What Exactly Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is the world’s most popular website analytics software. It enables website owners to examine information on how people locate, engage with, and navigate across their website’s pages. People frequently utilize Google Analytics reports such as traffic sources, popular landing pages, bounce rate, conversion rate, and page views.
Google Analytics “Home”
When you log in to your Analytics account, you’ll first see the “Home” page. It provides a fast snapshot of your site’s current performance, including users, sessions, bounce rate, session duration, traffic sources, and more.
Here are some of the most significant phrases to grasp in Google Analytics, which may be seen on the Home screen and elsewhere.
- Users: the number of visitors who have visited your website. (This was formerly called “Unique Visitors”).
- Sessions: the number of persons that have viewed your site (formerly known as “Visits”)
- Bounce Rate: Without getting too technical, this is the percentage of users that visit your site and then depart without looking at any other pages or doing anything else. In general, lower bounce rates are preferable.
- Session Duration: how long do users remain on your website? Longer session lengths are often preferable.
- Traffic channel: This is a high-level summary of your traffic sources. It is broken into sections such as “Organic Search,” “Direct,” “Social,” and “Referral.”
- Real-time: This activity is currently taking place on your website. It is more of a fun feature than anything very helpful or practical.
The “Audience” Section
The Audience Report in Google Analytics is the most excellent location to learn more about your visitors and what they have in common. This data might assist you in tailoring your material to appeal to your target audience. You may also utilize this data to improve your targeting if you use paid advertising. This report contains much information (mainly if your site receives many visitors). However, here are the parts of the audience report that I recommend working on.
Sessions and Users
It summarizes how many visitors visited your site (and how many times they visited) over a specific period. (The last 30 days are the default.) This report is relatively simple. So the only thing I’ll say here is that “Segments” is an excellent technique to determine further where your traffic originates.
Assume you wanted to see how much of your traffic originated from organic search. Also, how has your organic traffic evolved in the previous year? So, press the “Add Segment” button at the top of the report. And then, select “Organic Traffic” from the drop-down menu.
You now have the means to see the traffic that comes to your website. “Organic Traffic” is a fantastic report on hand if you conduct a lot of SEO. Many content marketers have this report bookmarked so they can see how their SEO is performing over time.
This report will show you where your visitors live as well as the languages they speak.
How many users are first-time visitors to your website vs. repeat visitors? This report details that breakdown. This report is helpful for content marketing since you want a good balance of new and recurring visitors.
If 90% of visitors who visit your site return, it suggests that your content keeps them returning. On the surface, that is a good thing. However, you need a steady stream of new visitors from search, social, and referral traffic for your business to develop.
If, on the other hand, 90% of your visitors are new, you have a lot of “drive-by” traffic. In other words, visitors who arrive at your site click the back button and never return.
One of my favorite Google Analytics reports is the “Users Flow” section report. This report provides a visual breakdown of where visitors are coming from, which page they land on when they arrive at your site, and where they proceed.
At each stage, you can observe how many users drop out and quit the site and how many individuals continue on their trips. Interlinking your content and promoting new pieces after each can help keep visitors on your site longer.
This report is also a treasure of data to convert readers into email subscribers or clients. It is because you can see exactly where potential clients drop off. In certain circumstances, the culprit is the landing page. Sometimes it’s a payment page. A visual breakdown like this makes it easier to tell what’s happening.
It is where you can learn about the devices people use to read your content. You’ve probably heard that mobile devices now account for most traffic. That is correct. Search Engine Land says mobile devices account for 57% of all traffic. However, tracking how many people visit your site on various devices is critical.
For example, we are an SEO training firm. That is, we are business-to-business. Because most people look for the information I create at work, our audience reads our content mostly on desktop computers.
If I only read about “digital marketing trends,” I’d believe that most of our traffic came from smartphones and tablets. However, owing to this analysis, I now know that most of our visitors to Eurawest Technologies utilize desktop computers.
We optimize our content “desktop-first” because 75% of our consumers are on desktops. We publish a lot of custom-designed pieces that don’t look as good on mobile. We frequently utilize huge, high-resolution photos that look fantastic on desktop and laptop displays but load slowly on smartphones. Click “Devices” to go deeper. And you’ll be able to observe which devices customers use when visiting your website.
What is the benefit of this? As you can see, Apple iPhones account for most of our mobile traffic. So we need to be 100% sure that our site loads correctly on iPhones and browsers that people use on iPhones (like Safari and Chrome). That’s not to imply your website shouldn’t be mobile-friendly in general. However, the device report indicates which devices should be prioritized.
The “Acquisition” Section
The Acquisition area reports include information on your visitors’ origins. This area is crucial for content marketers since it shows you where your content marketing is most effective (and least effective).
“All Traffic” is the most significant category of reports in this section and one of Google Analytics’ most essential reports overall. The “Channel” report displays the locations that provide you with traffic. It helps determine which broad avenues (such as SEO or guest posting) deliver visitors to your site.
In our situation, Organic Search accounts for 63.38% of our traffic. Given how much emphasis we place on SEO, this makes sense. Conversely, Social accounts for less than 5% of our traffic. It reflects the reality that we don’t post much on social media. However, if we were active on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, a small quantity of social traffic like this would indicate that our social media strategy needs to be fixed.
The “Source / Medium” report will show you the specific source of your traffic. The Channels report we discussed helps examine different website categories that bring traffic to your website. The “Source / Medium” report displays the websites that provide you with traffic.
For example, you can see that Google.com brings us significant traffic each month. Other search engines (such as Bing) exist, but they are fine for us.
This analysis delves into the websites that send traffic your way. In practice, this is traffic that does not originate from a search engine or someone accessing your website directly through a browser or app.
Most websites only get a tiny percentage of their traffic through referrals (we get approximately 10-15%). However, in many circumstances, this report provides insight into how people discuss your business online. When they do, they will connect to you.
For example, if you see an increase in traffic from a single source, investigate the page directing that traffic. Typically, a vital blog will highlight and link to a piece of material from your site.
“Search Console” is another crucial component of the Acquisition portion. It is based on Google Search Console organic search statistics. However, this data is brought into Google Analytics to make it easy to examine with everything else. Everyone in the content marketing industry should install Google Search Console and link it to their Google Analytics account. “Social,” “Campaigns,” and “Google Ads” report categories provide more specific breakdowns of the same data as the “All Traffic” reports.
If social media is essential to your content marketing strategy, you’ll enjoy this research.
It is because you can observe which networks bring you the most traffic. And how visitors from those networks engage with your site once they arrive. For example, compared to LinkedIn, traffic from YouTube tends to remain longer and see more pages. In addition, the Landing sites report shows you which sites receive the most significant social media traffic.
What is the significance of this? Assume you want to increase your traffic via social media. You might utilize a program to discover popular material in your niche that is widely shared. Increase the amount of material on your site that people are currently sharing. Industry studies, for example, account for a sizable portion of our social media traffic. If increasing social media traffic was one of my aims, I’d write more research-backed material.
The “Behavior” Section
Reports in the Behavior area will show you what visitors do when they arrive at your site.
This report displays the most popular content on your website and performance information for each page. In other words, this report answers the query, “What pages on my website do people visit the most?” You can also observe which pages users visit (“Landing Pages”) and leave (“Exit Pages”).
If you have a blog, your top pages will likely contain your most recent postings. I use the “Organic Traffic” category in my report. It allows you to observe which sites users from Google and other search engines visit the most.
Pro Tip: Compare the bounce rate of different pages. If some pages on your site have substantially higher than typical bounce rates, be sure those pages are delivering your visitors what they want.
Anyone who develops complicated or “large” material should pay attention to the “Site Speed” report group. These statistics can immediately show you how fast your website’s pages load. You may also sort pages by loading speed or pageviews to detect any serious flaws.
There’s also a “Speed Suggestions” report to enhance your performance. But I appreciate this report best because it shows you how your PageSpeed has changed over time. It is more valuable than a snapshot of your site’s average loading speed.
Finally, the “Events” reports area might be pretty beneficial if you employ event monitoring on your site. Events are a method of tracking particular activities that users may do, such as clicking on a social share button, which helps you understand your content’s direct effects on the broader business. Events may be configured to trigger through Google Tag Manager or directly via Google Analytics.
The “Conversions” Section
If you’ve set up objectives or revenue monitoring, you may measure conversions on your site here. Even if you don’t sell anything on your site, it’s a good idea to include some goal monitoring so you can understand the worth of your various pieces of content and traffic sources. After all, even 1 million visits aren’t worth much if they don’t subscribe, share, link to your site, or buy.
Eurawest Technologies, for example, does not sell anything directly. However, our blog is designed to attract more email subscribers. It is why we’ve made email conversions a GA objective. I’ve already covered event monitoring, which is comparable to goal setting. You may establish a goal that an event will trigger.
Goals can also be triggered by website destinations, the time spent on a page, or the number of pages someone views in a given session. They don’t have to be a formal “conversion” per se.
Goals that you might wish to track include:
- Email subscriptions
- shares and followers on social media
- Viewing critical pages (such as sales or thank-you pages)
All of these help you better analyze the impact of your content marketing on the business.
Reversing the Goal Path
This helpful report tells you exactly how your visitors converted. It’s unusual for someone to land on a page and correct it immediately. And if you look at the conversion rate on a single page, you’ll miss the entire picture. This analysis can provide you with a better understanding of how your website traffic converts into subscribers or clients.
Google Analytics includes a report designed specifically for eCommerce websites. This report requires a unique Ecommerce tracking snippet to function.
As the name implies, it is a visual representation of your site’s most typical conversion pathways. It is beneficial for determining which pages create the most conversions.