Grow your site traffic and revenue with actionable Google Analytics insights
Google Analytics is a free web-based platform supplied by Google to help publishers and website owners analyze their website traffic. The value of the tool is unprecedented since every company relies on its website as the digital hub of business – meaning that Google Analytics is essential for a holistic tracking or all digital marketing efforts of any website.
The tool delivers in-depth data, beyond traffic statistics: website visitors, where they are coming from, their interests and on-site behavior, as well as all kinds of statistics that show Google Ads performance, conversions, social referrals, other traffic sources, mobile performance, and much more.
Without training or SEM know-how, the data is hard to interpret. Users will need assistance from Google Analytics experts to help make sense of the reports.
How Does Google Analytics Work?
To start using Google Analytics website owners must add a few lines of code to their websites. The code then allows Google to track site visitors, their activities, and specific information about them such as age, gender, interests, and so on. The data is transformed into usable business information.
A simplified explanation of how Google Analytics aggregates this data from a website:
- At the “user level” GA records actions
- At the “session level” GA stores data about each visit
- In “pageview level” GA saves the individual pages visited
- Next, Google Analytics records “event level” actions
The advanced algorithms used to store, organize, collate, and analyze data are far too complex to describe. GA processes data into two categories or functions. First, GA uses metrics, or actual statistics Google collected about user behavior on a website as the basis for answering some kinds of queries. Second, “dimensions” give users a view of this data that helps answer certain queries.
One way of understanding this is to think about context and relationships. For instance, just knowing how many people visited a website is probably not that important for making key business decisions. However, seeing that 75% of a site’s visitors are men in between the ages 25-35 who visited from Florida and Georgia in the U.S. can help ad targeting efforts result into better ROI.
The Real Value of Google Analytics
The importance of Google Analytics for any business operating in the digital realm cannot be overstated. Ironically, a relatively low number of companies leverage the tool correctly. As we stated, lack of SEM know-how impedes business owners to understand the metrics and to take actions that improve the bottom line.
Because Google Analytics is the most accurate website statistics tracking and monitoring tool, no business owner can afford not implementing the code and syncing it with his or her website.
Google Analytics can monitor a business’s digital presence in real time. Users can instantly see what’s going on with SEO, PPC, social media, referral traffic, and direct traffic. The value here is to be able to review what’s working well and what isn’t. Once website owners have this data, they know what to fix to improve conversions and to reach their goals.
Google Analytics allows website owners to understand how users interact with their content. For instance, the website “bounce rate” shows the percentage of visitors that navigate away from a site (content) after having visited only a single page. This metric combined with page sessions reveals the effectiveness of a content strategy. Other values, like average session duration tell GA users the time spent on site by potential customers. It’s obvious here that things like compelling content, better offers, visuals, and other facets can play a considerable role in snagging clients.
From simple things like knowing what devices customers use, to combining business goals with Google Analytics data to see real performance, the tools Google has provided for free are indispensable. The bottom line is, if you’re not already using Google Analytics to enhance online marketing activities and to increase the user experience, you are light years behind the competition that does.