5 Tips for Beginners to Start Using Google Analytics

google analytics

At the outset, the online world is chaotic. But, you need not worry. Analytics is to the rescue! Analytics add certainty in the seemingly uncertain world. Google Analytics is one such tool that holds your hand across this journey.

It helps you track sites and app performance. But, if you don’t intend to become an expert, an SEO agency in London shall be your best bet.

To boil it down, it is a versatile application used on blogs or websites and for personal and business use. The top tips for beginner users of Google Analytics are as follows –

1. Account setup

If you have a primary Google account for Gmail or Google Drive, that is an excellent start point. You can download the Google Analytics tool and link it with your pre-existing account in seconds.

When doing so, click on the signup button and fill out the website information. The information includes the tracking method, the account name, the website name and URL, category and reporting time zone. Once done, you are good to go.

The tool provides hierarchies for organizing your account. The aspect allows you to have up to 100 Google Analytics accounts with one Google account. As add-ons, you can register 50 website domains and URLs using one Google account and have 25 views for every website property.

2. Tracking Code

The tracking code indicates that your website is registered for information and data tracking under Google Analytics. If you want to know how your website is doing, getting the tracking code is vital. Start by clicking on the Get Tracking ID button, read and agree to the terms and conditions, and you are good to go.

The code is integrated into every page of your website. But, installation depends on the website type.

For instance, if you have your WordPress website with the Genesis Framework, it contains a specific area for adding the header and footer scripts to the website. If the WordPress website works via an independent domain (of your own), you can use the Yoast plugin. Websites built with HTML files, the tracking code is added before the ‘head’ tag on each of the pages. The process is completed by using a text editor program.

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Mac laptop users can avail themselves of the TextEdit tool and Windows users Notepad. For eCommerce websites operated through Shopify, paste the tracking code in the area specified in the Online Store settings.

Once the code is added to every page, it puts a cookie in the visitor browser. This cookie sends a hit to the Google Analytics account for interaction reporting. Now that preliminary steps of account setup and tracking code are done, next up is understanding data collection.

3. Data Collection

Data collection is the first element of the Google Analytics tool. It gathers varied data points that give you in-depth insights. The information tells you how many users visit the website and how the visitors spend time. It is separable by answering the following questions:

  • How many visitors do your pages get? (This query caters to the impressions and clicks towards your website.)
  • How do visitors come to your website? (This question reveals the online sources of the display, video, social and search.)
  • How do those visitors progress towards your site?
  • What do visitors do on your page?
  • How do the visitors interact with the website elements?
  • How much time do visitors spend on your website?
  • At what stage of the visit do they leave your website? For instance, do they sign up for a newsletter, punch in queries or make a purchase.

4. The Types of Hits Tracked by Google Analytics

The Google Analytics tool works with three types of hits.

Pageview Hit

Pageview hits are sent once a user lands up on one of your web pages. These hits reveal information such as the device and browser used. Also, they let you know which pages they visited. It gives an overview of website optimization and whether some pages need to be reworked or even removed.

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Event Hit

Event hits get noted when a visitor does something on your website. In simple words, they register the activity undertaken. Some visitors might fill out a form or sign up for the newsletter. Others might click a link or play a video.

Transaction Hit

Also known as eCommerce Hit, these get registered once a visitor purchases a product or service on your website. They provide specific information such as products purchased and the order value, for instance. The hits also reveal the pages visited before making the purchase.

5. Reporting

Now that you are aware of the types of data collected, next up is knowing about its reporting. It is reporting that makes it easy to identify ID patterns and gain insights. Visual representations are valuable and more effective in understanding complex scenarios.

Note that all reports provide a combination of Dimensions and Metrics, but not all of them are reportable. So, what are Dimensions and Metrics?

Dimensions include attributes of users, such as the country or region from where they visit your website. Metrics are quantitative measurements such as session durations. For instance, the number of sessions that occurred on your website over some time.

As mentioned above, not all dimensions and metrics are reportable. Only those falling under the same scope can be combined. It holistically determines the level of data collection. There are three levels, namely, user-level, session-level and hit-level.

What You Need to Know

With nearly all brands taking their business online, tools such as Google Analytics will play a more prominent role moving ahead. Whatever be your website strategy, it is a free tool and among the most popular ones out there. If you haven’t deployed the app yet, it is about time that you begin to learn the mechanics of Google Analytics to gauge your competitive standing.

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