Google Analytics is an analytics service provided by Google that tracks website traffic and user behavior. This data is collected through third-party tracking services and user interactions with Google properties, such as Search and Chrome. With Google Analytics, webmasters can identify how visitors come to their site, how long they stay on it, what pages they explore, which elements they read or ignore and much more. This article explains everything you need to know about Google Analytics for your website
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics (GA) is the most popular web analytics software used by marketers and website owners to track their site traffic and user behavior. GA offers detailed data about your website traffic, including who your visitors are, where they come from and what pages they visit. Google Analytics is a free service offered to website owners to help improve their websites and understand their users. Google Analytics has three main goals: - To increase traffic to your website - To improve the user experience on your website - To improve the overall performance of your website
How to Install Google Analytics
Before you can use Google Analytics to track your website traffic, you need to install the GA tracking code on every page of your website. The tracking code is just a few lines of code that lets you see the traffic to your site from the inside of Google Analytics.
You’ll need to sign-in to your Google account and navigate to the Google Analytics admin dashboard. Then, click on the “Admin” tab, select “Website” and click on “Manage websites”.
To install the Google Analytics tracking code on your website, select the website you want to add the tracking code to and click “Edit”. Then, click on “Tracking code” and copy the sample tracking code.
You’ll need to paste the code into the head> section of your website’s source code. You can read more about how to install Google Analytics here.
How to Use Google Analytics
After you’ve installed the Google Analytics tracking code, you can start using Google Analytics to track your website traffic.
You can access the Google Analytics dashboard at any time using a computer with a browser. Otherwise, you can use the Google Analytics mobile app on your smartphone.
To view your analytics data, navigate to https://analytics.google.com and log into your Google account.
The first thing you’ll see is the Overview page for the website you’ve added the Analytics tracking code to. The Overview page shows you traffic data for the past 30 days, including pages per visit, bounce rate, average time on site, and sessions.
The focus of Google Analytics is the “Audience” and “Behavior” tabs. These tabs allow you to understand who visits your website and how they interact with it. The “Audience” tab helps you understand your visitors and “Behavior” tab helps you understand how they interact with your website.
What does Google Analytics track?
The Google Analytics tracking code is installed on your website’s pages. The code then gathers data about your website visitors and sends it to Google’s servers for analysis.
This data includes: - The number of visitors to your site
- The source of the traffic (e.g. organic search, paid search, referrals)
- The pages your visitors explore
- The amount of time spent on each page
- The bounce rate (how many visitors leave your site without exploring further)
- The actions your visitors take (e.g. signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase)
- The devices your visitors use to access your website
How to Use Google Analytics to Improve your Website
The most important goal of Google Analytics is to help you improve your website.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to use Google Analytics to improve your website.
Identify traffic sources - You can use the “Sources” tab to see where your website traffic comes from. This data will help you understand how to attract more visitors to your website. If you notice that a large portion of your traffic comes from referral traffic, you may want to reach out to the relevant websites and ask them to link to your website.
Optimize your website for your audience - Once you know who your visitors are, you can optimize your site’s content and design for them. For example, if the majority of your visitors come from the U.S., you should use the metric system when writing numbers.
-Identify high-value pages - You can use the “Behavior” tab to identify the high-value pages on your website. These are the pages that get the most traffic, earn the most income, and/or encourage repeat visits.
Identify low-value pages - You can also use the “Behavior” tab to identify low-value pages. These are the pages that don’t earn much traffic, and/or aren’t very helpful or interesting to your visitors.
Improve your bounce rate - A high bounce rate indicates that your visitors aren’t finding what they’re looking for and leaving your site without exploring further. You can use the “Behavior” tab to identify which pages on your site have high bounce rates, and then make the necessary changes to reduce them.
Optimize for better SEO - Google Analytics can help you optimize your website for better SEO. If your website is still new, Google will have trouble ranking it. By following the guidelines in this article, you can help Google understand what categories your site belongs in and help it climb the ranks.
Identify your most profitable traffic sources - You can use the “Behavior” tab to see the traffic sources that are most profitable. These are the traffic sources that bring in the most income.
Identify your least profitable traffic sources - You can also use the “Behavior” tab to identify the traffic sources that are least profitable. These are the traffic sources that bring in the least amount of income.
Identify your top traffic sources - Finally, you can use the “Audience” tab to identify your top traffic sources. These are the sources that send the most traffic to your website.
Identify your least profitable traffic sources - Likewise, you can identify your least profitable traffic sources with the “Audience” tab. These are the sources that send the least traffic to your website.
Limitations of Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful and detailed software, but it isn’t perfect.
There are certain limitations to keep in mind when using Google Analytics.
Real-time data - Data in Google Analytics is only accurate up to 14 days. This is because Google Analytics pulls data from servers that are up to one mile away from your website. If there are technical issues with the servers, the data will be inaccurate.
Browser compatibility - The Google Analytics tracking code has to be installed on every page of your website. However, not every browser has the same level of compatibility with the code. For example, older versions of Internet Explorer don’t support the code.
The end-goal of your website - If your website has a very specific goal, it can make Google Analytics data more difficult to analyze. For example, if you run a news website, it can be difficult to track the number of visitors and how much time they spent on the site.
Data accuracy - Every person who visits your website is assigned a unique ID that is then tracked. Unfortunately, this tracking ID is almost never 100% accurate.
Understanding Google Analytics Data
When you’re analyzing the Google Analytics data for your site, you’ll notice that it’s organized into different metrics.
Understanding what each of these metrics mean is key to analyzing your data and making improvements to your website.
Visitors - This metric refers to the total number of people who visit your website.
Pages/Visit - This metric refers to the average number of pages that each visitor views during their visit.
Bounce Rate - This metric refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page.
Avg. Visit Duration - This metric refers to the average length of time that each visitor spends on your website.
New Visits - This metric refers to the number of first-time visitors who visit your website.
Returning Visits - This metric refers to the number of repeat visitors who visit your website.
Organic Traffic - This metric refers to the number of visitors who reach your website without clicking on a paid advertisement.
Referral Traffic - This metric refers to the number of visitors who reach your website after clicking on a link in another website.