A Complete Guide to Google Analytics for Beginners

Are you a marketing professional currently managing a website and willing to increase your customer’s engagement? Then, it is a necessity to have a Google Analytics account in order to get important insights from this platform regarding your site’s performance. Indeed, Google Analytics will offer you the possibility to have a better idea about who are your visitors. Through the analysis of your user’s experience, you will be able to identify strategies to make your website more successful. From acquisition to conversion, you will be able to better understand your customer’s journeys when visiting your site.

What is Google Analytics?

According to the Marketing organization Semrush (Links to an external site.), Google Analytics is a platform in which you can register for free created by the company Google allowing you to track your website’s traffic. This tool gives you access to data allowing you to have a better understanding of the behavior of your website’s visitor. Through the different metrics analyzed by Google Analytics, you are able to assess your website’s performance and identify areas of improvement. It can also help you better describe your target audience while determining the success of your marketing campaigns.

4 Sections to Explore in your Google Analytics Dashboard

There are four main sections you will have access to in your Google Analytics dashboard according to the organization specialized in SEO strategies, AIOSEO, (Links to an external site.) which are the following:

Audience: This field helps you identify who are your customers. Here, you can find location and demographics information about your audience as well as the devices technology used when they accessed your site. This will allow you understand better your target market in addition to rethink about various marketing efforts for different user segments.

Acquisition: This section would show you how your users were directed to your website. Through this field, you will see which channels generated the most traffic (email, social media, organic search, paid search, etc). You are also able to make comparisons between consumers coming from different social media channels and assess your SEO initiatives efficacy.

Behavior: Here, you have the ability to see how your customers behave when they are visiting your website. For instance, you can determine which are the most visited pages and the time spent browsing your site. This can help you make conclusions about your customer’s experience and engagement with your brand.

Conversions: This field allows to determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns as it will show you whether people took the desired action when visiting your website. You can track your conversion goal whether it is a form submission, content shares or a purchase. You will be able to check how well your website encouraged people to take actions.

Metrics you Must Know when Using Google Analytics

There are several metrics under each sections described above that you must understand as a marketing analyst which can be found in the Google Analytics platform (Links to an external site.): 

  • Audience metrics:

Number of users: This is the number of visitors who accessed your website over a specific period of time.

Sessions: This shows you how many times your users visited your website.

Average session duration: This is the time your users spend visiting your website in one session.

Average pages per session: This is defined as the number of pages that your users visited in each session.

New/ Vs Returning Users: This gives you a ratio showing you the distribution of the new visitors accessing your website for the first time versus the returning visitors coming back to your site.

 Bounce rate: This is explained by the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting one page instead of continuing browsing other pages.

  • Acquisition metrics:

Channels: Here you will be able to identify which channels drove traffic to your site. For instance, you can see the number of visitors coming from organic search versus paid search.

Google Ads: Once you link your Google Ads account to Google Analytics, you are able to check the activity of your customers after they were exposed to an ad and clicked on it.

Search Queries: This provides information about the top queries in the search engines to find your website as well the landing pages recording the most traffic and high click-through rates.

  • Behavior metrics:

 Average time on page: Here, you can determine your user experience and engagement in your website as it shows the time spent on each page.

Site Search Queries: This can allow you to identify what are your customers looking for according to what they are typing in your search bar. 

  • Conversion metrics:

Goal conversion rate: As you set up your Google Analytics account, you also select a conversion goal for your website. Here, you are able to track your conversion that could for instance be a user visiting a specific number of pages, completing a registration, downloading a content or processing a purchase.

Once you understand the main sections and metrics of Google Analytics, you will have a better idea of how well your website is performing in the eyes of your visitors. Through the analysis of data offered by this platform, you will likely be able to create more attractive content leading to higher engagement and conversions.  Indeed, having a better idea of what your customers expect from you site will allow you to increase your reach as well as your customer lifetime value. Assessing the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and ad campaigns in Google Analytics will allow you to determine how successful are your current marketing initiatives. In sum, the data available in this platform will certainly allow you to rethink the best marketing strategies that should be implemented to drive more revenues coming from your company’s website.