Google Analytics 101: A Guide for Beginners

You’ve invested a lot of time and money in optimizing your website with great content. You know exactly what audiences you want to reach. How can you tell if all your hard work is paying off the way you intended? Google Analytics (GA) is a robust tool that lets you collect, analyze, and measure website data. It’s the key to making sure you’re getting the ROI you expect from your website improvement efforts and digital marketing campaigns. This Google Analytics guide gives you a better understanding of the benefits of the tool.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool from Google. It gives you a centralized view of essential website metrics around your site’s performance. Having that kind of data available at your fingertips helps you optimize the various channels used in your marketing.

The information from GA helps you make more informed decisions like:

  • Redirecting ad dollars
  • If you are doing enough with a specific marketing channel
  • Whether you need to add more content to a particular landing page

There are two versions of GA available. The free version works well for websites that may get a smaller number of visitors. However, you might want to invest in the paid version, Google Analytics 360, if you’re clocking well over 10 million page views each month.

What Information Can Google Analytics Give Me?

Google Analytics lets you see the entire user journey. It tracks vital data like:

  • The point where they became aware of your brand marketing efforts
  • Where they live
  • The device they use to access your marketing channels
  • The points at which they are most engaged
  • The social media activity of users

The information collected around your websites let you know:

  • The number of visitors your website attracts
  • What marketing channels they’re using
  • How they discovered your website
  • The pages visited when browsing your website
  • How long they spend on different landing pages

GA lets you know if your marketing efforts are paying off the way you intended. For example, you might be getting a lot of new visitors from a specific channel. However, if they end up leaving quickly, that may let you know that you might need to fine-tune your marketing efforts to increase the amount of time spent on your site. Staying longer may help you start seeing a boost in your conversion rates.

There are tons of data points provided to you by GA. You can create reports that give you a broader view of the effectiveness of your website in your marketing. It also helps you come up with more targeted digital campaigns that hopefully attract your desired audience.

What Are the Benefits of Google Analytics?

While Google Analytics does an excellent job at measuring website traffic, it’s suitable for so much more. Link GA to other Google products like your Search Console and Google Ads to get an even more complete picture of your digital marketing efforts. Some of the most significant benefits to businesses who leverage GA in their marketing efforts include:

  • Ease of installation
  • User-friendly interface
  • Access to customizable reports and dashboards
  • Easy data collection
  • Integrates seamlessly with other Google products
  • Integrates with traffic sources like Facebook and Yahoo

Once you understand the performance of your website, you’re in a better position to make decisions that can help with:

  • Reducing your bounce rate
  • Improving your website ranking
  • Help you understand customers
  • Segment visitors for more effective targeting efforts

GA lets you establish specific business goals, including assigning dollar amounts around actions and determining the viability of your efforts. Using GA helps you recognize marketing opportunities in new channels and different ways of keeping visitors engaged.

How Does Google Analytics Work?

If you’re ready to give Google Analytics a try, start by going to the Google Analytics website and creating an account. You can use an established Gmail account or your Google Ads login if you have one. Enter the relevant account details and enable data sharing to link to products like Search Console.

There’s a Google Analytics demo account available that lets you practice using the tool. You also need to add a piece of code to your business website. It’s what allows GA to track site data. If you’re not well-versed in coding, pass it on to your website developer to set up.

Make sure you enter the correct information in your account settings for data accuracy. Check each setting level through the Admin screen. Account is the access point for GA. Each account allows you to establish different properties that highlight the information you wish to track. Properties let you break data down into different Views that you can look at through reports.

Keep Learning About Google Analytics

Hopefully, this Google Analytics for beginners overview helped you gain an appreciation for the tool’s value. C1 Partners can assist your business in more effectively leveraging the benefits of the GA tool. Set up a 30-minute strategy session with us today.