When you hear people talking about Google Analytics, do you run in the other direction and hope no one saw you? Feeling rather lost with it all? Fear not…you’re not alone and we are here to help!
It may look scary on the surface, but once you have spent some time looking at this, you’ll be wondering what you were so worried about. By simply learning the basics, this will arm you with the knowledge to understand what you really need to know.
Google Analytics is a free service that provides detailed statistics regarding the visitors to a website. Using a snippet of code (known as a tracking ID) that Google provides you, the data available through this service consists of site visits, page views, bounce rate, average time on site, pages per visit and percentage of new visits. In addition to the data just mentioned, Google Analytics can also track referral traffic including search engine, direct visits, website referrals and marketing campaigns (Pay Per Click, Banner advertising, e-mail marketing etc.).
Google Analytics gives you the ability to view basic data and to see where people visit most on your website. It also allows you to see where people don’t visit as much, so you can make any needed changes to improve this.
You can even see what country people are visiting from, which area, the average age and interests of people visiting your website…it’s unbelievable!
Haven’t got a Google analytics account? Here is how to set one up:
- Visit Google Analytics by clicking here.
Note: If you have a Google account and are not signed in, click Sign in. If you do not have a Google account, click Create an account.
- Once you have signed in to your Google account, click Access Google Analytics.
- Click Sign up.
- Fill in your account name, website name, website URL, and select an industry / category and reporting time zone.
- Under Data Sharing Options, check the boxes next to the options that you want.
- Click Get Tracking ID (your Google Analytics code).
- From the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement that opens, click I Accept.
- Add the Tracking ID (Google Analytics code) into your website. It may just need to go into one section or each page of your website, depending on what software you use. If you need any help, simply type into Google ‘How to insert Google tracking ID into website.’ Add the website software you use; for example, WordPress or Wix and instructions will enable you to do this.
Once you’re on your Google Analytics page (which will look like the image above), you will need to understand the basics. This is for your benefit, so you know what you are looking at. Here are some helpful explanations to get you started:
- Dashboard Date: By clicking on the arrow button next to the date, you can sort what dates you want to see data for. The default setting is for one month’s data, but it can be changed to daily or for months at a time.
- Visits: This is how many times a user has visited your website. Whether users enter through the homepage or through an internal page, this is classed as a visit.
- Pages/Visit: This number is the average amount of pages a single visitor is viewing before leaving the website. Remember that this is just an average; some visitors view many more pages and some may view less.
- Bounce Rate %: This is the amount of people who visit your website, but leave after only a short time. The lower your bounce rate, the better!
- Visits: This tab allows you to breakdown your website visit by individual hours, days, weeks or months. This data will also display what percentage of traffic that day came to your website.
- Absolute Unique Visitors: This measure allows you to see how many unique visitors have visited your website by day, week or month. This data is available using cookies. These cookies are stored in your web browser and allow Google to not count a re-visiting user as an absolute unique visitor.
- Time on Site: You can this view data by a specific hour, day, week or even by month.
- Loyalty: This tab further drills down into your visitor’s loyalty. Simply speaking, how many repeat visits do you get in a certain time? This section will give you all this information.
- Length of Visit: Would you like to know how long visitors are staying on your site? This tab graphs this information, by the number of seconds spent on the website.
- Depth of Visit: Google Analytics allows you to track how many page views on average your site is receiving per visit.
Away you go…ta-dah!
Did you find this information useful? Print out or download our PDF here; it may come in handy! A Beginners Guide to Google Analytics PDF
You can read all about Google Analytics and sign up for an account here by visiting their website.
You can visit our social media section here where you will find helpful statistics, hints, tips and advice on how best to use social media and create marketing content here. Most of our blog posts in this section contain downloadable or/and printable PDFs, which you may find useful.
We have a Lunch and Learn session scheduled next month on Google Analytics; why not come along? Book your free place here!