A basic understanding of Google Analytics

A basic understanding of Google Analytics

A basic understanding of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service by Google that generates comprehensive statistics about a website’s traffic. It is trusted by millions of users and provides reports on site visits, page views, bounce rates, average time on site, pages per visit and percentage of new visits. Not only that, it also allows you to see where your traffic is coming from.

Being able to track trends and patterns in your data will allow you to make informed decisions on the direction of your website, which makes it an important tool for any marketing team. In order to deliver the best user experience, you need to understand where they are coming from and how you can use that information to your advantage.

Google tracking ID

Before Google Analytics can start collecting data, you will need to implement a tracking code into your website. Basically, the tracking code is a snippet of JavaScript code that collects data about how a visitor got to your website, any cookies that the visitor has collected during their browsing history, and information about their browser.

It’s recommended that you paste your tracking code into every page that you want to track, placing it immediately before the closing tag. If your website uses templates to dynamically generate pages, you can place the tracking code into its own file and include it in your page header.

Google can take 24-hours to begin collecting information and displaying the data on your Google Analytics dashboard, so be patient.

Understanding what’s on your dashboard

The Google Analytics dashboard can be a little daunting if you’re not used to it. Some of the terminology used will make complete sense, whilst some will cause a bit of head scratching. We’ve put together a quick glossary of basic terms to guide you in the right direction.

Sessions – a session is everything that a user does from the time they enter your website, to the time that they leave your website.

Pageviews – the amount of times a page on your website has been viewed. Repeated views of a page will be counted.

Unique Pageviews – the number of visits during which the specified page was viewed at least once.

Avg. Time on Page – the average amount of time a user spent viewing a specified page or screen, or set of pages or screens.

Bounce Rate – the percentage of single-page sessions. A session in which a user left your website from the entrance page without interacting with the page.

Goal – a measure of how well your website fulfils your target objectives. Individual goals can be set up to track discrete actions.

Conversion – this is what occurs when a goal is completed. Conversions happen when a visitor completes a desired goal or action.

Goal Conversion Rate – the percentage of visits on a website where the visitor completes a goal or completes a conversion.

As you may have already noticed, there’s a lot more to Google Analytics than what’s covered in this post. In future blog posts we will take a deeper look at some of its key features, and how we can use it to make the most out of your website.

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