How to Effectively Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Do you ever wonder how to improve your website’s popularity? Want to know how many people visit it or which pages are more popular? There is a simple solution for your needs: Google Analytics! Websites are increasingly leveraging the many tools offered by Google Analytics to provide them with valuable information. Let’s take a look at how to effectively use Google Analytics on your website. 

Getting Started

The first thing is to set up Google Analytics to work with your website. This is not necessarily the most straightforward process as it can vary depending on what you use to design your website. However, everyone will start by signing in to Google Analytics with their existing Google account.

Next, you simply click the “Admin” button on the dashboard and begin the process of creating an account. You’ll note several things like your website and its URL, your industry, and your time zone. The process will end with providing you a Tracking ID. 

This Tracking ID is very important for effectively utilizing Google Analytics on your website. It is a script that will need to be placed into the code of every webpage you want to track. The basic way of doing this is to simply copy and paste it into each page’s HTML. However, many popular web design services such as WordPress have plug-ins that can be installed to do this for you. 

Now that you’ve installed the tracking script, you’re ready to use Google Analytics! 

Major Reports

Google Analytics comes with 78 pre-formatted reports across five different categories. The five categories are:

  • Real-Time reports (what is currently happening on your site)
  • Audience reports (who uses your website)
  • Traffic source reports (how people get to your site)
  • Content reports (how do people engage with your site)
  • Conversion reports (related to website outcomes)

In addition to these existing reports, there is also an option to create custom reports just for your website. However, the existing reports should be able to provide most of what organizations need to know. Since you’re wanting to get started with effectively using Google Analytics, let’s focus on standards reports that are most important. 

1. Content Efficiency Report

This report may look a bit cluttered at first; however, it provides important information about how your website is succeeding in engaging users. It will let you know the type of content your users best engage with. It will also show you where people most frequently enter your website and where they most frequently leave. 

2. Mobile Performance Report

The internet has quickly shifted from the domain of personal computers to that of mobile users. Google now weighs a website’s mobile compatibility more heavily than ever. Effectively using Google Analytics means understanding whether your viewers are from mobile devices, tablets, or desktops. This report allows you to track new users and sessions by these groupings. 

3. Traffic Acquisition Report

How people get to your website is an important outcome. If you are engaging in advertising strategies, this is particularly important. Further, if you have recently optimized your SEO, this report will help you determine its effectiveness. This report shows what percent of views came from referrals, direct visits, searches, and social media. It can help you leverage were to better target your strategy for growth. 

4. Demographics Report

In virtually any area, improving your growth and performance means understanding your audience. This is one of the best ways you can use Google Analytics. The Demographics Report enables you to learn more about the types of people that are visiting your website. It will also help you to better understand what groups your business is popular with, which can be used to better target your advertising overall. 

5. Landing Pages Report

One of the best ways to effectively use Google Analytics is to make use of the Landing Pages Report. This one shows many things; however, one of the most important aspects is bounce rate. Identifying the areas of your website with high bounce rates shows you aspects that users do not find valuable. These are core areas to work on enhancing by adding more engaging and useful content. Fixing these pages is key for improving your site. 

6. Conversion Goals Overview Report

This report requires a bit of work to set up. Specifically, you will want to note goal conversions. For example, maybe you want to know how many people who visit your homepage sign up for your mailing list. Maybe you want to know how many readers of a particular blog opt for a free quote. These are conversions, and this is the report that will show you how these metrics are performing. Low conversions suggest the need to improve content and engagement on a particular page or perhaps refine overall strategies. 

7. Interests – Affinity Categories Report

This is not one of the most popular reports but is very important for effectively using Google Analytics. This one once again relates to your audience. Rather than dealing with demographic groups, this report helps you better understand the interests of your visitors. Find out if your visitors are very interested in many topics such as travel, wellness, technology, fitness, and other interests. This can be effective for determining things like blog content or how to market to niche sources. If your site is popular among fitness, you might decide to launch a marketing campaign that explicitly targets these groups. 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can greatly help you optimize your website for better success. Any company should strive to learn how to effectively use Google Analytics. Signing up is relatively easy and provides plenty of tools. While this blog has discussed a handful of reports, there are much more available. Take some time to play around the dashboards and see the different types of information provided by each report. This will help you get a sense of the ones you want to periodically check to improve your website’s performance.

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