Introduction to Google Analytics

I realized that my last post on big data might have been a bit too advanced for most readers of this blog. So I’m going to start off by talking about a technology that almost everyone who owns a website can use so that they can get started on learning how to gather and analyse data.

Google Analytics is a free analytics tool that is provided by Google. It was a game changer when it was introduced because all other analytics software was paid and this was the first true free version.

Why Website Owners Need Google Analytics

You use Google Analytics to help you answer some of the most basic questions that every website owner needs to answer. These include knowing how many visitors come to your site, which pages they come in from, the location of your visitors, do they visit via desktop, tablet or mobile, which pages on your website are the most popular and so on. At the more advanced level, you may want to start tracking things such as the number of visitors who go to your website who convert to a customer, what path or conversion funnel they took to convert, cohort analysis and so on.

Without Google Analytics, it would be almost impossible for you to know all this information.

Types of Google Analytics Reports

types of google analytics reports

There are various types of reports available on Google Analytics to help you in your analysis. These are pre-made, which means that you do not have to spend time setting them up.

Some of the most popular reports are included below:

Audience Reports

The Audience Report focuses on the behaviour and characteristics of your website visitors. You can find out things such as their age and gender, their general interests, where they live, what they do while they are on their site and the kinds of technology that they use.

Acquisition Reports

These will help you understand how your website visitors find their way to your website. You can break them down according to the main channels of traffic that include organic search, social, referral or direct traffic.

There are other reports here that allow you to go into a deeper dive for each channel. If you do decide to connect your Google Analytics to your Google Search Console, you will be able to learn even more about how well your site is doing in the organic search channel as it provides you with additional useful information.

Behaviour Reports

For me, I like diving deep into the behaviour reports as they help me better understand how my website visitors are consuming my content. Content takes a long time to create, so it’s important that my uses find them valuable if not I am just wasting my time.

The behaviour reports will let you see the top pages of your site, the top entry pages (where they come from) as well as the top exit pages (where people exit your site from).

You should also set up site search tracking as this will help you track the types of keywords that your visitors use to search around your website.

Site speed is also another important criteria in succeeding in online marketing these days. It is estimated that for every 1 second delay in site speed, Amazon could lose billions of dollars. Check your site speed and see what you can do to improve it.

What are your favourite reports in Google Analytics? Share with us in the comments section below and let’s have a lively discussion going on!