What is Google Analytics?

Have you ever wondered how online users find your website, what keywords they might be searching for that lead them to you and how long they hang around on each of your pages? Google Analytics is a cloud-based website statistics service that provides you with the answers to these and many more questions. It is free for anyone with a Google account and comes equipped with a range of tools and features that will help you boost your SEO rankings.

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How does it work?

Google Analytics not only tracks the number of visitors to your website, it also provides valuable insights into who they are, what browser they are using and much more, ultimately helping you understand your audience better and turning visitors into customers. The platform allows you to track where your visitors are coming from and how they engage with your website. In addition, Google Analytics monitors activity on social media and mobile apps. You will also gain an insight into their demographics and what technology they are using.

Tracking is done via a unique code that is installed on every page of your website. The code is usually Javascript or a similar coding language and also sets a cookie on each device, enabling the transfer of anonymous user information.

What are the main features?

The data provided by Google Analytics is broken down into 3 categories.

Acquisition

This tells you all about the origin of your audience, where your visitors have arrived from. You will get a breakdown for each channel including organic searches, direct hits, referrals or social media traffic. In addition to Google, Google Analytics monitors more than 20 major search engines from around the globe.

Google Analytics can also be integrated with your Google Ads so you can track your incoming advertising campaigns more effectively. Find out how certain keywords are performing or which search queries bring the most traffic to your website and tailor your ad campaigns accordingly.

Behaviour

It is not just important to know how many people are landing on your website and why. How they are spending their time while engaging with your website is just as important. Monitoring your visitors’ behaviour will help you understand how well your content is performing and whether your audience is following the calls of action you are putting out.

The most important metrics to consider are
Pageviews – the total number of pages viewed in one session
Unique pageviews – the number of individual people who have viewed a specific page at least once during their visit
Average time on page – the average amount of time users spend viewing a page
Bounce rate – the percentage of people leaving your website after visiting only 1 page
Percent exit – the percentage of users who leave a page or a set of pages

Conversions

The ultimate goal of any online marketing campaign is to convert visitors into customers. Google Analytics helps you understand how people are converted while browsing your website. Decide what goals you want to track, from someone making a purchase to setting specific order values. A conversion could be a number of actions that a visitor may take, such as; a visit to a specific web page, clicking a button, submitting a form, making an online purchase or downloading a file.

This is another opportunity to connect actions on your website to your Google Ads campaigns. Shopping campaigns in particular, benefit from conversion tracking to enable you to target people most likely to make a purchase.

Why is Google Analytics relevant?

Knowing and understanding your audience will help you create content that is valuable and targeted to the people that matter. It will allow you to measure the success of ongoing marketing campaigns and tailor them to meet the needs of your audience in regards to where you should be advertising and what.

You can also add most of your social media channels to your Google Analytics account and have them tracked as well. This is particularly valuable if you run campaigns on YouTube and similar channels and would like to monitor the effectiveness of those campaigns.

How to set up Google Analytics

In order to benefit from the data that Google Analytics provides, you need a free Google account with which you can then create an account with Google Analytics. You will be asked to provide a range of information including the name and URL of your website as well as the industry your business is operating in.

As the last step, you will be provided with a tracking ID that is unique to your website and will allow Google Analytics to track your visitors’ movements. You will also be given a tracking code that needs to be added to your website template and included on every page you wish to track.

If you need help setting up your Google Analytics account or are wondering what to do with the data it provides, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today. We specialize in creating and maintaining SEO strategies tailored to your business that bring the results you are looking for.

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