Are you interested in knowing how visitors explore your website or are you looking for a way to learn how to use google analytics to fetch data from your websites? Then you should look no further as you have come to the right place.
Whether you run a personal website or blog or you are into digital marketing, learning about google analytics and how to use it can help you level up your digital marketing skills, help you better optimize your website and its content, help you know about your audience and their regions through data gotten from google analytics.
In this beginner’s guide to google analytics, I will walk you through, step by step how to get started, how to use the platform, and how to integrate google analytics on your website. I will also point you to the right resources where you can learn more about Google Analytics.
Table of Contents
What are we going to cover in this guide?
- In this guide, we will cover the following:
- What is google analytics and why should you use it?
- How to set up google analytics
- How to integrate google analytics with your website
- How to make use of the data available to you (the most important ones)
So let’s dive in and learn how to make use of this great tool.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free online analytics tool provided by Google to measure and report website traffic. Website owners and marketers frequently use it to measure and evaluate their website’s traffic sources, and conversion rates. With this tool, you can get a great insight into the behavior of your website.
How does Google Analytics work?
Google Analytics works by fetching data from your website through a tracking code generated on your dashboard. This code also known as Google Analytics Tracking Code when properly placed on your website captures data such as the type of device being used, the pages visited, the length of time spent on the site, and the source of the traffic (e.g. organic search, direct, referral).
The data collected by Google Analytics is then processed and analyzed to generate a variety of reports and insights about your website’s performance and visitors. These reports can provide valuable information, such as which pages are the most popular, how long visitors stay on the site, and what actions they take while on the site.
This information can help website owners to understand their audience better and make informed decisions about how to improve their site and marketing efforts.
Why should you use Google Analytics?
With Google Analytics, you can see how many visitors visit your site, how long they stay, and what pages they view.
You can also track the behavior of specific groups of users, such as those who have made a purchase or taken some other desired action on your site. This information can help you make informed decisions about your website and online marketing efforts, and improve the user experience for your visitors.
Google Analytics is a very important tool to use as it provides valuable insights into your website and audience.
Using Google Analytics, you can make data-driven decisions that help you improve your website and online marketing efforts, and achieve your business goals.
Google Analytics is free to use and can be integrated with other Google Products, such as Search Console, Google Ads, Data Studio, Google Tag Manager, Google Optimize, and more to provide a more comprehensive view of your online presence and performance.
How to set up Google Analytics
Before setting up your account, let us take a look at the basic interface of the Google Analytics Dashboard.
On the Left side, you can see the various reports listed. These reports will be filled with data obtained from your website once you have installed the Google Analytics Tracking Code.
The right side in blue shows the number of active users currently on your website while the middle section gives you an overview of how long the user(s) spent on your website.
This section gives you an insight into your audience i.e when the users visit, the user’s location, and the devices through which your website is being accessed from.
This section also gives you an insight into what pages your visitors are engaged with on your website. You can also click on the PAGES REPORT for an in-depth report on the pages that are performing well and the ones that are not. You can use this information to optimize your pages or blog posts.
To have all this information all to ourselves for free we need to set up Google Analytics and get the Google Analytics Tracking Code.
- First, You will need to have a Google Account. You can simply create one if you don’t have one.
- Next, go to analytics.google.com and you can sign in using your Google Account.
How to get Google Analytics Tracking Code
After signing in you need to “create a property” for that account. If you are not prompted to do so, you can simply click on the settings icon at the bottom left of your dashboard, there you can see an option to create a property.
Fill in the property name, you can fill in your website name as your property name and click on next.
Depending on the time at which you are reading this, you might need to fill in some other information as required by Google.
We will need to choose a platform from which data will be collected. For the purpose of this guide, we will be working with the web platform. Click on “web” and continue.
You will then be asked to select a means of installing the tracking code to your website. If you select install manually you will be given the code to copy and paste into the head of your website. If you are using a website builder like WordPress you have so many plugins to help you install the code seamlessly.
To install the tracking code on your WordPress without any stress, I will recommend a plugin called site kit by Google
You can learn more about using the plugin, “site kit by Google” to connect to all google tools such as the search console, etc.
How to make use of the data available to you (the most important ones)
There are a lot of data reported in Google Analytics but the major ones are Realtime, Audience, Acquisition, behaviors, and conversions.
You can take advantage of this data to help you strategize and plan your content and even your keyword research. Check 5 things to do after a website launch
Realtime Reports: This has to do with real-time data. You can know how many visitors are currently on your website and what they are doing on the website.
Audience Reports: Here you can have a better understanding of who your site visitors are or have been. Under the Audience Report you can explore the following features for more insight:
- Demographics – Gender, Age, etc
- Interests – What and what are they interested in?
- Geo – Location of your users when accessing your website.
- Behavior – how they engage with content on your website
- Technology – Browser and Operating System can be determined here.
- Mobile – Types of mobile devices used in accessing your website.
Acquisition Reports: With acquisition reports, you can know what medium people are getting to your website. If you want to track the progress of your marketing strategy or to find opportunities for new marketing channels you should consider paying attention to this report. In acquisition reports there are features like:
- Google Ads – shows you your campaigns, keywords, search queries, etc.
- Search console – gives you an insight into what is being searched for on the internet that drives traffic to your website.
- Social – traffic from social media channels
- Campaigns – shows you how much traffic you get from your campaigns running whether through email marketing or any type of campaign.
Behavior Reports: Behavior reports give you an insight into how visitors/users interact with your website. This is a great way to see where they spend most of their time. With these reports, you can tell which content is not performing well on your website and fix or remove them. Some elements of behavior reports include:
- Site content – you can see which of your content is performing well and which is not.
- Site speed – you can have an idea of how fast your site loads. Having a slow website can lead to visitors exiting your website.
- Site search – tells you what users or visitors are searching for
- Events – tells you what people are clicking on or what action is being taken on your website.
Conversion Reports: With conversion reports, u can see how well your website converts visitors. It shows you what path leads to converting the visitors. However, these reports can only be generated if you have set up conversions. With the conversion report, you get to see the:
- Goals – with goal urls, you get to know if the goals were completed. With the goal path, you can tell what pages were visited before converting while the goal flow tells you what sources led to the most goal completion.
- Ecommerce – you get to see the performance of your products and other transactions.
Google Analytics provides you with a lot of information required to run your website effectively and efficiently in a way that you can tell what is going on and what changes need to be done.
Once google Analytics is set up and the tracking code is installed on your website, you can have access to all the website data gotten from your website thus helping you make an informed decision that helps you improve your website and online marketing efforts, and achieve your business goals.
Resources to help you learn Google Analytics
If you want to learn more about Google Analytics, you can check this in-depth course by Google – Google Analytics academy.
You can also take this Google’s Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate course if you want to become a professional in Digital Marketing.
Tell me what you think about this great tool in the comment section.