With the right knowledge, anyone you can start with Google Analytics in no time. The reason why we say just anyone because really you don’t need much technical know-how for it. To tell you, we have often seen the case of huge delay in enabling Google Analytics on websites from its launch date (the date it is live on the World Wide Web). However, starting early with Google Analytics will assist you in making the right changes in the initial years itself and not loose precious time.
Let’s now get started with setting up Google Analytics for your business, the simplest way.
Sign In, Step up Property and Get Tracking Code
You can either use Gmail or any other email ID to sign up on Google Analytics. Select tab, select the account and then your property (website name) and click Tracking Code. Copy paste the Tracking code in the code of your website, mostly header of each page. If you are using a WordPress website, you can use a plug-in for same. You can add up to 100 properties under one email account. Always remember to use your primary email for your Google Analytics to avoid trouble later.
Set Business Objective, Identify Strategies, Evaluate KPI
First and foremost, find out where you want to reach (what are your goals), how you are going to reach there and then finally how you will measure your achievements. Every business is absolutely unique as businesses usually grows in phases and have specific needs.
Write down your business objectives, and then find out how and by which channels you will be reaching those objectives and finally what will be the key performance indicators. If yours is an e-commerce website, then online visits and sales are your major KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Please ensure that your company heads, marketing team, your digital marketing folks are communicating with each other and are on the same page most of the time.
The Work that Comes Before Starting with Google Analytics
We have to cover this every important aspect if we really want to see results from Google Analytics. You can’t see good results without a well-built website, on-page optimization and most important a well put product or service. Kindly make sure that your product is in good shape and it has few great selling pointers. Without proper on-page optimization, Google bots will not be able to crawl your website like you would want and site rankings will not improve. Do a thorough research and also study of competitors’ website for target keywords (query terms) and group keywords for best results.
Google Analytics Reporting and Key Metrics
Google Analytics is quite a technical term and that is why a lot of people easily know about websites but they don’t know that it is possible to track so many things about your visitors and online customers once you have your own domain and hosting.
Website owners come to know about Google Analytics only when they hear about SEO and when the SEO person starts doing the on-page search engine optimization. With Google Analytics you can know about how many people are looking at your website in real time, what pages they are browsing, their location and more in the section called Real-Time.
Now let’s understand what the sub sections under Real-Time mean. The Overview section will tell you about Top referral sources (the link of the referral websites), the social referral websites (the ones that your SMO person is working on daily like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), your top active pages, top keywords searched for the active users.
Location will tell about visitors’ location details that is their country and state. Content will tell about the active pages and events (like download or videos on the site) and you can see the Conversion details of active users. Conversions numbers basically are number of times your set goals (actions you want your visitors to perform) are completed on your website. The Intelligent events are the automatically derived highs and lows of major metrics and usually you would see these after your website traffic reaches a certain mark.
Other Important Custom Reports and Annotations in Google Analytics
You can create custom reports of the most essential metrics in Custom report section to include traffic like page views, referrals sites, bounce rate (the average rate of visitors exit your website only accessing a single page), exit pages (those pages that visitors have accessed last before exiting from your website), location of the visitors and other metrics like Acquisitions for simplified reporting.
These custom reports require some greater knowledge about the various metrics and you can always try few variations of these to see what you most want to see in Google Analytics and filter summary dimensions accordingly. Annotations can be created for milestone events such as the highest traffic from a certain time frame and you can also create Shortcuts for certain metrics.
Site Speed and Additional Metrics about Visitors
As per standard, your website landing page (s) speed should be within 2-3 seconds, otherwise you are surely driving your hard earned visitors away. This is because online visitors have low attention span which has reduced to only 8 seconds in recent years. Also this brings negative first impression about your business and unless someone is too keen to know about your website or brand, they will not stick around your website URL or page for more than few seconds to wait for it to load. The Site Speed Under Behavior section gives an Overview of the website speed, Page Timings, Speed Suggestions (very useful of course) and User timings of how the pages are loading for different users using different devices.
Google will also rank such websites low than other website offering similar products and services. The additional metrics you can find about your visitors are how many of them are using mobile and desktop to access your company information, the browser they use, mobile brands, screen resolution of their devices and operating system.
Conversion and Admin Section of Google Analytics
The Conversion tab is the most essential one once you start to do paid promotions like Google AdWords, remarketing, YouTube advertising, banner ads and SMM (social media marketing) such as paid advertising on Facebook. YouTube and other.
Campaign tracking is done to fine tune your online marketing efforts and campaigns to see details about your visitors who are coming to the website due to the paid efforts. For AdWords, you need to link your AdWords account with Google Analytics.
The Admin section is where you can set up new Users (who can access your Google Analytics reports) to give various level of permissions to them like to edit, read and analyze only or give complete access to them.
Learning basics of Google Analytics comes with a small learning curve however in-depth knowledge is more professional and detailed. Just like we promised in the beginning of this post, with this article now you can begin with Google Analytics and start to better understand what these metrics really mean.
Google Analytics remains as one of the best free Google product to see how customers and visitors are responding to your website and by following their path, you can discover ways to improve their experience. There are a number of things you can know about the acquisitions channels with Google Analytics. When visitors login with their social accounts you can access up to 200 demographic details about your visitors and all this information would assist you in refining your products to increase sales.
With Google Analytics, easily keep a watch on your old and new customers, find out your viral content (so you can create more viral content) and find your most successful marketing channels to optimize your ROI. It is of utmost importance to use Google Analytics to understand the complete user experience of your visitors to create services and products with lasting impact and make loyal customers.