Best Beginner’s # 1 Guide to Understanding Google Analytics – If you have a website and want your website to be successful, then there are important tools you should use for comprehensive visitor data analysis such as Google Analytics. By analyzing your website traffic, it will help you understand how website visitors interact with your content and let you see how your site has performed over time.
Google Analytics records a lot of data and collects various kinds of visitor data, then this data will be displayed on your Analytics account so you can analyze all important data for the progress of your website. The Google Analytics interface is full of useful data and valuable insights. However, at first glance, the abundance of tables and charts can make it difficult for novice users to understand Google Analytics.
If you haven’t installed or integrated your website with Google Analytics at this time, read my article about How to Register and Install Google Analytics [Terbaru].
Here the Google Analytics Interface is explained
Google Analytics is a free and popular web analysis tool provided by Google. In fact, more than 65% of all websites in the world use analytics technology using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics works by recording website data and then presenting it in in-depth tables, charts and graphs. Here you can see the Google Analytics homepage interface.
The “Reports” menu on the left side of the Google Analyitics page allows you to access deeper reporting for certain areas:
- (A) Real-time – See how your audience interacts with your website in real-time. Find out where they come from, what content they see, and more.
- (B) Audience – Learn about your audience. Look at the demographics of your visitors, how they engage with your content, and what devices they use to access your site.
- (C) Acquisition – Find out where your traffic is coming from, how people reach your site, and how each traffic source behaves on your website.
- (D) Behavior – Learn how people behave and move on your site. View data on bounce rate, page views, time spent on site, and more.
- (E) Conversions – Lets you track specific actions your visitors take – and how effectively your website gets people to take those actions.
Other important aspects of the Google Analytics interface include …
- (F) Search – Use this function to quickly find reports and help documentation.
- (G) Customizations – Set up your own report dashboard, custom reports, and more.
- (H) Discover – Read on Google Analytics and its suite of tools.
- (I) Admin – Access your Google Analytics account, change your settings, and more.
Google Analytics Homepage report: Quick view on your website
On your Google Analytics homepage you will see a basic view showing some of the deeper data which you can find in different areas of the “Reports” menu.
- In the image above, the graph (J) shows how many users have visited your site in the last 7 days:
- Users – Displays the number of unique visitors.
- Sessions – Shows how many visits to your site – one user can visit multiple times so that this number will always be equal to or higher than Users.
- Bounce Rate – Shows how many visitors have left your site without visiting a second page or another.
- Session Duration – Shows how long, on average, visitors stay on your site.
- In image (K), you will find a display showing your real time visitors as well as some snippets of the URL of your website visited.
Further down the homepage, you will find more useful snapshots.
The Traffic Report gives you an immediate idea of where your website traffic is coming from. This you can then use to help inform your marketing strategy:
The three Visitors reports can help inform your content strategy. Knowing where the majority of your audience lives will help you localize and personalize your blog articles. And data on when your audience visits your site will help you plan when to post new content.
Behavior Report is a Behavior Report that will show you your top pages and give you a quick idea of what content is doing and which pages are not.
What pages did your users visit?
Now, let’s take a look at some of the deeper reports. The following are some of the questions the report can answer:
Where is your website traffic coming from?
Understanding where your website traffic is coming from will help you grow your visitors or audience in the future. Ideally, you want traffic to arrive to your site from multiple sources, not a single flow of traffic.
Acquisition → Overview from the left menu of the Google Analytics interface. These reports will provide you with a good insight into whether your marketing strategy is working.
For example, if you have focused on social media, you should look for a good amount of traffic from visits that come from Social Media.
If the ‘organic’ traffic is low, you need to spend some time on it improve SEO website and researching keywords for your content. Or if ‘Redirect’ traffic goes up, then you’ll know your boost on guest posting has paid off.
For more information on where your visitors are coming from and how this traffic from each source engages with your site, select Acquisition → All Traffic → Channel.
Which pages attract your visitors?
To find out how individual pages on your site appear or how many they are visited, go to the menu Behavior → Site Content → All Page.
Here you can:
- Analyze which pages received the highest number of views
- Look at the average time spent on each page
- Learn which pages your visitors join you and leave your page.
You can then use this data to inform your content management strategy and publish more of the same content that is of interest to your audience.
If your bounce rate is high then you need to look at pages that cause people to immediately leave your site. It could be that the keywords the page is ranking for are irrelevant to the content that is actually displayed. Or it may also not be clear to readers where to go next on your site after they have finished an article.
Other reasons for high bounce rate can be technical, such as slow loading times, or poor user experience on mobile devices. After you’ve changed the content, layout, or functionality of your pages, monitor your bounce rate over time to see if it’s getting reduced.
It is equally important to track exit page data or visitors leaving the page quickly. Some of the pages you expect have high exit rates. For example when a transaction is complete – a ‘thank you’ or ‘transaction complete’ page.
However, other pages may have high exit rates that you haven’t seen before. Compare this page to other similar types of pages that have low exit rates. This will help you understand what aspects of this ‘high exit’ page need to change.
Who is your audience?
Gaining insight into your audience, where they come from, and how they interact with your website, will help you plan appropriately for their needs. To see what Google Analytics has for you, start by going to Audience → Overview from the main menu.
New vs Returning Visitor
It’s important to understand the mix of new and returning visitors your website receives. Returning visitors are your loyal customers. They provide you with an audience with whom you can promote your content, services and products. However, to grow your business, you also need to stay engaged with new people, and drive this new traffic to your site.
If your new visitor count is low, then you should improve the SEO of your website, to help you rank well on Google. Get busy on social media by sharing your content and reaching a wider audience. And consider advertising to make your business name more widely known.
A low number of returning visitors means your audience doesn’t like your website, so there’s no reason for them to come back. This may be due to bad design, low quality content, bad user experience, or something else. Find problems and fix them, otherwise this can harm your business.
What are the tools for your most visitors to your site?
Understanding the technology used by your audience to access your content is also important. Further statistics on the devices used can be found below Audience → Mobile → Overview.
If mobile usage has decreased compared to other devices, you may need to upgrade the functionality of the mobile version of your site.
As you can see, Google Analytics can be a very effective way of tracking the performance of your website at large. Google Analytics not only shows the number of visitors but provides very important and complete data that you can use to improve your website for the better and of course for the progress of your business. Being familiar with the Google Analytics interface, you can understand what the data is saying to you and then use this data to make decisions about how to improve your website.