Google Analytics is a free and fantastic analytics tool provided by Google to track and report web traffic. The amount of information provided by Google Analytics can be overwhelming…but don’t worry, we’re here to walk you through the 8 basic things that will help you to understand Google Analytics reports and make calculated decisions for your business.
The amount of information provided by Google Analytics can be overwhelming… but don’t worry, were here to walk you through the 8 basic things that will help you to understand Google Analytics reports and make calculated decisions for your business.
Let’s dive in…
1. Metrics & Dimensions
In Google Analytics there are two types of data, Metrics and Dimensions.
Dimensions describe the characteristics of your web visitors, their sessions and actions.
Example of Dimensions: Geographic location, Traffic Source and Page Title.
Metrics are the quantitative measurements of your web visitors, their sessions and actions. Metrics are numerical data…..they are numbers.
Example of Metrics: Total number of visitors or users, average number of pages viewed in one session and conversion rates.
Most Google Analytics reports use metrics and dimensions. The Report is represented in a tabular form.
The Dimension is always in the first Column (description), and the rest of the columns will display the metrics (numerical data). In the table below Dimension is represented in green and Metric in blue.
In the table below Dimension is represented in green and Metric in blue.
2. Common Terminologies Used in Google Analytics
Google Analytics use some specifics terms in its reports which can be pretty challenging if you don’t know how these relate to your sites performance.
Users or Visitors metric measures the number of unique web users who visit your website during a certain period of time. It’s often used to measure the overall size of your audience. You can further segment the users metrics into New Visitors and Returning Visitors.
Sessions or Visits metric defines the number of consecutive activity by the same visitor or user.
Page Views metric that is counted every time a page is viewed on your website.
Bounce Rates metric measures the percentage of a visitor interaction with your site. For example, bounce rate is calculated by the number of users who land on a page and leave immediately without viewing any other content on that page or further into your site.
If your bounce rate is high, it could mean that you are not setting the right expectation on your landing page for your visitors. It could also imply you are not providing a good enough experience for them to stay long on your page.
The Bounce Rates metric can be useful if you are measuring the effectiveness of your landing page.
3. Setting Date Range
Google Analytics allows you to set specific date range for your reports. To set your date range, simply click on date range found at the top right hand of your screen. You can then use the calendar to set specific date range for your reports.
You can also add a comparison date range to compare how your site has been doing year-over-year, month-over-month, etc. This can help you to understand how your site’s performance changes over time.
4. Location Report
Location Report, which is situated under the Audience Reports in Google Analytics, allows you to view visits to sites your web by continent, sub-continent, country, city, region and metro region. The location heat map below can be adjusted to display visits to your sites from any geographical areas. By looking at the traffic at a specific geographical locations, you can quickly identify emerging markets for your business.
Imagine how many potential markets you can identify using this report… How freaking super is this?!
5. New v/s Returning Report
The New vs Returning Report shows you the ratio of your first time visitors and repeat visitors. You can compare the report using different time periods to see how your visitors’ loyalty may be changing over time.
Knowing this behaviour, you could determine what might appeal most in terms of your onsite activity for your customers. Additionally, you might like to consider creating a customer loyalty program to increase your returning customer traffic.
6. Mobile Overview Reports
The Mobile Overview report lies under the Technology Reports. This report helps you see how many visitors are viewing your sites using Desktop, Mobiles and Tablets. You can quickly compare the breakdowns between different date ranges to see how mobile usage has evolved over time.
7. Behaviour Overview Report
In the Behaviour Report, the “Pageviews” metric indicates the visiting rates per page of your sites. In the report, your page URI or Uniform Resource Identifier, it is essentially a techie acronym for the page name. (“/services” for Service Page and “/” for Home Page) will be shown by default. To simplify the report, you could change the Dimension to “Page Title”.
In the Behaviour Overview Report, the “Bounce Rate” and “Average Visit Duration”, give you an indication of the performance of your pages.
8. Behaviour Flow Report
The Behaviour Flow Report provides you with a visual representation of the paths that visitors travel from throughout your website. This helps you discover what contents keeps web users engage with your site. On opening the Behaviour flow report you will see green and blue boxes indicating traffic flow through your site.
The connection between the boxes represent the path and volume of traffic which flows from one page to another. The red drop-off shows where the visitors left the page completely. You can use this report to identify if a particular page is creating some trouble with your visitor user experience.
We have covered only a few Google Analytics reports in this blog.
To gain access to this sort of data and more, setup a free Google Analytics account and ensure and the code they give you is placed correctly on your site.
For Web123 clients, simply email us the code Google give you and we’ll set it up free of charge.
If you’d like help , please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you so you can start really measuring your online success!