Website Traffic: Getting Started With Google Analytics

Getting Started With Google Analytics

Analytics provide a snapshot of your website at any given time. It will tell you where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your site. Knowing this will help you understand what part of their actions are leading to conversions and which are not.

Analytics will also measure which parts of your content are the most engaging. Here are some benefits you’ll experience by taking the time to regularly review your website’s analytic data :

  • Improve Your Content
  • Create better advertising campaigns
  • Understand the behaviour of your audience
  • New ideas and opportunities
  • Track online traffic
  • Track eCommerce performance
  • Consolidated reports

Google measures key statistics of digital traffic on a website through its innovative free service, Google Analytics. While the numbers and statistics may seem insignificant at first, using them to your advantage can help elevate your online endeavours. Millions of websites around the world use it to ensure that they are doing things right.

Google Analytics is just one of many analytics tools available today and yes, you can use multiple analytic tools at the same time. Google Analytics is the most popular option since Google is the biggest search engine on the internet.

Google Analytics records how a user comes to your site, what actions they take on your site, and how they leave your site. Google Analytics can also measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, such as ads and emails, and any other tools.

When combined with Google Search Console, Google Analytics can give you data on how and when your website shows up in search results. This enables you to track a user from a click on the search result page all throughout your website and hopefully to an ultimate purchase.

How Does Google Analytics Work?

Once you sign up for Google Analytics, you will be requested to place a bit of code on your website. The code allows Google Analytics to record the data to measure so it’s important that the code is added to every page of your website. The information you get will then give you an idea of the demographics of your visitors, as well as their behaviour.

Once Google Analytics is installed it starts tracking the following:

  • User Actions
  • Views
  • Clicks
  • Pages Visites
  • Number of visitors
  • User Demographics
  • And much, much more!

How Much Does Google Analytics Cost?

The best part about Google Analytics is that it’s a free tool for anyone to use. It constantly gets upgrades, meaning the service gets even better. Today, Google Analytics uses machine learning AI, ad integration, and better data control features. Knowing all these metrics will help you understand what is working and what you should avoid to improve conversions that lead to more sales.

Setting Up Google Analytics

You'll need a Google Analytics account first. If you have a primary Google account that you use for other Google services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, or YouTube, you should use that account to set up Google Analytics. If not, you'll have to make a new one.

To begin collecting fundamental data from a website, follow these steps:

  1. Register or log in to your Analytics account:

○  Go to google.com/analytics

○  Select one of the following options:

■  Click "Start for free" to register for a new account.

■  Click "Sign in" to Analytics to log in to your account.

  1. Create a property in your Google Analytics account. A property is the gathering spot in Analytics for information from your site or app, and it symbolizes your site or app.

○  Go to the Admin tab once you've logged in.

○  Now you must create an Account Name and a Property Name. Select "Create new account" from the Account drop-down menu. A single account can track numerous properties (websites).

○  Choose a name for your account (Company Name), a name for your website (Website Name), and a URL for your website.

  1. To gather information in your Analytics property, embed the tracking code on your website.

○  Click "Get Tracking ID." The Google Analytics terms and conditions will be displayed in a pop-up window which you must accept. After that, you'll receive your Google Analytics tracking code.

○  Each page of your website must have the Google Analytics tracking code installed. The installation process will be different depending on the type of website you own.

Google Analytics will begin gathering data as soon as tracking is enabled, and within a few days, you can start reviewing reports.

Any website owners toolkit should include Google Analytics. It will assist you in tracking the success of your website as well as all of your digital marketing activities. Using Google Analytics, you'll be able to determine your ROI and discover more about your target market.

Tracking Website Traffic with Google Analytics

To help you find the data you need for website traffic, you can begin by heading to your Google Analytics dashboard and then clicking on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.

You will then be presented a Google Analytics web traffic report of your website. This is where you can view which channels are bringing in the most traffic. Channels are normally grouped into 4 categories:

Direct 

These are website visits where a user came directly to your website. For example, a person typed in your url in the browser versus searching for your website on a search engine or clicking a link from an email.

Organic Search

These are website visits that resulted from a search results page. Some used a major search engine, such as Google, for a keyword, your websites appeared, and the user clicked on your link in those results.

Referral

These are website visits where a user came from another website. This can include social media sites such as Facebook, blogs, or affiliates.

Other

Any other website visit that can be categorized into the other three categories.

If you want a more in-depth look, you can click on the Source/Medium report under All Traffic. Doing so will narrow down a traffic source together with the channel.

How to View Traffic Sources for a Specific Page

To view traffic sources for a certain page linked to your Google Analytics account, go to Behaviour > Site Content. In this section, you can choose if you want to view the traffic sources of all pages on your websites, those from landing pages, or for exit pages.

For your chosen page, click Secondary Dimension and then look for Source/Medium, which can be found under Acquisition.

You will then be presented with a list together with the sources of traffic. These are the websites your visitors come from before arriving at your own.

How to View Which Pages People Visit

If you want to know which pages of your website people visit, click Behaviour > Site Content and you will find the “All pages” report. This report will show you the pages that were visited based on your chosen period.

At the bottom of the report, you can view the total number of unique pages that people visited on your website.

And that’s it! Now you know how to view the traffic to your website and specific pages using Google Analytics. You also learned how to check which pages people visited.

This information is incredibly useful when monitoring your website traffic. It can help you make content and product decisions going forward to ultimately help you reach your target audience and increase your income.

The Google Analytics Dashboard

The Google Analytics Dashboard is a place where you can set up your own custom reports to show metrics about your website’s performance. These dashboards provide us with an overview of the most vital information we need to accomplish our website goals - making conversions. Google allows us to create custom dashboards filled with widgets such as timelines, metrics, tables, and charts to show us all sorts of data.

Timelines show specific data over the course of a specific time period.

Metrics show specific data as a single number. For example, the total number of user sessions for the past 30 days is 1,555.

Tables use rows and columns to visualize data. For example, a table might include a list of all referral urls and how many sessions came from each referral url.

Charts are used to visualize part of the data in relation to the whole. These could be used to compare conversions from different traffic sources such as referrals, social media, organic search, etc.

To locate any existing dashboards, log in to your Google Analytics account, then click on Customization > Dashboards. The next section will show you every dashboard that you have, along with the date they were created.

Clicking on a dashboard will show you all of the widgets that were added and the latest data from Google Analytics. This section will be empty if you do not have any dashboards yet.

How To Set Up a Google Analytics Dashboard

Begin by clicking Customization > Dashboards and then clicking on the “Create” button. A popup will be displayed showing two choices: blank canvas and starter dashboard. You can also import a dashboard from the gallery, which are premade dashboards from Google and other third parties.

This is where you can give your dashboard a unique name, which is a good idea if you plan to have more than one dashboard showing different types of data. You can have up to 20 different dashboards and each dashboard can display a max of 12 widgets.

You can use the starter dashboard to set one up quickly. Once you have selected a template and named your dashboard, click the “Create Dashboard” button.

The new custom dashboard will now be available for you to see.

The beginner dashboard comes with widgets for new users, sessions, sessions by browser, bounce rate, goal completions, and more. You can customize your dashboards to let them show you specific details you need from Google Analytics.

Another option is to do a search for google analytics custom dashboards you will find hundreds of premade dashboards you can import and use. No point in recreating the wheel if one of the premade dashboards will provide you with the data you need.

The Google Analytics Dashboard is an important part of analyzing the statistics of your website and now that you know how to create a starter dashboard, you can customize how the data is displayed in a way that works best for you. Just remember analytical data is only good if you review it regularly and put the data to use.

How to Use Google Analytics for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective marketing practices for generating leads, converting site visitors, and boosting sales. Fortunately, there are many tools businesses of any size or industry can use to enhance it. By using ideal techniques, even new companies can find their way into the coveted top Google results.

We recommend using Google Analytics to supplement other SEO efforts. It’s a free business tool with advanced features. Using it gives entrepreneurs access to valuable consumer information that can transform businesses.

Google Analytics is a powerful marketing tool that provides in-depth insight into a company’s online performance. As mentioned, it’s a free tool entrepreneurs can use to track key metrics immediately after joining. However, if you typically have more than 50 million visits a day and 10 million hits per month you may need to upgrade to Google Analytics 360, a paid version of Google Analytics with more features.

Without tracking digital marketing efforts, business owners won’t know how to improve them. With the help of Google Analytics, entrepreneurs can make data-based decisions that will maximize budgets.

This is some of the information Google Analytics can provide:

  • Number of website visitors
  • Location of website visitors
  • Devices used to visit your website
  • Audience Interests
  • External websites that drive traffic
  • Reports from marketing campaigns
  • Visitor segmentation

This marketing tool provides entrepreneurs with valuable information, but many business owners don’t know that they can use Google Analytics to complement SEO efforts. Let’s look at how we can use this marketing tool to achieve our SEO goals.

Gathering Valuable Information From Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a data-rich tool that can enhance SEO efforts. To achieve their goals, entrepreneurs should learn which data to gather and how to use it.

Some of the valuable information you can collect includes:

Organic site traffic: Go to Acquisition and click Overview. You can view your detailed traffic breakdown here.

Keyword effectiveness: Google Analytics has a dedicated section for keywords called Queries. You will find all the keywords that drive traffic to your website in this section.

Most visited pages: Click on the Landing Pages section. Under the Search Engine Optimization page, you can track which pages on your website generate the most traffic. You can delve deeper and check which keywords led visitors to specific pages.

When you learn which keywords are effective, you can adjust your marketing campaigns immediately. As a start, you can run Google Ads using your most effective keywords and stop wasting your budget on those that don’t help you achieve your goals. You can also use such information to begin your link-building activities.

Elevate Your Digital Presence Now

Google users run 5.4 billion searches daily. If you haven’t started investing in SEO, we suggest you do so immediately. Using SEO tools will get your site in front of quality visitors, which drastically improves conversion rates and revenue.

Google Analytics is just one tool that will help you manage your website and its effectiveness, and it's one of our favourites. 

About the Author Sarah & Kevin Arrow

Sarah & Kevin Arrow have worked in digital marketing since 2006. They share their thoughts and tips here on this site. They'd love to help you become more visible. Book in a call or ping us a message - we're waiting to hear from you!

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