From creating digital sales funnels to identifying customer retention tactics, Google Analytics helps you understand your website’s visitor behavior quickly and effectively. Understanding visitor behavior is key to launching new products, streamlining customer interactions, and optimizing your website for success.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a tool to help you extract information about your website’s visitors and performance. The tool is offered in two capacities: Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360. The basic platform provides you with insights that are simple, straightforward and concise. The 360 platform is accessible after a paid fee and is recommended for large enterprises that need more detailed information tracked or monitored. The standard Google Analytics tool is recommended for most small to medium sized businesses.
There are various pieces of information you can gain from Google Analytics. This information reveals valuable data about your website and how visitors are interacting with it as a whole and per each website page. Here is a glimpse into the type of data you can gain from Google Analytics.
how much traffic are you Getting?
Number of visitors who have visited your website for the first time (unique visitors)
Number of visitors who have come back to your website after viewing it for the first time (repeat visitors)
Frequency of returning visitors
how did visitors find your site?
Websites that have sent visitors to your site (referrers)
Reveal search terms used by visitors to find your site
Identify devices used to access your site (desktop, smartphone, or tablet)
who are your visitors?
Geographical location of your visitors
Type of Internet browsers used by your visitors
Number of visitors who have left without viewing another page on your site (bounce rate)
what is visitor behavior?
Average time visitors spend on your website
Level of activity associated with your site on social networks (number of page tweets or Facebook likes)
Identify your website pages that get the most views
Demonstrate how visitors are moving throughout your site
Harnessing the power of data and information provided by Google Analytics gives your website the opportunity to be found. The data and information also polishes your marketing campaigns to lead your visitors directly into designated sales funnels. Through strategic retargeting campaigns you can rely on Google Analytics to provide valuable insights that help shape and develop robust and high converting campaigns across various platforms.
To get started you need to first set up and connect Google Analytics to your live website. In this post we will cover how to setup Google Analytics as well as various reports within the platform to use as you develop your next campaign.
How to Setup Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytics is easily completed in two main steps. In the first step, you need to set up a Google Analytics account so that you can retrieve your tracking code. Once you have retrieved your tracking code move onto step two. Step two involves adding the tracking code on every page that you would like to extract data from.
When signing up for Google Analytics you will need to select if you would like to track a website or a mobile app. You will also need to provide an account name, a website name, the URL of the website you would like to track, the industry category of your website and your preferred reporting time zone. Once you provide all the required information you will be presented with a Terms of Service agreement. Review the agreement and accept.
You will be provided with a tracking ID and a tracking code.
Adding your Google Analytics tracking ID or tracking code to your website largely depends on how your website is set up. For example, Wordpress hosted sites may only require a tracking ID, while Wix hosted sites may require a tracking code.
Some websites have a plugin or widget that makes adding your Google Analytics code simple and straightforward. For websites that are developed using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) you can add the tracking code anywhere within your HTML (we recommend adding the code within the <head> tag of your HTML document).
Understanding Google Analytics Reporting
Google Analytics organizes the data it tracks and collects into five primary sections: real time, audience, acquisition, behavior and conversions. Each of these sections give us valuable insight into your website’s visitor behavior and uses subsections to organize and streamline the data gathered. Let’s take a look at some of the information and data provided within each of the sections and how this data can be used to achieve your marketing goals.
Real time reports give you continuous data about what is happening on your website as they happen. It features six subsections and reports: overview, locations, traffic sources, behavior, events, and conversions. The overview details the number of people interacting with your site and geographic locations identifies where they are in the world. Traffic sources reveal how the visitors found your site while behavior, events, and conversions identify the actual actions taken on your website such as purchases or subscribing to a newsletter.
You can use this information to identify your most popular pages or products are as well as create more targeted content. Knowing the location of your visitors helps sharpen the message and tone of your brand.
Audience reports detail important information about your visitors. It is divided into many subsections such as overview, active users, locations, technology, demographics and interests. The overview section details a broad scope of who your audience is such as what languages they speak or what operating systems they are using.
Identifying which operating systems are being used the most to access your website can give you clues into how to develop any new pages or website design updates. For example, do your visitors use mobile devices when shopping at your ecommerce store? If so, you must determine if your website is fully responsive (mobile friendly) and constantly monitor your load times to help control your bounce rate.
The active users subsection shows you the number of visitors to your website by days. You can see how many visitors your website received in the last 1, 7, 14 or 30 days. The demographics subsection shows you the age and gender of your visitors. (Note: Before you can access the demographics report you need to enable them and wait for up to 24 hours before the data is provided.) The interests subsection reveals what interests your visitors have on the Internet. These interests are determined based on the websites your visitors have visited, social media accounts, and more.
Acquisition reports give you the number of visitors acquired through Adwords, social media and other campaigns. It features many subsections including all traffic, treemaps, search queries, and more. Understanding how your visitors have found your website can help you develop robust inbound marketing campaigns as well as other marketing initiatives.
The behavior section has several reports that give you visitor activity on your website and is divided into many subsections. The overview report graphically shows you page views, unique page views, average time on page, and bounce rate. The behavior flow subsection provides you with the visitor path beginning with the first page viewed up to the last page viewed before leaving your site. The site content subsection demonstrates how visitors engage with your content. This report enables you to identify top content on your site. The landing pages subsection enables you to identify top entry pages on your site.
Identifying the pages that most of your traffic lands upon gives you a framework to build stronger marketing strategies and campaigns. Using this information you can combine creativity with ideas that have already proven valuable to your brand to ensure campaign success.
The conversions section has reports that enable you to track conversions such signing up for a newsletter, tracking e-commerce transaction data and more. For example, monitoring your sales and billing locations and how the different channels work together to bring sales and conversions can give you insights into how to streamline shipping and order processes.
Understanding and navigating Google Analytics is a business journey that can improve your customer sales funnels and strengthen your brand and message. Determining how Google Analytics can contribute to your business goals takes practice, exploring, and research. To start harness the power of data by learning how to interpret data to achieve your business goals. Next, work to develop retargeting campaigns and other marketing initiatives based on the data you gather and organize. If you get stuck or need a second pair of eyes on your project consider enlisting the help of data or marketing analyst to ensure you are on the right track.