In this beginner’s guide to Google Analytics, we’ll explain how to create a Google Analytics account, a tracking code or tracking id, implementing the tracking code and enhancing your business.
Google Analytics is one of the many free tools that Google provides to help people understand what visitors are doing on their website. The tool enables you to track and analyze vital data on your site and site visitors.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is the leading analytics platform provided by Google for tracking website and/or app performance. It is part of a variety of tools offered by Google.
Google Analytics collects a wide range of data and generates insightful reports. The data Google Analytics provides makes it an indispensable component of any website manager’s or businesses’ online toolbox. You can use these reports to learn more about your website and its visitors.
Some basic information collected by Google Analytics includes:
- The number of visitors coming to your website
- Where visitors are coming from
- The navigation of visitors through your site
- The time visitors spend on every page
With this information, you can learn how to increase your website traffic and speed, understand what content visitors like, which pages are read the most and much more. The list goes on and on.
Even at a primary level, you can learn a lot about your webpage’s performance by monitoring the traffic. If traffic on your website is rising, something is working. And if traffic is declining? Something is wrong, or your website needs improvement.
Benefits of Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an excellent choice for marketing beginners and webmasters alike for its adaptability in covering most marketing needs. Some benefits of the free and standard version of Google Analytics include:
- It’s free!
- Easy to install and implement
- It’s a user-friendly interface
- Allows reports customizing, dashboards and data collection
- Offers seamless integration with Google products
- Allows post-click integration with other traffic sources, including Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, etc
- Provides extensive and valuable insights into web behaviour
How does Google Analytics Work?
There are many reasons why Google Analytics is a simple and effective tool for digital marketers today. Below are three of the most important reasons and how they work. The operation of Google Analytics is based on these three processes.
1. Data collection
Google Analytics records a visit each time a user views a page. When you click on the page you want, the server sends the page to you. Once the browser analyses the data, it will reach other similar servers of the user-requested page. Google Analytics collects this data.
2. Data processing
Once user interactions are collected, Google Analytics begins the data processing to transform the raw data into valuable insights that give you knowledge.
To process the raw data, each of the data sections is analyzed separately. Google Analytics applies its properties, for example, filters, to the raw data. In other words, their traits are divided, and each section or line provides several traits. Each data section is stored in different areas. Once the data is processed, it’s stored in a database, and then it will no longer be possible to modify them. This process allows you to understand the ‘story’ behind the data to gain relevant and helpful insights and amplify business performance. It helps you understand your customers better, tells you about their demographics and location and helps appreciate what consumers like or don’t like and how they interact on your website.
3. Report generation
The reports generated from the data processing can be viewed within the Google Analytics platform, www.google.ca/analytics.
Each report is generated based on field comparisons, including the visitor’s city or the conversion rate. Finally, once the data is stored in the database, the process is terminated.
Marketers can use the data collected, processed and generated by Google Analytics to optimize website performance and help make data-led decisions. The basic need for Google Analytics is to help your online marketing, improve your site performance, and aid your SEO.
Objectives that Google Analytics Tracks
Google Analytics bases its tracking on different objectives:
- Pageview: Each time someone visits one of your pages, it is identified as a pageview. It contains information like which access device and browser visitors are using. You can also determine which of your pages are viewed.
- Duration: Marks the length of time spent on your page by a visitor.
- Event: This is when a visitor does something on your site. They might, for example, fill in a form, click a link or play a video.
- Transaction/Ecommerce: This is when a visitor makes a purchase. It includes information such as which pages the visitor went to before purchasing. More detailed insights, such as which products they bought or how much they spent, are also provided.
How to use Google Analytics?
In order to use Google Analytics effectively, several steps are to be followed:
Create Google Analytics Account
The initial step to get started with Google Analytics is to create a Google Analytics account. Go to www.google.ca/analytics to create or sign in to your account. If you are already using a Google account for Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar or YouTube, you can set-up a Google Analytics account. If not, you will need to create a Google account.
To create a Google Analytics account, you will need to add specific information that will enable you to identify your account, such as your account name, your website, geographic location, marketing category.
Create Google Analytics Tracking Code/ Tracking ID
Once you’ve signed up for Google Analytics, the next step is to create a Google Analytics Tracking Code, also known as a Tracking ID. You must fill out the Google Analytics terms and conditions, which you will have to agree to. This action will generate your Google Analytics Tracking Code.
The Tracking Code must be pasted on every page of your website. You only need to copy and paste the tracking code into the site’s HTML editor’s header or footer. But, pasting the code on the header is the recommended option.
Once you paste the code on your website, you can assign test traffic to see if it’s working correctly. After proper installation of the code, the active user number will be updated in real-time. It may take up to 30 seconds for this number to update.
Most Important Tip
The Google account you create should be the one you plan to keep for all your future marketing endeavours, and that only you should have access to it. You can always grant access to your Google Analytics account to other people, but it’s always recommended that only you have full control of it. The Analytics data is vital, and that information should not fall into any dangerous hands.
The Google Analytics installation process will differ depending on the platform you’re utilizing to run your website.
Google Analytics can do wonders for your business.
In comparison to other analytical management tools, Google Analytics remains a free and highly relevant solution for managing your website’s analytics as it provides you with helpful insights that can be used to enhance the performance of your website and optimize conversions.
Are you interested in learning more about how your business can utilize Google Analytics and improve website performance? At TechWyse, our team of website developers ensure that your website is running at optimal performance to increase conversions and search engine rankings. Get in touch today to learn more about what we can do for your business!