Does your company have a website? Then there is a good chance that it is linked to Google Analytics, a wonderful free tool that records everything that happens on and around your website. With all that data, you can draw conclusions that will help your business, but it can also be confusing. How do you avoid drowning in a sea of data?
First things first: Google Analytics navigation is fairly straightforward. The column on the left shows the menu, on the right you find the data. In the top right corner you can set a time period by choosing a start and end date. The information measured in the selected period is displayed.
These are the main menu items:
A dashboard is an overview of data that you can compile yourself. Creating multiple dashboards is also possible. You can see at a glance the data that you have chosen yourself.
There is a lot to learn about your target group, the people who visit your website. From age and gender to which mobile phone they use. Especially when target group characteristics are compared with other factors, this can lead to interesting conclusions
If acquisition tells where visitors come from and 'Target' who they are, then 'Behaviour' shows what they do. What pages do they visit and how long do they stay on it? Which path are you navigating? All information about the interaction between the website and the target group falls under behaviour.
Under the heading 'Realtime' you can see everything about the target group that is currently on the website. You can see live how many people visit the website, how they got there, where they are located and which pages are viewed.
Acquisition indicates where your visitors come from on the internet. Did they search for your company name or did they land on your website via Facebook. Which terms have been searched for more and which social networks generate a lot of traffic? That is what acquisition indicates.
Conversion, persuading the visitor to a certain action, is involved with every website. Whether it's reading an article or buying a product. Under the heading 'Conversion' you set when a conversion is measured and how much conversion you want to achieve. After that, this is neatly kept. Conversion is important because it indicates how all other information leads to the ultimate goal.
Which dates are important?
All information provided by Google Analytics may be relevant. It's just what you want to know. Yet there are certain data that are actually interesting for every website owner. These are our recommendations:
Bounce rate and new sessions
This indicates how the website is performing in general. A low bounce rate is positive, it means that visitors do not leave the website as quickly. For the percentage of new sessions it is the other way around, the higher the better. A low percentage of new sessions isn't always a bad thing, but new sessions do come with new prospects.
Under 'Target group', also look at other data such as gender, age and demographics. It gives you a good idea of who your target audience is.
Acquisition > Overview
The top channels indicate at the highest level where visitors come from. Is your website sufficiently represented on the internet? For example, if very few people come via Organic Search, then the SEO (findability) must be improved.
At Acquisition > Social > Overview you can see from which social networks visitors come. This way you can see which social media provide a lot of traffic to the website and which ones you may need to change the content strategy for.
Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
This overview of pages can be sorted by various aspects, such as the number of page views, the bounce rate and the percentage of exit points. For example, sort the pages by number of views or bounce rate (the lower the better). That will give you a good idea of the top performing pages and pages to scrutinize.
Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages
An exit page is a page on which the website is left. In principle, each page is an exit page, but this table shows on which pages visitors disappear most often. Pages are at the top because they are simply frequently visited, but it is also possible that the page needs to be improved, for example in terms of text, layout or because the navigation comes to a dead end there.
Watch out for spam
Some "advertisers" choose an aggressive way to reach people: Spam. Every website is also a target on Google Analytics. Spammers manipulate Google Analytics, making it look like the website has been visited. A hyperlink appears between the data that spammers hope you click on. Do NOT do that, the website may contain malware.
The biggest problem is that spam can misrepresent the information. It is therefore important to install a filter that excludes spam. Being through Google many websites to be found who explain how to do it. If you still need help, you can always contact us!
Measuring is knowing
Google Analytics is rich in data. If you invest time in it and know what to look for, you will get valuable information back. Much of the data can be viewed for the entire website as well as for a specific page.
Tip: All screenshots in this article are from the demo account of the Google Merchandise Store† You can use this account to look around and practice with the Analytics environment.
Are you going to delve into Google Analytics? Also try to compare data. Do you want to know more about Google Analytics or how your website is performing? Contact us, we are happy to help you!
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