mark Complete ] button at the bottom of this page when you’ve achieved these goals: 

  • Be able to explain the purpose of Google Analytics.
  • Appreciate some of the reasons to use Google Analytics.
  • Watch the Google Analytics Introduction IBN video.

What is Google Analytics?

It is a free Web analytics service for your website that can be used by anyone with a Google account, so long as they have added a small “tracking code” on each page of their website.

It provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing.

Google Analytics makes large amounts of data available for you to analyse and track across many different dimensions so that you gain insights into how users find and use your website, and are able to track ROI (Return On Investment) for your online marketing.

It is an integrated set of free tools that you can initiate, set up and tweak to analyse data for your web-based business.
Google Analytics tracks all user actions on your website.

At its simplest level of usefulness, Google Analytics shows you detailed statistics on what visitors do on your website.
Data and Information visualisation.

You can also integrate Google Analytics with other Google products such as your Ads account, Search Console and Google Data Studio. If you use paid advertising you can use tracking codes to tag and track any advertising, social, PR campaign or any other kind of campaign.

Introduction to the Google Analytics dashboard

Google Analytics uses graphs and PIE charts to display measurements and insights:

Watch:     126 – Introduction to Google Analytics (GA)
IBN Licensees have Login access to Google Analytics | Features in the left pane | Example – Overview of Acquisition | Comparing to previous periods (e.g. comparing the last 3 months to previous 3 months – compare visuals and compare data) | Example – Organic Search deep dive | Audience overview | Behaviour overview, including bounce rates | Conversions – Ecommerce overview – note that you can’t break anything while browsing around  | Time to Purchase (mostly our visitors purchase on the same day) |

Why use Google Analytics?

Understand what works on your website, and what doesn’t:
You can see how visitors are engaging with your content and you can also see the results of each tweak to your site, so it is clear what works, what doesn’t work, and how you are improving (or getting worse).
With detailed understanding you can then deliver better web experiences, which drive better business results, and this sequence cycles continuously as your business ramps up.

Leverage Google’s 24/7 machine learning and subsequent insights:
Google’s automated learning capabilities can formulate insights from the raw Analytics data, such as which users are most likely to take website actions and which customers have the best revenue potential.

See who visits your website and modify your strategy to target them:
Geographical location of your visitors, which browser they use, what screen resolutions they have, whether they have JavaScript or Flash support, their language and more…
For example, if most viewers use 1280 screen resolutions, design for that resolution or smaller.

See what viewers DO on your website:
Track where they go, how long they stay, and what is their bounce rate (what percentage of visitors exit your site on the first visit). Establish which are your most popular articles and what kind of information viewers look for.
Use this information to decrease the bounce rate and increase your pageviews.

Identify your best performing content:
Identify which of your content attracts the most attention and engagement, and which performs badly. For example, if Facebook isn’t performing, don’t waster any more effort on it, or do the opposite and invest more effort in it.

Establish WHEN viewers visit your website:
Manually or Auto-publish your posts at the times of highest traffic.
See how viewers find your website, and what percentages come from each source – Google Analytics has an Acquisition section to show how visitors found your website. Metrics show click results from organic search, social media, other websites, paid ads, and by typing your website URL directly into search.
The percentage of visitors from Search Engines, Direct Links, Referral links from another site, etc, shows you which sites you need to work with the most.
For example, if your top referral source is Facebook, then create Facebook content to optimally engage your Facebook audience.

See how viewers INTERACT with your information:
Establish what percentage of users click on links and take other actions. Google Analytics enables you to run experiments (A/B split tests) to understand what works best. Then you can manipulate your content to the most promising visitor actions and spend time only on strategies that are proven to work.

Base your SEO on your Google Analytics insights:
Your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) determines how a visitor finds your website out of all the websites on the Internet.
Analytics makes visible the most popular keywords that your website visitors used to find your website.
This empowers you to improve your SEO to better match your visitors, or to entirely redesign your SEO if you find that it is irrelevant to visitor search actions.

 

Connect Google’s Analytics to your business results:
The Analytics is free, but Google wants you to sign up for (purchase) its advertising and publisher products, which leverage the Analytics insights to help you reach the most valuable customers.
You can optionally take the logical next step and connect Google’s Analytics to your business results.