How to Use Google Analytics

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How to Use Google Analytics

Image Credit: @kevnbhagat

Google ana-what you say? Let’s break it down. Google, a massive technology company that is slowly taking over the world + Analytics, the interpretation of data patterns = a kick-ass website tool at your fingertips. That’s right folks. Google Analytics provides it’s users with many important metrics that gives you in-depth detail about your audience and how they utilize your site.

Setting up Google Analytics

First things first, let’s get you squared away with the initial setup of Google Analytics. Follow the below how-to video to get the tracking code necessary to link your website to your account. Easy peasy.

Data Overview

Google Analytics offers a ton of data. I will highlight some of the valuable areas and explain how it can be interpreted to improve or maximize your conversions. Conversions is basically a fancy word that measures your success rate in your marketing and strategy goals. Some of those goals may be to get your visitors to purchase a product or service, sign up for a newsletter, fill out a form or downloading content.

Your Audience

Insight into your audience gives you details like:

  • How much visitors are viewing your site
  • How long are visitors staying on your site
  • Are they new or returning visitors

Your audience is how you measure your site’s traffic, which is one of the easiest ways to determine the success of your site. However, obtaining steady traffic from your target audience is also one of the greatest challenges. To increase traffic you can develop marketing campaigns and improve SEO to drive more interest.

Acquisition

Learning how you acquire your audience can determine:

  • How are visitors reaching your site
    • Search engine, referrals, direct or social media mediums
  • How effective are your marketing campaigns
    • Newletters or mailing lists, proposals, highlighted products or services

When you know how your audience is reaching your site you can better design your marketing campaigns and improve your social media presence to continue to increase traffic. You can also implement stronger SEO practices to gain relevant visitors based on search engine referrals.

Audience Demographics

Find out about your audience and gain data relating to:

  • General location of your visitors
  • Operating System
  • Browser (mobile vs desktop)
  • Time and day of activity

Knowing when and where your audience arrives from and how they view your site allows you to make adjustments to serve your visitors. For example based on activity reports, you can hold a live Q&A session or webinar or even schedule your email campaign delivery times accordingly. You can also design your site to cater to specific operating systems and browser devices for an optimal experience.

Audience Behavior

Now that you’ve reeled them in, find out what they’re up to:

  • What pages and posts are your most poplar
  • What pages or posts kinda suck

Once someone hits your site, what are they consuming? How long are they staying on a page and what can you do to keep them there? While someone leaving a page in 2 seconds doesn’t necessarily mean that the page or post sucks, it can certainly mean that something isn’t piquing their interest. Re-evaluate content to appeal to your target group.

In Conclusion

Google Analytics is a helpful tool that all website owners should be utilizing. It gives site owners the ability to measure the success of their webpage and determine areas for improvement. Google Analytics can seem overwhelming with all of it’s menus, tables and graphs. But most of the data is easily interpreted and with continued use, familiarity will surely set it. The bottom line is that this valuable tool gives you the data needed to improve your website, and make it the best it can be.

Aloha, I am a Hawaii based freelance web designer and developer located on the beautiful island of Maui. Where the skies are blue, the palm trees sway and spam is a pretty big deal.

My articles are geared towards site design and development, nifty wordpress tips and gadgets and other ramblings of webthings amusement.

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