What Is Google Analytics

What Is Google Analytics | 13 Basics

What is Google analytics: Traffic, seasonality, location, goals, mobile, content & social media, ads, speed, SEO, reports

What is Google Analytics?

You have spent a great deal of time and possibly money on having your site up and running. You have assigned social media responsibilities to someone at an additional cost.

But you are bewildered by the new things happening on the internet every day. E.g. Mobile, responsive sites, mobile apps, Google updates, new social sites and the Cloud. The list grows every month.

And most of all, conversion from your site to actual sales continues to challenge you.

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So the easiest place to start is to look at what is working, where the demand is and what to focus your attention on.

That’s where analytics comes in.

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Google analytics is the most comprehensive tool on the market. Also it’s free. This assumes that your central presence on the Internet is a website. And it is enhanced and supported by your efforts in paid ads, social media, videos, emails and apps. I.e. They help direct traffic to your website.

It is easy to add Google Analytics to your website. They will instruct you in a step by step way to do so.

What is Google Analytics: 13 Basic things to look at

1. Traffic

This is obviously the first item you want to look at. How many unique visitors are coming to your site? Where are they coming from? Are they coming from your target market? If not, what can you do to make that happen?

What percentage is your Bounce Rate? A good number is 30%. Anything lower means that your page is engaging your visitor, and that it is delivering what the visitor is searching for.

Also look for the key phrases that your page is showing up for. With Latent Semantic Indexing [LSI] that the Search Engines are now using, the contents of your site will perhaps answer other search queries as well. See if the other search key phrases offer opportunities for you to add pages.

2. Seasonality

Is there seasonality to your demand? The graph of visitors will tell you. Does it change in certain months? Or on certain days? For example, your demand may be high on weekdays. How does this help you? Perhaps your ad campaign can be concentrated then. Or you could take better care in manning your phones during those days.

Your product could be in much greater demand during certain seasons of the year.

Apart from discovering opportunities, these numbers will also show you when not to panic.

3. Location

The geographical location you are targeting is also visible in Google analytics. Does the traffic you are receiving match your target areas?

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If not, you will need to re-examine your localization optimizing strategies.

Perhaps look at your domain name and your google places page?

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4. Type of device

It is expected that Search from mobile devices e.g. tablets and mobile phones will overtake that through the desktop by 2015. Of course this will vary by industry. Some, like restaurants lend themselves to mobile search. Other information sites will probably lag in the shift.

Where does your business stand? Is you website mobile responsive? If not, then this is an area to move towards immediately.

Google recommends a responsive site that engages a visitor no matter what type of display he or she is using. As opposed to purely mobile sites.

5. Conversion & goals

This is the final objective. Forget about the number of visitors or hits. What you as a business person want is sales. All this time and money you are spending on the web, finally must translate into sales.

So get your web objectives clear. Align your business goals and your web goals. And use Google Analytics to feed them in.

If you are selling via the web, including collecting payment and delivering the product, then your goal will be easy.

However if your web presence goal is an intermediary step like watching a video or registering for a newsletter or calling you, then also Google Analytics helps you to count these goals.

Your measure of conversion can be your targeted sales or a notional number to begin with. It may be difficult for you to come up with the number. But it is best to start with something. You can change the number over time as you become more adept at it.

Generally a 2% conversion figure is considered acceptable. A site like amazon.com has an 11% conversion!

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6. Mobile and apps

Google Analytics measures the source of your traffic by device. A recent report has stated that people spend more time on apps than on anything else. So the question to ask yourself is whether your business lends itself to an app? Or more correctly, what part of your business is such that you could create a mobile app which people will want to download?

7. Content effectiveness and experiments

On page analytics will tell you where the visitor is clicking on your page. Are your links effective? And is your content, it’s formatting and colors engaging your visitor?

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Also you can carry out A/B testing for different colors or formatting via Google Analytics.

This will allow you to serve up the different pages you want to test for.

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8. Social media effectiveness

Are you spending much time on your Facebook page? Is it for joy or to get business? Is your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn engagement getting you traffic? Is this traffic converting?

How do you know? Google Analytics. E.g. if you discover that your site gives a conversion of 2% while Facebook traffic converts at 0.3% and LinkedIn gives you 0.9% obviously you should spend more time on the latter. Since you must be on social media to give you a higher web reputation.

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9. Ad campaigns and paid search

Do you spend a portion of your web budget on paid search? So how do you know if you are getting better conversion for visitors via ads than from your other sources of traffic?

Naturally this will help you allocate your budget better. And also help you in making more effective ads.

10. Site speed

Page loading speed has now become critical to your Search Engine Results rankings. Few people wait patiently for 20 seconds for sites to load anymore.

Admittedly, coding, pictures and videos all impact site speed. And they are required. But Google Analytics will give you tips on how to reduce the site speed by modifying your coding or your pictures.

WordPress plug-ins also impact your page loading times. So take care to check each page against what solutions Google suggests.

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11. Search engine optimization

The most obvious impact SEO has on traffic is by optimizing the contents of a page to meet the visitor’s search query. When you compare URL wise traffic vs. query wise traffic you will uncover key phrase gems. These key phrases can be used to add content which will likely increase your conversion.

12. Create reports

Google Analytics also allows you to make reports of key data that you specifically want to look at often. So you don’t have to go through all of it every time.

Make different ones. Experiment to see what you can act upon.

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13. Challenges of Google analytics

The biggest challenge is to isolate what to act upon. Identify your key performance indicators and see how to collate and interpret this data.

Complexity of data is wonderful! So is the fact that you can drill down into different aspects of it. But so what?

It is of only academic interest to you, unless you can use it to increase sales of your business.

So short list the key pieces of data you want to act upon. Figure out an action plan that you can actually implement.

After implementing, track the data again.

As you become more familiar with the numbers and pleased with the results of your actions you can add more tracking points.

Other social sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & LinkedIn all have their own analytics, but they are related to their own sites and don’t integrate results across the web.

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What Is Google Analytics was last modified: July 24th, 2019 by Manu Raj

Manu Raj

Has a positive attitude towards the job, is friendly and a team player.

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