What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is the largest website analytics tool available on the internet. Everyone who has a website uses Google Analytics to get a scoop of their performance. You can track the website traffic, explore the demographics, learn how users browse through your website, and how long they stay invested. The tool gives you a concise overview of all key metrics like users, sessions, bounce rate, page views and value, and much more.
Although the program is quite intuitive, there are a ton of features that you might not identify by yourself. User acquisition, user behavior, attribution, goal setting, and more is available to every Google Analytics user at zero cost. The only thing you need to do is to learn how to exploit the service and gain the biggest benefits.
Key Features and How it Works
The main page of the Google Analytics account is filled with various dashboards. Here, you can discover the number of users and sessions, the duration of visits, and bounce rate. Below the dashboard, you will notice a graph with a simple overview of the traffic sources. Traffic mostly comes from social media referrals like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., from direct links that you might have shared with friends, or from organic search. The latter is the most important metric as it shows how often users find your page when searching for something on Google.
Basically, the entire home page of your Google Analytics account is devoted to dashboards. This page gives you a quick overview of all your performance indicators to help you figure out what you are doing right and what should be improved.
Realtime is the metric that shows you how many users are visiting your website at this moment. The feature includes sources of traffic, locations, the pages that are being viewed, and how users interact with the content. The latter is called events and showcases the concrete actions that users are taking in real-time: downloads, link clicks, video plays, etc. This metric helps users understand which marketing activities are working and which should be rethought.
The audience overview shows you the number of users in any given period, their location, and whether or not they are unique or returning visitors. Besides demographics, devices, operating systems, and interests, Google Analytics offers an ideal marketing and sales feature called Lifetime value. This function shows the value of various users to your business acquired through email, referrals, paid search, etc. Finally, the user flow will paint you the entire user journey from start to end and identify the moments where most users abandon your page.
User acquisition tells you the main sources of your traffic: social, organic search, direct, and referral. Ideally, most of your traffic should be generated by organic search. However, if you are not there yet, do not let it discourage you as getting a solid organic search takes time.
Behavior reports include page views, bounce rates, time spent on the page, and percentage of exits. This metric allows you to investigate each page separately and learn more about its performance levels. This is where you will also find site speed indicators and data about internal site searches.
Conversion is a feature that entails goals and multi-channel funnels. You can set any measurable goal to swiftly recognize your progress and success of marketing campaigns. Multi-channel funnels help marketing experts to identify the channels that mostly contributed to conversions and use them for future activities.