Google Analytics – a brief introduction

Would you like to know what your visitors are doing on your website?
Which online campaigns are bringing you the most traffic and the most conversions? Or what keywords people are using to find you, then what they are looking for once they are on your site? Do you want to find out your most popular content (and worst performing) pages?
Then you need to be using some form of analytics, and the most popular and easiest to implement is Google Analytics.

google analytics
Google Analytics can provide a vast array of information about your visitors

Powerful and free

Google Analytics can provide a wealth of information on your website. Although free, it is a powerful tool, and can be overwhelming with the number of statistics it provides, especially if not used in conjunction with a solid digital marketing strategy.
Your digital marketing strategy should identify what you want your website to achieve. Common objectives include selling products or services; to generate leads; to encourage engagement and frequent visits; to provide information; to build brand awareness. It should then identify the approach and tactics that will be used to achieve your objectives.
The strategy should then identify which metrics will be used as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Google Analytics provides so many metrics, and in so much depth, that it would be detrimental and time consuming to try and use too many.
[tweet “‘Which metrics you choose will very much depend on the objectives you have set’ #analytics”]
Which metrics you choose will very much depend on the objectives you have set. Some of the most common and readily accessible metrics include:

Visitor Overview

  • Visits – Number of visits to your site of a specified period of time
  • Page Views – Number of pages the visitors have viewed
  • Bounce Rate – the percentage of people who only viewed one page on your site before leaving
  • Average Time on Site – The average amount of time visitors spend on your site before leaving
  • % of New Visitors – the percentage of new visitors to the site compared to all visitors. Depending on you objectives, you may be aiming for a high figure (if your objective is to drive brand awareness), or a low one (if you are aiming to attract repeat customers)

Traffic Sources Overview

  • Search – This is traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. This report also lets you see the breakout between organic and paid search traffic, including AdWords, keywords and campaigns.
  • Referral – This source lets you see which domains and pages are referring traffic to your site. For example, if you are a vet surgery and a local dog shelter recommends you and links to you on their website, it’s likely one of your referral sources will be the dog shelter.
  • Direct – These visitors are those directly typing in your URL or coming to you from a bookmarked page. For example, when you come to Canary Dwarf by typing “canarydwarf.co.uk” in your browser, you have become a “direct” source in our Google Analytics account.

These are just some of the basic metrics available to you in Google Analytics. It can appear overwhelming at first glance, but overcoming this is easy when you know what you are looking for – that is why it is so important to use Google Analytics as a tool to measure your websites performance as part of your overall online digital strategy.
Need more than a brief introduction? Why not book an hour with us to help you go though your analytics and see what you can learn from them, or if you don’t have them already installed, we can set that up for you easily and quickly. Even if you don’t look at your analytics, you’ll appreciate the valuable data being collected about your visitors.
We’re happy to help.