What Beginners Need to Know About Google Analytics

google analyticsAcross the Internet, more than 10 million sites use Google Analytics. The search titan’s free analytics suite is used by about 53% of all websites and has a strong trend of historical growth. The reasons are obvious: Google Analytics is fast, free, easy to use, and backed by a brand with incredible data processing power.

Google Analytics provides a powerful dashboard to evaluate traffic trends and user behavior on your site. Although it has become more complex with time, it remains simple enough that you can crystallize key insights about Web performance after investing minimal time. It starts to work within 24 hours of installation and requires no maintenance.

Getting Started With Google Analytics

Before you can get started, you need to set up your site so Google can track your traffic.

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Set Up Your Site to Be Tracked

Sign on to your Google Analytics account and click the “Admin” tab. Use the dropdown menu within the column called “Accounts” to select the account you want to add your site to – note, Google calls individual sites “properties.” Once the right account is chosen, select “Create New Property” from the dropdown menu. Select “Website” and enter the website’s URL, name, time zone, and industry. Finally, click “Get Tracking ID.”

Install the Tracking Code

Technically, you can install Analytics by adding the tracking code to the HTML in every page of your site. This isn’t feasible for large sites, so consider the alternative: Using Google Tag Manager to automate the process. Some content management systems, such as WordPress, offer software plugins that disperse the code across your site automatically.

Learn the Dashboard

Although you won’t receive traffic data for 24-48 hours, you’ll have access to Analytcs’ dashboard right away. From the home page, enter the account associated with the property you want to analyze. From the dashboard, you’ll have access to information from the last 30 days, including:

  • Number of visitors.
  • Average length of time visitors spent on your pages.
  • Visitors’ geographic location and browser language.
  • Conversions, site loading speed, and traffic sources.

Learn Reports

There are many reports, but it’s best to begin with:

  • Audience Overview, which provides basic demographic and time data about visitors.
  • Acquisition, which lists all your traffic sources and the visits attributable to each one.
  • Keywords, which explores the organic search keywords that led visitors to your site.

Google Analytics provides plenty of tools for comparing performance over time and spotting emerging trends. Plus, you can save and export reports to let others review them. With the data provided by Analytics, it’s possible to craft your digital marketing strategy with proven insight into what works for your customers.

Contact us today to see how we can help your business grow using Google Analytics!