Google Analytics can reveal all sorts of data about the traffic that goes through a website. As a digital marketing agency, it’s exactly the sort of data we get a bit dreamy eyed about. Because website analytics are so important, we’ve written a beginners guide to help you get started.
What is Google Analytics?
There are other web analytics tools out there, but Google Analytics is generally accepted as the Big Mama of all of them. Google Analytics is a free tool which gathers information about the type and volume of visitors going to a website.
Why is Google Analytics data useful?
Google Analytics can provide an unbelievable level of detail about where web visitors come from, who they are, and how they behave on the site.
The information is available for each page of the site, as well as the site as a whole.
It means you can see useful things like where the entry points are. These are the page or pages which attract people to the site, acting as a springboard to the rest of it. Exit points are also pretty handy to understand as the page where visitors leave the site. Hopefully it’s the ‘Order Complete’ screen!
Using Google Analytics data
This data is what underpins marketing strategy in the long term. Google Analytics will also give you a more immediate understanding of the content that your website needs in order for the site to perform well in search.
Imagine you’re looking at the Analytics data for your online shop. There are plenty of visitors to the website, but the general age and location of visitors is unexpected. If sales figures are high, then something is obviously working!
Use this new found knowledge to refresh your understanding of who the target customer is. It’s easy to make assumptions when it comes to identifying a core market, but try to be flexible if things change.
Because the analytics information will show you the journey which visitors take through the site, use it to understand the extent to which the website is performing its purpose.
Who can use Google Analytics?
Anyone can use Google Analytics, it just needs a Google account and administrator access to the website you want to collect data for. Analytics is free, too, which is definitely our favourite price.
How to set up Google Analytics
To be honest, the Google Analytics guide to itself is pretty good, even for people who feel shrieky hysteria about technology and the internet.
Basically, you’ll be asked to sign in or set up an Analytics account, then set up a ‘property’. This means entering information about the website or app that you wish to collect data about, so that Google can identify it.
Analytics will use this to create a tracking code which will need installing on the back end of the website. The complexity of the installation process varies depending on the web platform, or ask a professional if you need a bit of support.