ANALYTICS

The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics

Icon
Written by Furkan Cevizci
04/06/2020
       

If you have any interest in digital marketing, you must have heard about Google Analytics. In this blog post, we will go into detail on how it works and explain all the necessary terminology.

Note: Since Google Analytics is an important analysis tool for websites before you read about Google Analytics, make sure you are familiar with website engagement and how to plan a strong website engagement strategy.

Planning your website engagement tactics, as well as creating and executing scenarios with the related growth metrics is crucial for your further website efforts. So here’s a helpful guide for you on how to plan website/app engagement tactics step-by-step. Moreover, here’s our tool for Website/App Engagement Planning for you to practice and exercise on how to create new plans and track them easily.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is an essential web analytics tool for websites. It allows you to see a wide range of insightful data about your website performance, traffic, and user behaviour.

The fact that Google offers this high-quality and easy-to-use tool for free, it makes Google Analytics the most widely used website analysis tool.

Let’s start with how you set up this tool:

Google Analytics Configuration (Adding Code, Authorising)

To set up Google Analytics, you must first have a Google account. If you don’t have one, you can easily create a new account.

 

You can access the data provided by Google Analytics through other accounts, too. You can also authorize your web designer, web developer, SEO expert, and Digital Agency’s accounts and arrange the access level for each user.

The next step after creating an account is to log in and continue with the configuration. All you have to do is go to the Google Analytics page and proceed to the setup. Here’s how you do it:

1- Fill in your site’s information on the page that appears after clicking the Sign-Up button.

2- The system will give you a tracking code to add to your website. Install a simple piece of JavaScript tracking code on every page of your website. If necessary, you can request support from your website developer.

 

3- Check if the code is installed correctly with the Tag Assistant (by Google)– a Google Chrome browser plugin.

How Does Google Analytics Work?

Thanks to the code added to every page of the site, every user entering your site triggers the system and the tracking mechanism start working. Thus, it allows you to follow up on the site and user data through the Google Analytics system.

Google Analytics Terminology (Dimension, Metric, Second Dimension)

Each report in Google Analytics consists of dimensions and metrics. Each row in the tables represents dimensions, and each column represents metrics.

Dimension: Dimensions are the features of website data. For example, in the Analytics report on website traffic, dimensions are the channels where traffic comes from to the site.

Metrics: Metrics are quantitative measurements. For example; the “Sessions” metric represents the total number of sessions. The “Page/Sessions” metric is the average number of pages viewed per session.

Which Reports and Data Can We Monitor With Google Analytics?

Google Analytics reports consist of five main sections. You can see them on the report menu as shown below:

1. Realtime

In this tab, you can see what actions users take on your site in real-time, such as:

  • Which location (country and city) the users who currently browse your site is connected from
  • Which source (organic, direct, social, etc.) the users on your site currently come from
  • How many people are currently on the pages (or content) on your site,
  • What kind of actions the users take,
  • Which conversions you set have occurred on your website instantly.

 2.Audience

This tab helps you to analyze the audience on your site. The sub-tabs are as follows:

  • Active Users: It allows you to track users who have visited your site in the last 1, 7, 14, or 30 days.
  • Lifetime Value: Calculates the long-term value of users acquired by various methods.
  • Cohort Analysis: This report groups your users by the time they first came to the site.
  • Audiences: This section allows you to create more detailed audiences and analyze them.
  • User Explorer: It is a report where you can see individual user behaviour at the session-level.
  • Demographic Information: This section allows you to view detailed information about your users’ age and gender.
  • Areas of interest: This report provides insight into the personal characteristics of website users, which can affect your future marketing decisions. With this analysis, you can create your content according to your target audience.
  • Geo: The geographic report provides information about your users’ location and language.
  • Behaviour: This report allows you to analyze whether new users return to your site to interact with your website.
  • Technology: This report allows you to see which browser, which operating system, and which network users employ to connect to the Internet. It will be useful to consider this data for your technical improvements.
  • Mobile: This report allows you to understand the rate at which users view your site with a tablet, desktop, or mobile device. In addition, you can analyze device-based data and identify which mobile devices your site is viewed with.
  • Custom: This field allows you to better define and compare user segments.
  • Benchmarking: This section allows you to compare data from your own site with data collected from your competitors.
  • Users Flow: This report provides a visual representation of how users act on your site. You can easily analyze which page users switch to, and from which page they leave your site. You can optimize your site with this information.

For example:

3. Acquisition

In this tab, you can find information about the source of users coming to your site in general. The reports are as follows;

  • All Traffic: You can see all the incoming traffic with detailed UTM parameters such as channel, referral, source/medium.
  • Google Ads: You can see detailed data of users coming to the website through promotions via Google Ads.
  • Search Console: It helps you see the performance of the site in organic searches. In order to see this data, Google Analytics and Google Search Console tools need to be linked (if they are not, you can follow the integration directions in this section). After establishing the connection, you can access data related to Landing Pages, Countries, Devices, and Queries.

  • Social: You can see the data of users who interact with your content on social media (by clicking) and come to the website.
  • Campaigns: In this last tab, you can see the performance of paid campaigns and compare the performance of different campaigns.

4. Behaviour

In this section, you can see behavioural data about the actions users take on your site such as using the site’s “search” function, the content they view, how fast the pages load, etc. Based on this data, you can analyze both the performance of your site and the performance of the page contents.

  • Behaviour Flow: In this report, you can see which routes users are following on your site.
  • Site Content: This report shows data such as which pages on your site are viewed more, which pages are the first landing pages, from which page users leave your site.
  • Site Speed: This report provides suggestions on how fast your content loads and what improvements you need to make in this regard.
  • Site Search: This report shows how site visitors use the search functionality on your site. You can see which queries users make, which page they searched for, and which page they are directed to as a result of the search.
  • Events: You can see the data of the events you set for the website. For example; you can see how many people downloaded your ebook by filling out the form on your site.
  • Publisher: The Publisher Report gives you access to data on how you monetize your site, including impressions and clicks.
  • Experiments: This function allows you to test variations of your site. For example, you can compare if your new welcome message converts better than the previous message.

5. Conversions

In this section, you can see your completed goals such as gaining a mail subscriber, or a user completing an online sale.

  • Goals: You can see the completion statistics of the goals you set on the website.
  • E-commerce: This field is for websites that use e-commerce. You can view sales information and product performance data.
  • Multi-Channel Funnels: This report helps you analyze through which sources the conversions have been successful. You need to remember that more than one source affects (assists) a conversion.

Setting Up Goals

Creating goals is crucial in order to analyze and measure the performance of your digital marketing activities correctly. Here are the necessary steps: 

1- After adding the tracking code to the site, click the Admin button in the lower-left corner.

2- Click Goals on the View tab

3- Click the “New Goal” button on the screen.

4- Set up a goal by choosing the most suitable option from the menu according to the goal you want to monitor.

TIP: The most common (and the best working) method is to direct the user who takes the action you want to a “thank you” page and to define this page view as a goal.

Google Ads and Google Search Console Integration

Why is Google Analytics and Google Ads Integration Necessary? 

Linking your Google Ads and Google Analytics account is important to see how your users interact with the ads you make. Google Ads allows you to see all the actions of the users on your site, including how they completed the conversions and goals you set.

How to Link Google Analytics and Google Ads Accounts

1- Log in to your Google Ads Account. Click on the Tools & Settings icon and click on the Linked Accounts under Setup menu.

2- From the Google Analytics Tab, click the Details button, select the Google Analytics account you want to link, and click the link button.

Why is Google Analytics and Google Search Console Necessary?

In order to see the Search Console data on Google Analytics, you must enable Search Console data sharing. 

Note: You must have admin permissions for both accounts in order to link Google Analytics and Search Console accounts.

How to Link Google Analytics and Google Search Console Accounts

1- Sign in to your Google Analytics account and click on the property settings.

2- Click the “Adjust Search Console” button and select your own Search Console property from the screen that appears to make the connection. Then click the “save” button.

Creating Segments

At the top of all reports, you can find information on which data belong to which segment. This section automatically comes pre-selected as “All Users”. You can select the segment you want or use the predefined segments by clicking on the “add segment” button.

If the current segments don’t meet your needs, you can also create a new segment yourself and filter the user data according to your goal. For example, you may want to analyze only traffic from a particular country or the data of users who come to the site using mobile devices.

Creating a Custom Dashboard

One of the best features of Google Analytics is that its dashboard can be customized according to the necessary data you want to monitor for your business. To customize your dashboard:

1- Click on the dashboards section from the customization tab on the left menu.

2- Click the Create button and choose the dashboard layout and the data you want to monitor.

You can also use ready-made report formats here.

You can automatically send dashboard reports in PDF format to the e-mail addresses you set at any frequency you want. 

This feature becomes very handy if you need to send website reports to your customer on a weekly or monthly basis. 

Creating Custom Reports

You can create custom reports through Google Analytics according to the metrics and dimensions you want to monitor.

 

Bonus: Analytics Tactics

Here’s a wide range of Analytics tactics we have prepared for you to implement to your growth marketing activities. You can choose the tactics according to your main goals (Brand awareness + traffic generation, conversion and retention) as well as the difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, advanced).

Related Content:

Growth-Driven Marketing Planning Guides – Website/App Engagement Planning: Learn how to increase the desired actions your website/app visitors or users take with a well-planned website/app engagement strategy.

Growth-Driven Marketing Planning Tools – Website/App Engagement Planning: Practice and exercise how to create website/app engagement plans with our user-friendly tool.

Related Posts
Subscribe to our blog
Stay up to date with the latest growth marketing tips and news