October 09, 2018
They’re also an integral piece of success in your marketing efforts. The magical part of analytics in 2018 is that you can almost track things down to the moment someone first thinks about your product or service. Okay, maybe not. But we’re close.
Get Your Google Analytics Account in Check
Step one: set up a Google Analytics account. If you need some guidance to do this, check out these instructions. If you were to only use one analytics tool for the rest of your life, this is it. Thanks, Google!
Step two: figure out what you want to learn from analytics. It is a beast of a tool and has endless potential. If you’ve never used it, don’t expect to know everything right off the bat. As a “Google Analytics Guide for Beginners,” here are the basics you’ll want to know:
- General terms to know: Users, Sessions, Bounce Rate, Session Duration, Traffic Channel, Source/Medium, Referrals
- Users v Sessions: Think individual people vs how many unique times they visit your site.
- Bounce Rate: How quickly someone leaves your page/site. The lower this is, the better.
- Session Duration: This helps inform bounce rate. You want this to be high.
- Traffic Channel: Overarching place users come from – organic search (Googling your business name or product), direct (typing the URL of your site into their browser), social, etc.
- Source/Medium: A more specific version of Traffic Channel – think specific search engines, specific social media platforms, etc.
- Referrals: Other sites linking back to your site.
- Home Tab: This is where you’ll find a general overview of what’s been going on with your site. Keep in mind, if your site isn’t very old or your Google Analytics account is new, you won’t have much historical data.
- Real-Time Tab:
- Overview: Check this tab out for what’s happening right now on your site.
- Audience Tab:
- Overview: Overview of traffic to your site. At the top right corner, you can change date ranges. You’ll also see a simple breakdown of new vs returning users.
- Demographics: Use this information to learn more about who your visitors are.
- Interests: Explore this area to understand more about what your users care about.
- Geo: Information you can use in terms of language and location targeting in your campaigns.
- Acquisition Tab: This is extremely interesting data to help you understand what platforms are working best for your company.
- Google Ads > Campaigns: If you’re running Google Ads, you can see results here.
- Campaigns > Once you set up goals to keep track of (this could be a user clicking “buy now”), you can use a tool such as this one to create UTM codes for URLs you link out to in marketing materials. By adding these codes to your outbound links, you allow yourself to track user data from the start of the funnel to the end. You will find the results to these campaigns in this tab!
- Behavior Tab: This is what people are doing once they get to your site. Very good to know especially if you’re considering a refresh of your website design.
- All Pages: You can drill into your data page by page to get a grasp on what pages are performing well vs. others that are not. If you have a blog with different types of content, check this out.
It seems like more information than it is, I promise. The best way to understand what’s going on in the world of Google Analytics is to dive into it and either ask an expert (don’t know one? Contact us – we have your back!) or read/watch content online. There are endless articles and how-to videos on this topic.
Overall, this brief blog post barely scratches the surface. However, the abovementioned tools within Google Analytics have been some of the most constant items I reach for when I’m setting up a new campaign for a client and even day-to-day tasks so I can make informed decisions on the best use of time and resources.