Google Analytics is one of those tools that can help you identify what works and what doesn’t in the case of your website or application. If you find it difficult to get a lot of exposure online, the best thing you can do is to start harnessing the power of Google Analytics.

Google Analytics will tell you who visits your site, what you can improve and it also offers a whole bunch of other relevant information. But how can you use this tool? The information is in a raw form and can sometimes be hard to decipher.

Firstly, lets get started with a Google Analytics account and getting your website tracking code sorted.

Set up an account

Before you start using Google Analytics you will need to sign up for a Google account. You can use your current Google account if you have one, if not, you have to sign up for one. It’s a simple process and it will take just a few minutes. Start Here.

Get your tracking code

Google Analytics relies on a tracking code on your website to get the data about your traffic. This way you can understand where readers are coming from, what pages they visit and so on. Getting that tracking code may seem like a hassle at first, but it’s not that complicated. You will notice that getting the tracking code is as easy as logging in to Analytics and visiting https://www.google.com/analytics/ so you can get the code. Keep in mind that the code can start sending data almost instantaneously.

Personalize the Google Analytics information

If you just started using Google Analytics, it’s important to enter the website URL, select the desired timezone as well as identify the account name that suits your needs. A good trick here is to opt for a business name. It’s a much better, more professional way to show that you are representing a site. You never know who will see this, so it’s a good idea to keep it legit and professional just to make sure. Often, it can be common practice to share your account data with a marketing agency or a manufacturer.

Installing the tracking code

Installing the tracking code is simple, you just add the script before the </body> tag on your website. If you are unsure how to do this, it might be best to contact your web developer or the person who looks after your web content. Once added, you can go back to Google Analytics and check that it is receiving data from your website.

Using Google Analytics

Once everything is set up, you can start using Google Analytics. Start setting up goals, as this will help you see when you have reached a certain amount of followers, how many leads you generated via the contact form and so on. You can easily pick whatever goal you want, but make sure they are relevant to what you are trying to achieve. For example, if it is sales enquiries, then set your goals for the contact form on your site. If it is for a product sale, set your goal as the checkout page perhaps.

View the Google Analytics data

You can go to the dashboard and there you can see a good insight into your web traffic, as well as relevant information like the amount of users you had for a set period, page views, the pages visited per session, session duration, bounce rate and so on. You can also see demographics and language information, OS and mobile information too.

If you want to go further, you have tabs like real time information about people that are browsing your website and intelligence events. Multiple dashboards can be set up to show specific data all on the one screen. We recommend setting up your dashboard so you can regularly log in and see the data without having to go searching through different screens and sections to get it.

You can also look further in to audience information including age, sex and location. Aside from the stuff listed above, you will also notice that there are some additional features like bench marking, interests, cohort analysis and active users that you can use as well.

Google Analytics can be used to study acquisition and behavior too. This will help you fine tune your budgets and spending in specific areas as you study what works to bring in customers, and what seems to be a waste of time and money.

In Conclusion

Google Analytics is an essential tool to monitor your digital marketing effectiveness, analysing your site’s visitors, and knowing what is and isn’t working well on your site.

In summary, add the script to your website and make sure traffic is coming through to Google analytics. Set up your dashboard to show the information you need all in one place. Set conversions and goals, and be sure to check regularly for changes.

Google also offers Google Analytics in a mobile application so you can monitor traffic from your phone.

Its interesting to note also that you can see where your traffic came from and this will include traffic from social media if any. This also gives an indication about the effectiveness of your advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook.