Google Analytics – Track Everything, Ask Questions Later
Google Analytics is one of the best free tools a website can leverage. It’s Google’s free analytics tool which gives a robust data set on how many people are going to your site, where they’re coming from and what they’re doing on your site (purchasing products, filling out lead forms, etc.). Within this blog post I’m going to break down several important components I would recommend within Google Analytics.
Google Analytics – Recommended Traffic Report
My favorite Google Analytics report, and report used most often, is the Source/Medium report. To access this, simply go to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Source/Medium. Once you do this, you can see the source by each channel (i.e. direct traffic, Google Organic, Bing Organic, and any other source). Not only can you see where these users came from, but how long they spent on your site, how many pages they’ve viewed, their bounce rate, etc. For those who don’t know what bounce rate is, bounce rate is a metric that reports the % of individuals that just view one page, then leave the site.
This is a great indication of which are the top referring sources for traffic, also not just for any visitor, but qualified visitors based on site engagement.
Google Analytics – Behavioral Flow
Another report I like to review is the Google Analytics Behavioral Flow chart. Through this chart (screenshot below), you can see what users are doing on your site, which page they’ve landed on, and which pages they’re navigating to.
Additionally, you can track by many different levels, for example, you can sort by source/medium and click a specific channel to understand what these users are doing on your site. See the below from Google Organic traffic. What you ideally want to see is that users aren’t just on one page, rather clicking deep into the site. Anytime there is a green marker, that means users went deeper into the site, if there is a red icon, that means users dropped off and left the site.
Google Analytics – Goals
Goals for Google Analytics is a key component to your tracking. The above metrics are great and very helpful, but if you’re looking for specific actions on your site such as purchases, leads, etc. you need to setup goals. This way you can easily see which channels are driving these outcomes. For example, for my website, I track how many users are going to the contact form page on the site. See how we received 5 for this period.
To create goals within Google Analytics click the admin gear icon then goals.
From this screen you can create specific goals. You can get into various goals, such as identifying users who visit specific pages, spend a certain amount on your site, or you can create customized event goals. These goals require some web developer support, but you can track anytime someone clicks on specific buttons, enters their information.
For any advertiser who is tracking ecommerce sales, there is a section for this, under ecommerce settings, where you can enable and track revenue from sales.
Google Analytics – Questions and Answers
Is Google Analytics Free?
Google Analytics is a free tool where advertisers can track how many users are going to their site and track what actions they’re doing on site.
Can Google Analytics Link to Google Ads?
Yes, this is a very powerful datasource for Google Ads. Through the integration, you can see Google Analytics metrics within Google Ads, so you know the bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration of every click you paid for.
When does Google Analytics update it’s data?
Google Analytics updates it’s data in real time. There is even a screen where you can see how many users are on your site at a given moment and where’ they’re from and what pages they are on. See sample screenshot below.
Where is the Google Analytics Code?
The Google Analytics code is under “tracking info”, which is available upon clicking the admin button. Once you get the tracking information, you can email your developer to place the Google Analytics code to every page of your site to track users who visit your site.
Where to View Google Analytics?
To setup your Google Analytics account or to view it’s information, simply go to analytics.google.com to see your site’s analytics.
Is Google Analytics helpful for SEO?
Google Analytics is very helpful for SEO (search engine optimization). Through Google Analytics advertisers can see how much organic traffic they’re getting from both Google and Bing. While Google Analytics is helpful, Google Search Console is an even more robust tool to help analyze the performance of your organic traffic.
Can Google Analytics work with any Website?
Google Analytics can work with any website, so long as the Google Analytics code can be placed on the website.
How do I setup UTM tracking with Google Analytics?
Here is a helpful tool where you can customize your URLs with UTM tracking. The benefit of this is to see users from these sources with UTMs directly within Google Analytics. A use case is to create UTM tracking for any advertising you’re running, so you can see the effectiveness of these ads. Specifically, how many users are going to your site and what they’re doing on your site.
Google Analytics – Final Thoughts
I am a strong advocate of Google Analytics. For my advertising agency, Rise Marketing Group, I make sure every client has Google Analytics setup. This way we can understand what exactly is going on the site. Additionally, you might be able to see if there are any potential issues with the website. For example, maybe users aren’t converting, or they’re bouncing and leaving your site right away. When this happens, you need to work on the site to make it more appealing and welcoming to users to stick around for longer than they currently are.
Of all analytics platforms, I prefer Google Analytics because of it’s ease of use, deep reporting capabilities, and more than anything, it’s free.