Overview of Google Analytics
Digital Marketing is huge these days and no big industry can be made without a significant investment of money and time, with that, it is necessary to know and benchmark the results and effects of work being done. In Digital Marketing, this is achieved by using Analytics tools. On top of the tons of tools available today stands Google made web-based one called Google Analytics. In this post, we will discuss what it is, how it works and why you should care about it at all.
What is Google Analytics?
Simply put, Google Analytics is an analytics tool that can be used to track and analyze actions on a website such as the number of visitors, number of page views and the bounce rate of the site. It is free to use by any webmaster. However, there is a paid version – and I should add it is a bit expensive for small businesses and publishers – with some advance features.
While all data is anonymized on it, you can easily understand user behaviour and traffic flow of the site alongside the sources of traffic to understand where visitors to your sites come from.
It has made both Android and iOS apps to see the reports on the go and Google Analytics is one of the few tools on the market that can report live visitors on the site. You can even see from which city a visitor is.
How does it works?
Now, this sounds like a terrifying task for a site with thousands of pages, but in most CMS, you can find plugins to add the code or in many cases, adding the code to a common header file of the site will also get the job done.
Once you are done with this, you should be good to do. Next, you can create custom dashboards on the Google Analytics Web Interface to see and monitor stats that you care about. It can be a little confusing at first, but with time you will be comfortable enough to create custom dashboards and export custom reports.
Aside from tracking page views and bounce rates, Google Analytics has support for event tracking. You can use it to see how many people clicked on the sign-up button for example.
Features of Google Analytics
Following are the features explained below.
1. Traffic Reporting
These Google Analytics features are all about measuring the traffic and their flow on your site. This includes session durations, measuring bounce rates and measuring new visitors and people who visit your site often, it also has the ability to show how your visitors come to the site and what phones or internet connections they use to access it.
2. Conversion Tracking
This is all about tracking conversions to the site. For an e-commerce site, for example, you can create a funnel to measure how many users abandon the cart or how many users added an item into their shopping cart.
3. Keyword Reporting
Alongside with telling you which phone or OS your visitors used to come to your site, you can also see which keyword was used by visitors to find you. This can be used to create content on your site for SEO and more traffic to your site.
4. Third-Party Referrals
It is necessary for a digital marketer to understand where traffic to his site comes from. It has a source section that can show a source of traffic. The sources can be a particular website, Search Engine or Social Media sites.
5. Audience Information
It is able to give you information about your audience too, in the settings, you can enable options to measure the age, gender and other details about your audience. It tracks the language, country, etc. data of visitors by default too.
6. Add ones for Google Analytics
No Analytics tool in the world can do everything, to deal with this, Google Analytics supports Add ons. These plugins can be used to extend the feature set of Google Analytics and make it possible to customize and modify the experience for the needs. It’s not that tough to install add-ons too, there is a web-based system so that you don’t have to download and upload anything at all.
Using a good Analytics software is a must for any digital marker today, among its competition, Google offering has a good reputation because of its accuracy and its large feature set. Let’s take a look at some advantages of using Google Analytics today:
It is Free to Use
While there is a paid version of Google Analytics available if you want, the free version is more than enough featured to blow most paid Analytics tools out of the water. With backing from an internet giant like Google, there is no worry that Google Analytics will disappear overnight too, which contributes to its reliability.
Visitor Segmentations in the Dashboard
One of the most useful advantages of Google Analytics is that we can easily create segments of the audience to pinpoint and focus on one type of traffic to better analyses it. These segments can be of search traffic, mobile traffic or based on geography to focus on a particular area of the map.
Traffic Flow Viewing in Google Analytics
It is capable of drawing out audience flow in its dashboard. These flows can be customized to show different sources and types and it can help in understanding how people navigate through the site.
Integration with Other Google Tools
It supports many Google-operated marketing products such as Google Ads and Google AdSense. By integrating them with Google Analytics, it becomes easy to understand and view campaign data, visitors and their actions to fine-tune the targeting and audience to improve efficiency.
It makes it a one-click affair to compare the performance of the site over two different time periods. This makes it easy to understand how the site is performing and understanding growth trends on the site also become much easier.
Viewing Historical Data
Its measures and keeps all the site related data from day one and does not delete it even after years, this makes seeing and exporting historical data of a site a quick process. Aside from viewing the data in the past, you can segregate and process it the same way you can with recent data on Google Analytics.
Viewing Popular or Frequent Pages
It is one of the major advantages is that anyone can easily see the best performing content on the site. With just one click, you can see pages that perform best – or worst – in aspects of bounce rates, page views, frequency of visitors, etc. Using this, content can be planned around best-performing keywords to capitalize on the ranking articles and keep more audience on the site.
Data Exporting for Processing
In case you want to dig deeper in the data and find patterns that Google Analytics just can’t do, you can export all data captured by Google Analytics and import it to the data processing tool of your choice. Any tool that supports data importing by excel will support data exported by Google Analytics.
Team Member and Providing Access to Members
Even free versions of Google Analytics supports user management. You can invite someone to see and work on your website property. In order to prevent anyone from making any ir-reversable change to the site, you can limit their access.
Value of Google Analytics in the Career of a Digital Marketer
It is one of the most important weapons in a digital marker’s arsenal. Without it, there will be no good way of understanding if the strategies made by a digital marketer are working or not. Even better, after some experience, you will be able to understand the weak links in your strategy by using Google Analytics and improve the ROI.
Many designations in marketing are only about using Analytics tools, for any of these posts, it is most likely to be the tool of the trade and being proficient is going to be a must if you want a good career.
In the case of a blogger or social media influencer, it is valuable too. They can use the tool to see and track any actions that happen in the links of their social media posts to track clicks and click through rates.
As we have seen today, it is one of the most important Analytics tools in the market. Because Analytics plays an important role in the industry, it would be beneficial for you to have proficiency in it for growth in the career.
This has been a guide to What is Google Analytics?. Here we have discussed the working, different features and advantages of google analytics in concise way. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –