Understanding the Basics of Google Analytics

google analyticsIf you have an online business and you own a website, you definitely need to know everything about what happens to your business through its website and whether or not it is able to accomplish its purpose and goals.

So you’ll need some kind of measurement tool that provides you with information on what pages are the most popular, what keywords do people use to reach your website and what keeps them engaged long enough to your content. Google Analytics can answer such questions and many more.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a very useful tool for website administrators and owners, providing them with fresh insights on how visitors arrive on the website, how they use it and how to make them come back.

How do you actually analyze the numbers and charts in Google Analytics?

So you should have Google Analytics tracking installed by now on your website. What we’ll do now is focus on the most important things that you need to understand and measure for your website, using your Google Analytics account.

So let’s begin…

The Audience

On your Dashboard in the Audience Overview, the first thing you’ll bump into is the Traffic Graph. This graph is probably the most important section of the page because it shows you deep insights regarding your business’ activity and it can be customized according to your needs for information, such as Visits, New Visits, Bouncing Rate, and many other metrics.

This Traffic Graph can also be set to show details on an hourly-basis, daily-basis, weekly-basis, and monthly-basis, so you can see the traffic information on the overall or précised for a specific time or day.

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Quick Stats

The next important chart you need to analyze in Google Analytics is the Website’s usage Quick Stats. You can also find this chart on your Dashboard, just under the Traffic Graph.

You’ll see that the chart shows 7 key numbers for your website, all according to the selected period you have chosen in the right corner of this page. Let’s go through them one-by-one.

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  1. Visits

        On Visits Google Analytics shows you the total number of visits to your website, meaning that it registers each time a person opens your website in a browser.

  1. Page views

        Here you can see the total number of pages that were viewed by all visitors on your website. The higher the number, the more engaged are your readers with your content.

  1. Avg. Visit Duration

The Average Visit Duration tells you the average time that your visitors spent on your website. Your goal here is to have informative and good quality content on your website so that your visitors spend more time on reading it.

  1. New Visits

New visitors metric on Google Analytics shows you the percentage of total new visitors who opened your website in a browser for the first time. What most website owners strive for is a well-balanced number between new and returning visitors.

  1. Unique Visitors

Unique Visitors metric represents the total number of individual visitors to your website.  After visiting your website, the system uses a “cookie” that identifies the user the second time he accesses the website, being counted as a Returning Visitor.

  1. Pages/Visit:

        This metric reveals the average number of pages that are viewed per visit. An increased number in Pages/Visit tells you that your visitors are engaging with your content and want to read more of it, clicking on several different              pages in only one visit.

  1. Bounce Rate

The Bounce Rate represents the percentage of single-page visits. This metric usually tells you whether or not a visitor has found what he/she was looking for on your website. A lower number is better as it means that the visitor found what he/she was searching for and continued to view more pages.

The Traffic Sources

The Traffic Sources overview refers to groups of visits, showing you the specific place that sent each user to your website. Traffic Sources are grouped as following:

·      Organic – which is search traffic that is not paid

·      Referral – refers to a visit made through a link to your website from another website

·      Campaign – users clicked on one of your campaign tracking URLs

·      Direct Traffic – users have introduced directly your website’s URL in the browser

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Here you can also find information about keywords that lead users to your website, sources that led them to it (Google, Bing), and also social sources (Facebook, Twitter).

The Content

The Content Overview refers to the pages of your website and here Google Analytics shows you how many times each page has been visited, its unique visitors, the bouncing rate, how users got to the page and which links from the page were most clicked by the visitors.

Why Should You Use Google Analytics in Your Business?

One important reason for using Google Analytics in your business is the ability to analyze and control the knowledge about your website. Google Analytics provides you with the statistics and numbers that generate a move forward in your business. Knowing what is going on you can adapt or change actions and activities so that you can improve your business strategy and achieve your business goals.

Here is a video explaining and showing you the most important metrics to consider for your business, when using Google Analytics

Conclusion

Google Analytics is a powerful and very informative tool that will help you understand how effective is your business website and where you need to work a little harder. Becoming as familiar as possible with Google Analytics’ Dashboard will enhance your ability to reach your business’ goals and succeed on your market.

Video Source: YouTube Seocoding Channel

20-06-2013