Google Analytics Part 1



Google Analytics – Home

Google Analytics is an important part of website maintenance and website development. Google Analytics is where all the information on website traffic can be easily found. There are of course alternatives to Analytics, but Google’s is the most widely used.

Channel Creative is starting a new series on how Google Analytics works and how to get the most out of it. We will go through each page and explain each feature the pages have. This is part 1, the Homepage.

Google Analytics Homepage

The Homepage is, of course, the first page seen when logging in to Analytics. It gives a good brief overview of the most important information. This is a snippet of the more in-depth information when clicked further into. Going from top to bottom we have listed each section and exactly what it shows and it can be used.

First graph

the first graph seen can show a number of different things, from the bounce rate to the number of sessions. It shows this information over time. This information can be used to help develop a website further, understanding why users bounce off the site. It is also good for SEO, to see if tactics are working in terms of more traffic. For information on all the terms please see the end of this article.

On the right-hand side of the first graph, it shows the active users. This shows the number of people actively on the site and what page they are visiting.

How do you acquire users? 

This shows how you have acquired these visitors. Showing information on whether those users have come from a direct search or have come from a social media website for example. This can really help understand where a website is linking from, and what links (backlinks) are working well. For example, if a site has 90% of its visitors from direct links and only 10% from organic search, more resources should be put into SEO to increase organic search numbers.

How are your active users trending over time?

Shows over an extended period how users have been on the site. Breaking down to monthly, weekly and daily. This again can be very useful for understanding how campaigns have affected website traffic.

How well do you retain users?

This relates to how many return visitors have been to the website. Depending on the goal of the business, this can provide useful information on retargeting. It can be used with other marketing such as email marketing to measure success.

When do your users visit?

Visiting hours shows when users go to a website. This can be very helpful for advertising, PPC planning and email marketing. If the majority of users go to a website between 4 pm and 8 pm PPC campaigns can be built around this to yield best results. This can also be useful for content launching, making sure the maximum amount of people will see the content.

Where are your users?

Now showing more demographics than the previous sections. This section shows where in the world your users come from. Further, into this section, it even breaks down which part of the country. Again, this is useful for understanding users and can improve future campaigns and projects.

What are your top devices?

The number of users who use either a tablet (such as IPad), mobile phone or a desktop version of a site. This is very useful for website development, knowing that 80% of users are on a mobile means a website should be built with a mobile-first approach. Give the users the best experience with this information.

What pages do your users visit?

This shows the pages visitors used. This can help in website development, as it shows which links are the most appealing to users. The more visited web pages are the ones that stand out the most. This can show how users move around a website.

Technical Terms Used

Throughout this article, we have mentioned a few technical terms. We will only explain the terms we have mentioned, but for a full rundown of every term and what it means check out this article here.

Sessions – Sessions are the number of visits a website has had.

Bounce – This is when a user visits a website but clicks off the site before visiting another page

Direct – When a user visits a website by typing the full address domain in their top bar on their browser.

Organic Search – A user has used a search engine and visited a website through their search engines link.

There are hundreds of terms used throughout the Google analytics and that link previously mentioned is perfect for decoding all of them.

Analytics Conclusion

Google Analytics is a massive tool that requires a lot of research to fully understand use to help improve websites. Throughout this series, we will try and reduce that learning curve and make something that can be very confusing a little easier. The homepage is an important page, however, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

For more information on Google Analytics or website development help get in contact with Channel Creative.