If you have a website you have likely been interested in trying to figure out who visits it, how long people stay and what they are looking at. In order to capture and capitalize on this information, many companies turn to analytics. This study of data to find patterns and useful information is a valuable way to increase the effectiveness of your website, and one of the more common analytical tools used is Google Analytics.
This article looks at what exactly Google Analytics does and how it can help users better their websites.
What exactly is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics tracks and generates detailed reports on a website’s traffic, traffic sources, conversions and sales. This service works by tracking how people get to your website – commonly referred to as referrers. It can track traffic from social media, search results, direct visits and even traffic that comes from other sites that link to yours. On top of that, it can also show clicks from links in advertising, pay-per-click networks, digital collateral and email marketing.
There are two versions of Google Analytics:
- Basic – This is a full-featured version of Google Analytics for websites with less than 10 million hits per month. It is free and is most commonly used by small to medium businesses.
- Premium – This is aimed at websites with more than 10 million hits per month, and is more likely to be used by enterprises and large corporations.
Who uses Google Analytics?
Despite what many think, this service isn’t really aimed at webmasters and people who run websites. Instead, it’s aimed at business owners, marketers and content developers. By using this you could learn things like:
- Which online marketing campaigns are effective.
- Where visitors come from, what they do on your site and where they leave from.
- What keywords are working.
- The search terms people used to find your site.
The information and data gathered using analytics could go a long way in helping you find the background information needed to create a website that visitors will find useful and want to interact with you on e.g., call or purchase something online.
Unlike Google’s other front-end services like Search or Drive, Analytics is a little more involved. In order to get the most out of this service, you will need at least a basic understanding of the science of analytics. In order to help users, especially business users, get the most out of Analytics, Google has recently introduced a new online course.
This free three week course aims to give marketers and business owners an understanding of the fundamentals behind analytics. You can view more information and sign up to take it here. It started on October 8, and will last three weeks. After the course, the information and videos will remain online which could prove to be useful.