Do you ever get lost when you hear the term, Google Analytics? Do numbers, graphs and charts confuse you?
The solution to figuring out Google Analytics is to understand it properly. So don’t just dive in and lose your way.
What Is Analytics?
Analytics is the method of logical analysis. Analysis is the careful study of something so you can learn about its parts, what they do and how they are related to one another.
Logical relates to or involves logic which simply means a proper or reasonable way of thinking about or understanding something.
So Google Analytics is a method that studies carefully your website traffic data in a proper way of thinking about or understanding the information.
Google Analytics is a free tool that shows you in full detail how people find your website whether they come from organic Google searches, social media websites, by way of paid web traffic through services such as AdWords and much more.
- If you haven’t already, create your free account for your website and install the tracking code. Log into your account via www.google.com/analytics Reports should show within 24 hours.
- Set Up Your Goals. Simply figure out what is it you want to track, marketing, ecommerce, conversion rates for ads if you have them.
To create a new goal, sign into your account, click on Admin at the top of the page then look at the three columns. The third column is the View column. In this column is where you will find Goal. Click it to create a new goal.
Understanding A Few Important Terms.
Some of the major terms you will come across are:
- Engagement Rate
- Bounce Rate
- New Sessions
- Page Views
This is very important because it shows you the length of time someone is on your website. You want them on your website as long as possible and the data from this section will show you in increments of time, just how long they are there so you understand what you need to do to keep them interested in what you have to say.
Bounce simply means that someone was on your website then left without going to another one of your pages, or they came to your website but were inactive for more than 30 minutes.
Why is Bounce important? If someone visited your website for the first time and just bounced, which is American slang for leaving, this tells you that you’re doing something wrong.
Maybe your post bored them or your website took too long to load, if they came to the site from your social media activities you may need to tweak your target audience.
If your visitors came back or are returning visitors and bounced it isn’t so bad because it could be an issue of their computer crashing, or maybe they got caught up in a Twitter chat and forgot your page in an open tab somewhere.
One reason visitors may be bouncing around is because you might not have optimised your pages the right way.
Simply put, optimising your pages means formatting them in a certain way that Google knows what your page is all about.
Example: You posted a blog titled: How To Convert Jpg to PNG Online. But all you talk about is Photoshop. Nothing about Jpgs or Pngs–you just got lost. So will Google.
Dashboards and Custom Dashboards.
Your dashboard is a one page glance at the most important data that is significant to your business. Dashboards may have up to 12 widgets that give you a quick look at the statistics you value most.
You can also create custom dashboards. To do this sign into your account with Google Analytics. You will see the list of your websites as in the image below. Click on the website you want to create the dashboard for, then click on All Web Site Data.
Click on Create Dashboard then choose from Blank Canvas or Starter Dashboard. The Starter Dashboard has a few pre-selected widgets and the Blank has none.
A Session is a time period when a user is active on your website, application, within a date range, buying or browsing your store, etc. Whether they are reading your blog post or actually buying a product the time they are on your website is their session.
A New Session is just an estimate of the percentage of your website’s first time visitors.
A User is a person who has been on your website at least one time.
Dimension is just a pretty word that describes the object that has different values. For example, Browser, Session Duration, and Exit Page are all dimensions that are in your Google Analytics dashboard by default.
A metric is part of the dimension that can be measured as a number. Such as Pages/Sessions, for example, can show you how many pages a user checked out during his or her visit to your website.
This is the sum of all the pages viewed. If I visited your website and viewed six pages, and if three other people visited and saw at least two pages, all these would be added in that date’s page view statistics.
This is the average number of pages that are viewed during a session.
A Campaign simply allows you to add parameters to any URL from your website so you can get more knowledge about any referral traffic you may get.
This means how many times your goals have been completed on your website.
Google Analytics In A Nutshell
Below is a quick video that shows you how to set up a Google Analytics Account and gives you a quick tour of the dashboard.
The best way to really get to know Google Analytics is to explore it. For each section Google has tutorial videos and wizards to help you learn each component of its analytics software.
Once you master Google Analytics, you will be able to understand those who come to your website–what they need and how you can meet those needs so they come back for seconds, thirds, and dessert.
If you need access to this data your server logs will likely be a good source, or other external programs you can add to your site such as www.clicky.com.
Generally speaking, mastering Google Analytics will give you access to critical data about your visitors, this will assist you to improve the information you are providing. Or to target the audience you intended.