Do you ever wish you could see what your website users do when they are on your site? That way you can make changes to your website to better serve them?
While I don’t have a magic ball to give you that allows you to see your website’s users, I do have a tool that can give you some insight on what they are doing — Google Analytics.
Whether you know about it or just learned of its existence, chances are you have some questions about why Google Analytics is important and how to make sure it’s set up properly. Google Analytics can be confusing even for an experienced user. In this article, I’m answering some of the most commonly asked questions about using and setting up Google Analytics so you know you’re doing it right for your small business.
What Does Google Analytics Do?
Google Analytics tracks your website visitors. By inserting a tracking code into the site, the tool can collect important information from its users.
The tracking is done in real time and then recorded. You can analyze information from a day, week, month, or year depending on your needs.
Marketers love this information for many reasons.
How Does Google Analytics Help Marketers?
How Google Analytics helps marketers depends on the information they use from it. The tool tells marketers how much traffic is going to a website, the demographics of that traffic, and the sources the traffic came from. It can even provide information about what pages the website visitors go to while they are on the site.
This information can be used in a variety of ways:
- When you know how many people are coming to your site, you know whether or not your efforts in driving traffic are working. If traffic is low, then you can determine why. If traffic is high, then you can determine where it is coming from, so you can optimize each of your marketing channels.
- When you know if people are using their desktop or mobile device, you can tailor your content depending on what they are using. What device is being used to access your site can also tell you if you’re targeting the right audience. For example, if you have iOS app to promote, you probably don’t want people who use Android devices.
- Understanding where people go when they visit your site can help you optimize the conversions of the site. For instance, if someone visits your site’s homepage and goes to a product page, you know that the person is interested. If that person then bounces from that page, you may need to make some improvements to increase your conversions.
As you look at each piece of data in Google Analytics, you can use it to adjust the way you are marketing your products and services.
How Do You Set It Up?
First, sign up with Google Analytics with your Gmail account. During the setup, enter your website’s URL. You will then need to go to Admin>Tracking Code>Tracking Info to view your tracking code. Copy this code and then add it to every single page of your website or ask your developer to do it.
You can test your site by using GA Checker.
After installing the tracking ID, it will start tracking data from that point. There is no way to get information from before that time.
What Does the Dashboard Tell You?
When you log into Google Analytics, you will see a dashboard with your website traffic metrics. The first block will give you user data for the last seven days. On the bottom left-hand corner, you can change the time to today, last 14 days, last 28 days, or other preset ranges.
The middle column shows you real-time information. In this example, there were two active users, and they were viewing the three pages listed.
The next section includes where your website visitors come from (ex. organic search, direct, email, referral, or other). You can also see what country most of them visit your site from, and the most popular times.
The next part tells you about your most popular pages. You can use this section to analyze why people like those pages best and then improve lesser performing pages. The middle block gives you more information on the active users on your site. The last block tells you what device they were using to access the site.
Improve Website Success With Google Analytics
As you can see, Google Analytics provides valuable information you can use to learn more about the people who visit your site. As you become familiar with the tool, you can go more in-depth with the data to manipulate specific parts of your site to see how it changes the data. For example, you can optimize pages in different ways to see if Google ranks them higher. Setup and install Google Analytics today to see what it shows you.
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