What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a digital web analytics tool developed by Google. In the industry, it is often abbreviated to G.A. This free tool gives you as an entrepreneur a clear insight into the traffic on your website. To link the data to your Google Analytics, you enter a short line of code in the website’s source code, this is something a web agency can help with.
What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a statistics tool that Google provides free of charge for all Internet users with a website, a blog or similar and an interest in knowing more about the traffic on their site.
Google Analytics itself is very advanced and I would think that there are few users who actually follow up and check all the information that can be accessed, but it is easy to use, follow and study for the key figures that are interesting for the current business.
It is easy to implement and the visits start to be registered within 24 hours, after which you as a user can start following your traffic.
Thanks to Google Analytics, you as a user can find out how many visits you have every day, how many of these are unique visitors, where the visits come from, which traffic sources drive the most traffic, how long your visitors spend on your site, how many pages your visitors look at on average and more.
These are the most common key figures to follow but far from the only ones. Google Analytics feels almost infinite when it comes to information and traceability.
Google Analytics Sponsored Links
It is becoming more and more common to use sponsored links, Google Adwords, as part of, or a complement to, your search marketing and these campaigns can of course also be followed via Google Analytics.
By linking your Google Adwords account with your Google Analytics account, you can see exactly how many visits the different traffic sources generate.
Google Analytics Goal Conversions
Goal conversions are, in my opinion, one of the more valuable and interesting tracks you can use Google Analytics for. Goal conversions, in short you can say that it is a way to track users’ behavior on the page.
By using goal conversions, you can, for example, measure how many visitors to the page put an item in the shopping cart, how many of these go on to the checkout and how many of these complete their purchase.
If you do not have an online shop, a suitable goal to measure can be how many people sign up for a newsletter, fill in a contact form or visit a specific page.
Google Analytics Summary
In short, Google Analytics gives users a unique opportunity to measure their traffic, see campaign results and adjust their page according to the visitor’s interests and needs.
By studying your Google Analytics statistics, you as a user have full control over your investment and it is easy to calculate ROI (return of investment).
What does Google Analytics do?
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for you to use for different purposes because the tool today is so developed and broad that it contains a large number of functions.
It gives you a good overview of all important measurement values that concern your website – eg the number of visitors to the website during a specific period (interesting to see what effects a measure on the website has made, for example), how many unique visitors you had and e.g. geographical information about all visitors.
Google Analytics is an automated tool which means that you always have access to fresh and current data. Imagine if you are a large company where you make changes and additions to your website very often – if you then had to make some manual efforts to analyze and evaluate your website, you would have far too much to do.
The functions that are available in the tool are so many and so effective that really it is only your imagination that sets the limit for what you can do with it.
Some of the features of the tool are:
- Measured values for social media (eg which platform does the traffic come from)
- If your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate and use on mobile devices
- What other sites link to your website and how much traffic it gives you
- How much traffic you get from other sources
- Gives you basic facts on where visitors come from so you can direct your marketing efforts in the right direction
- You can find out where the visitor is going after leaving your website
- It gives you insights about conversions and what percentage is doing a specific thing on your website
- Get information about how many people, for example, sign up for your newsletter
- It can also give you information and insights about what measures you can take to improve, for example, the loading time on your website.
This is just a very small part of what you can use Google Analytics for.
How to use Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a tool with several different options select by date, time and year to get detailed statistics.
You can see history from months ago and compare figures with the previous year to see the change over a longer period of time.
You can clearly see diagrams and different tables for the number of visitors within set time intervals.
As an entrepreneur with a Google Analytics account, you want to be able to use all the data that is in your Google Analytics account to make such cost-effective and time-efficient decisions in the future.
How can Google Analytics help me?
The majority of the major websites on the web use Google Analytics to measure data and analyze their web page. This is used as a tool to base their reports on e.g. end of the month to see how well their website has performed during the month.
They can also read what times, weeks or months their website has more visitors. Others also use it as an aid in budget adjustment, ad analysis and other marketing.
For example, a website that sells Christmas decorations is expected to see strong visitor growth in the months before Christmas and thus want to increase staffing, purchase of materials and shipping for future orders.
Why should I hire a web agency?
Most business owners do not have the time, knowledge or interest to run the company’s Google Analytics account.
It takes a lot of commitment and knowledge to be able to interpret the information in the right way and thus make the right strategic decisions.
If you do this in the right way, you can save both money and time in your marketing channels and above all improve the experience on your website.
Some of the best features of Google Analytics
The first Google Analytics packages calculated the total number of visitors, unique visitors and the number of page views on a website.
Today, Analytics is more advanced and also measures internet traffic in the form of “events”, such as:
- How many people clicked on a specific ad on your page.
- How many people tweeted about your latest blog post on Twitter.
- Mr many who signed up for your newsletter.
- How many people contacted you through a comment on your blog or via its contact form.
- How many people saw the video you posted on your website.
Analytics helps you better plan your social media strategies
Social media is now a vital part of search engine optimization and internet marketing. If your company is not present on Twitter and Facebook, well then a lot is lost both in terms of sales and analysis data.
Analytics tools for social media are very important and necessary for your understanding of this medium.
They help you understand what you are do wrong and right, and also give you a better understanding of what the market wants.
Alternatives to Google Analytics
Depending on your needs, Google Analytics may not be the right tool for collecting and presenting data. There are many options.
One of the most popular options is Matomo (formerly known as Piwik), which is similar to Google Analytics but is open source.
Other options that cost are Vizzit, Siteimprove Analytics and Adobe Analytics.
One of the main reasons to consider an alternative to Google Analytics is for you to have full control over the data collected.
You can use tools such as Matomo and Adobe Analytics on your own server over which you have full control. Even if Matomo has no licensing costs, it will be a cost to the server and the management of Matomo.
Explanations of common words, concepts in Google Analytics
In Google Analytics you will find many concepts, words and some of them can be a little difficult to understand at first.
I give you an explanation of some of these so you can get started easily – here is our dictionary for GA:
1. Bounce Rate
Bounce Rate – This describes and shows the percentage of your visitors who leave your site after visiting only a single page. You have thus entered a page on your website and then left without going any further.
It can give you some signals on what you need to fix.
2. Direct Traffic
Direct Traffic – The percentage of your visitors who entered the address in the address bar directly in their browser.
It thus shows how many did not click on a search result. It can give some signals about your brand, authority and more.
Homepage – Shows the first page that the visitor came to from a source or another website. Can provide some cues about links and supplement the link report in the Google Search Console.
4. Referring Traffic
Referring Trafic – Shows where the visitor came from. It can be Organic, Paid, referrals among others. Shows you information about which links provide visits, e.g.
5. New visitors
New visitors – shows the percentage of your visitors who are new visitors, ie those who have reached your site for the first time.
Conversions – Shows the number of visitors who have become customers. Requires some configuration of your account, website but extremely valuable when it is in place.
Pros and cons of Google Analytics
Benefits of Google Analytics:
- Free to use.
- Good connection to other tools in the Google Marketing Platform, such as Google Ads or Google Search Console.
- Large range of different reports to analyze different aspects of how your website is used.
Disadvantages of Google Analytics:
- Data is sampled if there is a lot of traffic on the website (500,000 visits over a period of time). Sampling means that Google does not use all data when displaying statistics in reports. The result is that the statistics can be misleading or even wrong.
- Many reports – many find it difficult to find the right one in Google Analytics compared to simpler analysis tools such as Vizzit and Matomo.
- Tracking of interactions other than pageviews is not tracked “automatically”, as is done in other tools such as Matomo (with the launch of new Google Analytics, more interactions will be tracked).
- Unable to extract raw data to other tools or applications in the free version of Google Analytics.
- You do not have full control over the data collected and handled by Google.
Google Analytics: Geography and demography
From which geographical area/specific region do you get the most visitors?
If Analytics informs you about a large number of German visitors, then maybe you should consider posting some ads/banners, or maybe even a blog post in German.
Analytics helps you to optimize your page partly by country, but also depending on where in a country the visitor comes from.
Now you have a first insight into what google analytics is for something and what benefits it can give you to use it. One last tip that you can take with you on the road is to set up a filter that removes all traffic from your IP address.
In this way, you get more accurate data and thus see nothing of the traffic that you are responsible for.
GA is, if you use it fully, a great tool. It gives you accurate data as Google sees it and it gives you insights on how well your efforts regarding eg SEO and Ads work.
How many visitors do we actually get in the second position we have on this keyword? Questions like these are valuable to get answers to.
You can with Google Analytics – add Google Search Console and you have a solid foundation to stand on.