Google Analytics Basics: A Guide For Beginners (infographic)

Google Analytics (GA) was launched in 2005 and is a free web analytics tool that helps you analyze your web traffic. Although the idea of web traffic can seem like a small part of your business, it actually plays a significant role in your marketing strategy’s success.

Whether you’re running ads on social media platforms or verbally telling people to visit your site, in the end, your users are most likely going to end up on your site. Your site is a great way to see if your campaigns are effective or not.

Basically, Google Analytics tracks and reports your website’s performance using the GA tracking code. The program is also integrated with other Google products such as AdWords, Search Console, and Data Studio.

Due to its effectiveness, there are around 50 million websites using Google Analytics. The truth is, Google Analytics can help you in many ways but the main ways they can help you is through collecting data and reporting it back to you.

The World is Online

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you might have noticed the increasing dependency people have on the Internet. The world is constantly changing and people are spending more time online than ever before. In fact, Internet users are growing to 4.5 billion people with a majority of them researching and purchasing products online.

Since your audience is mostly on the web, it only makes sense for you to focus on online marketing as well.

Whether you’re an established business or a budding entrepreneur, Google Analytics is your perfect tool for measuring your digital marketing’s impact and your brand’s online presence.

Google Analytics collects data in the form of statistics and numbers instead of gut feeling and instinct, making it reliable for analysis.

Google Analytics Keeps You On Track

When we say Google Analytics collects your data, we mean it. The interface may seem advanced and takes getting used to but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have the ability to create better marketing strategies.

They’re able to track your audience’s demographics such as gender, age, location, interests, buying preferences, behavior, and even the kind of browser they use. Google Analytics also tracks down where your traffic is coming from (social media, email, referral sites, organic search, or paid ads). They also tell you which keywords bring the most traffic to your site.

Other than that, they also record your audience engagement in the form of what pages your users visit, how long they stay on a page, what links they click on, and what actions they take.

Google Analytics also tracks the performance of every page in your site such as the most visited page, the average session time of each page, and the page with the highest bounce rate.

This is extremely helpful for creating a marketing strategy because when you are able to understand your audience, you can adjust your content and funnel based on your findings. Since the data collected is specific, you can also create an advertisement that’s targeted, which makes it more effective.

In the end, the report Google Analytics provides you with enables you to figure out what content would be suitable to drive conversions.

Important Google Analytics Metrics

In understanding the Google Analytics report, you need to know the meaning of each metric in GA. Metric is the qualitative measurement of your GA reports. Here are 6 important GA metrics that you need to know:

This metric refers to the group of activities one user makes on a website during a particular time frame, which is set by default at 30 minutes by GA. It means that if a user comes to your site, browsing for 15 minutes, leaves, and then comes back within 30 minutes, it’s recorded as one session. However, when a user is inactive for more than 30 minutes and then comes back, it’s recorded as two sessions.

Session Duration
Session duration refers to the average session time spent on your site within a particular time frame. It’s measured by dividing the total number of sessions with the total time spent on your site. If during one week there are 300 sessions with the total time spent 1.500 minutes (90.000 seconds), then the average session duration for that week is 5 minutes (300 seconds).

Users / Visitors
The user metric refers to the number of visitors, new or returning, that visit your website during a particular time frame. GA relies on browser cookies to identify each new visitor as a unique individual, so if the user accesses your site three times a day, it will still be recorded as one user. However, if that person clears his cookies or uses a different browser, GA will identify it as two different users.

A page view is counted each time a user views a particular page on your site. So if that user views a catalog page and then reloads it three times, GA will record it as four views of the catalog page. If a user opens the homepage, goes to the catalog page, and then comes back to the homepage, it will be recorded as two views for the homepage and one for the catalog page.

Conversion refers to the completion of an activity that’s important for your website. This metric is based on Goals, so make sure to set up your Goals properly. Examples of conversion are user signing up to the newsletter, purchasing a product, or sharing an article.

Bounce Rate
A bounce rate measures the number of users who visit a page in your site and then leave without browsing any further. A high bounce rate number could be the reason for your low conversion rate– it’s a sign for you to fix your content and make a better funnel for your visitors.

How Businesses Use Google Analytics

Several businesses use Google Analytics to help their business grow. So how do they integrate it into their strategy?

Google Analytics provides real-time and tangible data to help businesses improve. This kind of data is important because it includes customer behavior and demographics which helps companies create a customer-oriented marketing strategy that will increase their traffic and conversion rates.

A good example of a company that uses Google Analytics is Sprint. They’re one of the largest network providers in the U.S and they use Google Analytics to track their visitors’ journey to understand more about them. Based on the data they collected, they created advertising campaigns based on the visitors’ interests. This resulted in a 39% boost in their conversion rate.

Big companies aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of Google Analytics. Many small to medium enterprises have experienced significant growth from utilizing Google Analytics.

Minted saw a 400% revenue spike since using this tool and Mumzworld’s conversion rate grew by 11%.

It’s Your Turn

Now that you’re convinced that Google Analytics might be the best tool to start using for your business’ growth, you’re just a bit concerned about the tabs and reports— they all look so confusing!

We all have to start somewhere. We were overwhelmed with the charts and numbers and we knew how it felt to be a complete newbie which is why we decided to create this comprehensive guide for beginners on Google Analytics.

It’s a simple guide that helps you get started and it’s illustrated to make reading it a tad more enjoyable. Not to mention, it also comes with an infographic! If you want to know more about Google Analytics, scroll down below!

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