Except you have a better alternative, you can’t afford to ignore Google analytics as a marketer. Although the tool is free, it’s a fantastic option for keeping track of your website performance and identifying areas of improvement.

If you’re curious to learn more about Google Analytics, this article will provide all the information you need.

What is Google Analytics and How Can It Help You?

Google Analytics (GA) is a web analytics tool that provides a detailed analysis of the performance of your website and/or app. As Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Google Analytics helps you measure it all. It helps you to track the performance of your SEO and marketing efforts.

While other marketing analytics tools, such as FoxMetrics can provide you with all of the information you require with a lot less effort, Google analytics is a great free alternative.

It is a popular choice for anyone utilizing various Google tools because it connects with Google’s marketing and advertising platforms and products (including Google Ads, Search Console, and Data Studio).

gmail signup

What Can you Track with Google Analytics?

Below are some of the metrics you can track with Google analytics.

  • Pageviews: a page view occurs when someone visits your page. The pageviews data often includes information about your visitors’ browser, device, and location.
  • Events: An event is when occurs when someone interacts with your website in any way. Visits, pageviews, filling a form, watching a video are all events.
  • Users: How many users did your website receive today? How many people visited your site in the past 7 days.
  • Sessions: The number of interactions a visitor has with your website in a certain period is referred to as a session (usually 30 minutes); interactions like clicking a link, viewing a page or purchasing a product.
  • Bounce Rate: how many people clicked the return button or left your website without interacting with it?
  • Session duration: The average time a visitor spends on a website.
  • Active users: How many people are on your website right now?
  • Transactions: Google analytics allows you to track eCommerce transactions. For instance, if someone purchases from your store, it’s recorded as a hit. It may also show the pages the individual visited before making the purchase, what they purchased, and the amount they paid.

How Is Google Analytics Useful? How Do You Use It?

Google Analytics Reports can be used for a variety of things. We’ll go over some of its most popular uses.

For Marketing Analytics

Analytics reports can help you improve your marketing by providing you with valuable insights that will answer critical questions you have about your marketing.

  • Which websites are the most popular in terms of referring visitors?
  • How much traffic does each marketing channel bring to your website?
  • What is the conversion rate of visitors originating from various sources?
  • What are the demographics of your website’s visitors?

Answering these questions would help you improve your targeting, help you figure out the best-performing channels to invest into. It will also help you redefine your target audience, and provide you with a wealth of other useful information.

Improving Your Site Performance

Are you getting low clicks of conversion; Google Analytics provides valuable insight into your website performance and helps you identify areas of improvement. It helps you answer the following question.

  • What are the most popular pages on my site?
  • How long does it take for the pages on your website to load?
  • Where do people leave my website?
  • Do mobile users have to wait longer for pages to load?

Analytics allows you to learn about your website visitors, and meet specific goals like increasing your page views, conversion, and more.

Google analytics report snapshot

Helps You Improve Your SEO

Google Analytics is extremely useful for SEO. It can help answer critical questions on how people find and engage with your website. It provides insights to improve your SEO and increase the returns from your efforts. You’ll be able to answer the following question;

  • How do visitors reach your site?
  • What percentage of your site’s visitors come from search engines?
  • What search terms do they use?
  • What is the most popular of your landing pages?
  • What is the bounce rate for different types of visitors to your site?

How to Set Up Google Analytics

It’s easy to get started with Google Analytics. To begin, you must create a Google Account. You already have one if you use Gmail, Youtube, or any other product.

Log in to your Google Analytics account once you’ve created one, and you can begin setting up GA and adding it to a website.

Analytics homepage

Step 1. Create a User Account

  • Go to analytics.google.com and sign up for an account.
  • Click on “Start Measuring
  • Fill up the blanks, including whether you want to track a website or a mobile app.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Get Tracking ID.” Take a note of the code and paste it into your clipboard. 

Step 2. Place the tracking ID on your website

Google Analytics will require that you verify your ownership of the website and domain. GA uses your tracking ID code to track website activity. Until you’ve proven your ownership with the tracking ID by pasting the tracking code on every page of your website, you won’t be able to report on your website visit.

If your site is built in WordPress or any other CMS like Drupal or Joomla, you can simply add the tracking code to the header template file of your site. Every page of your website uses this template, so you won’t need to add it individually.

Step 3. Set Your Tracking Goals

Goals are particular actions you want visitors to take when they’re on your website. For instance, if you have an eCommerce store, one of your goals would be to get visitors to click on the “confirm purchase” button.

Once you’ve set your goals, GA would track the actions on your site and inform you whenever your goal is met. To set your goals, click on Conversions, then select Goals, and then click on ‘Overview.’ On the next page, click on the “Set up goals” button.

There are different types of goals you can set including the following.

  • Destination goal: Google analytics tracks people that visit your site. For instance, when someone clicks on your website link and waits until your site loads, a destination goal has been attained.
  • Duration goal: this goal tracks the length of time that people stay on your site.
  • Event goal: tracks what visitors do while on your site. It tracks your clicks, purchases, and other metrics.
  • Page per session: tracks the number of pages a visitor navigates to before exiting your website.

Step 4: Connect your Analytics account to Google Search Console.

Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools) is a free tool that allows businesses to control how their websites appear in Google’s search results.

Google analytics search console

You can check how your website ranks for various Google search queries and how many people click through from Google by connecting Google Search Console to your Google Analytics account.

If you don’t already have one, you must first create a Google Search Console account at www.google.com/webmasters/  and follow the steps here to set it up.

There you have it. That’s all you should know about getting started with Google analytics. Feel free to drop a comment or ask a question in the comment box below.