Google Analytics What It’s For and How To Use The Tool

How to use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most popular pieces of digital analytic software out there.

The grandfather of modern marketing said you should track everything. That’s actually why the coupon began. Each coupon had a tracking code somewhere on it. As the customer mailed in the coupon, gave it to the merchant, or called their orders in by telephone, the coupon had a greater purpose than simply for that single purchase discount or special offer. That tracking code on that coupon is how companies learned from where, when, how, and who was purchasing their products. By the way, the grandfather of modern marketing’s name is Claude Hopkins. Read his famous classic book Scientific Advertising when you get a spare hour.

Google Analytics is Google’s free web analytics service that allows you to analyze in detail your website visitors and their actions, interests, and their needs you can further help them with via your website.

It provides valuable insights that can help you shape the success strategy of your business.
Almost all businesses have an online presence through a website. That makes it very important to learn the inner structure of your website in order to analyze it. You need to see if your website is accomplishing the purpose you intend it to do.

To do this you need to know details about what actions your visitors take when visiting your website. Things like how long they stay on the posts and pages they visit on your website. It doesn’t matter what type of site you’re running. You can be an ecommerce website or an informative mommy blog. Either way you definitely want to understand and study the behavior of your visitors to deliver the greatest results.

Below are some reasons why you need to learn to use Google Analytics to collect data for better insights of your website and your website visitors specifically.

Its a free tool so learn how to use it as you will see the benefits.

Google does not charge you anything for using Google Analytics. It sounds strange because we know nothing is really free but since you’re using other products of Google they allow this tool to be absolutely free to you and I. You don’t have to pay anything at all to use this product. They payoff for Google is they know the more successful your site is the more successful they are.
The good part about this is now you can invest more of your dollars other resources and in paid ads if you like.
The main fact it Google Analytics provides you with important information, statistics, and data you need in order to maximize your website’s performance. All for free.

To gain a better understanding of what kind of content you should be writing to better serve your audience.

Content truly is king and if created well and is of high quality. Great content can help you get much more traffic and potential visitors leading to paying customers later on.
Good content is one of the best ways to reach out to your customers. This is the reason why so many businesses create blogs, infographics, and pdf documents that can add value to your customers.
Google Analytics helps you track of all the content that receives views, shares, and clicks. With this data, you can enhance the top viewed posts and pages in order that they appeal to the customers in a more productive manner.
Google Analytics generates a breakdown of the page views each of your blog posts and pages receive.
You can rework your top performing pages and posts so you can generate even more traffic.

Automatically collects data.

Google Analytics has a feature that reduces the work that is required to put Google Analytics data into Google Docs, Sites or Spreadsheets.
All you need to do is setup your Google Analytics account and copy a simple piece of code in your website.
This enables Google Analytics collection of data from your website automatically and makes reports accordingly.
You don’t need to perform any action in order to get the data. Google Analytics does all the work for you.
You can even access your reports immediately without any delay. Before the internet it took several days to count and collect physical coupons.This feature of Google Analytics not only saves you work but also gives you immediate access to the reports. This makes it so you can quickly implement strategies for better performance of your website.

To understand which social platforms to target.

Social platforms are a great way to drive a lot of traffic and engage potential customers.
With Google Analytics, you have the access to view what catch the attention of the users and then place the ad accordingly.
In order to choose the best platform to advertise to your customers, you need to set a generous budget aside for social media ads.
For example: If you see a maximum of your customer engagement on Facebook and a substantial amount of traffic from Twitter, then according to this data, you can set more budget for Facebook and comparatively less budget on Twitter to acquire more customers.
With Google Analytics, you can gauge the performance of all the social platforms that you are using. You can also check how much conversion value each of the social platforms is bringing, traffic entering from social referrals and how many users are talking about you.

Gives you the ability to measure internal site searches and single visitor actions.

The internal site reveals what potential customers are looking for after arriving on your website.
It also reveals the area of growth opportunity by uncovering the situations where the certain situation may be unclear or lacking on your site.
Thankfully, Google Analytics allows you to track the internal site searches with a bit of customization.
With this feature of internal site search, you can you can have better insights of what people are searching for on your website. With these insights, you can make necessary changes or additions accordingly to improve the performance of your website.
You can further make effective changes to your website navigation and product/service offers.

Google Analytics allows you to know demographics like age, gender, interest, devices used to visit and locations of your audience.

Google Analytics allows you to uncover valuable data about your audience to determine which channels drive most of the traffic to your website. The Audience section provides a lot of information about your website visitors. Important information like their age, gender, interests, devices, and location they are viewing from.

It also gives you a data on how the visitors were driven to your website. That can be huge when selecting ads to run.

  • Age: It is one of the best indicators of where your audience spends most of the time. Knowing the average age of your website audience can help you to optimize your website accordingly.
  • Gender: The gender variable helps you to describe your audience. Audience’s gender plays an important role in how they communicate and engage online.
  • Interests: With Google Analytics, you can very well understand the interests of your audience and can optimize your website in accordance with their interests.
  • Device: Google Analytics also gives you views of what kind of device are they using. With this information, you can help your website get more responsive in various devices.
  • Google Analytics even allows you to view what kind of smartphone or tablet your audience uses.
  • Location: Understanding where your customers come from helps you to formulate marketing strategies according to the physical location of your potential customers.
  • Geo-location feature of Google Analytics not only lets you know the country from where your visitors are coming from but the city from where they are and even the language they use.

Makes it easy to create customized reports and detailed reporting.

A custom report is a report that you create within the platform.
Within the Google Analytics platform you have the option of choosing one of the many reports Google Creates, or you can build your own customized report using the drag and drop interface.
You can pick the dimensions and metrics and decide how they should be displayed.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create a Custom Report in Google Analytics:
Sign in to Google Analytics, navigate to Your View, click Customization and then select Reports from the drop down menu, click Customization – New Custom Report, enter a Title, click Add a Report Tab (Optional), select a report type: Explorer, Flat Table or Map Overlay, define your dimensions and metrics, click Filter to limit the report to specific dimensions (Optional), select where the report should appear. Use the drop down menu to select specific views, or select All views associated with this account to allow this report on all views you have access to, and finally click Save.

Allows you to better understand why visitors may be bouncing away from your website.

Bounce Rate is one of the most important metrics which refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website after visiting only one page. It is extremely important to reduce bounce rate as much as possible. Many businesses witness large amounts of traffic yet never see sufficient conversions. This is easily preventable.
A high bounce rate means visitors are coming to your website but are not finding what they’re looking for. This leads to a high bounce rate scoring. Not something you want in this area. Compare it to golf where the lower the score the better.

A high bounce rate calls for an immediate action to identify the reason visitors aren’t staying on the page or post.
Google Analytics provides a detailed report of the pages and posts that are experiencing high bounce rates.
The reason for a high bounce rate could be because your website is not optimized properly. It also could be your landing page is not attractive enough for them to sign up. Uning a detailed report about the bounce rate, you can now easily find ways to reduce the bounce rate of your website.

Google Analytics easily integrates with other tools and platforms.

Another really great feature of Google Analytics is it can easily be integrated with other tools and platforms.
Just like all other Google services, Google Analytics presents a clear and ease of use interface.
It works very well on the desktop, but it is also usable on Smartphones and Tablets through the app on the Google Play Store.

Google Analytics also has a powerful integration with Google AdWords.
When you link your AdWords account with Analytics, you are basically aligning two tools and enabling them to work together.
This combination will provide you with actionable insights that leads to greater success of your AdWords Campaigns. Knowing you’re maximizing your ad spend is always a comforting feeling.
You can use Google Analytics with all your devices to easily implement data to other well know Google products like Google AdWords, Google Tag Manager, and Google Search Console.

Finally, to allow you to know if you are reaching and achieving your goals and objectives.

The goals part of Google Analytics allows you to track how much your business is moving forward and progressing in the marketplace.
Another high point is the ability to assign many types of goals. These goals will help you track the customer’s journey based on their actions.
In Google Analytics there can be different types of goals, like making a purchase, filing out forms such as lead gen, subscribing to your newsletters, or even downloading ebooks and pdf documents.
If a new visitor arrives at your landing page and completes a form including the email address then they just completed a goal you are tracking. By using this information your website can easily convert a visitor into a customer. This is no doubt adding to the success of your business.

Conclusion:

Google Analytics can do great things for your business. Even though it’s digital, the same principles apply to Claude Hopkins advice mentioned in the opening paragraphs.
Basically Google Analytics provides you with valuable insights that can be used to improve the performance of your website and increase conversions.
There are other analytics management platforms. Despite this fact Google Analytics remains a free and highly relevant solution for managing your website and thus your business.

Martin Hamilton

One of America's top digital marketers. Writer and archery enthusiast.

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