What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a widely used tool that helps you track your blogs, websites, social media, etc. and generate extensive reports based on thorough analysis. It contains all of the details – everything from the traffic information, acquisition rate, customer behavior, customer conversions to what not!
It is regarded as a one-stop tool because it provides the most amount of metrics and data compared to other analytics tools out there.
Following are some of the most used terms in Google Analytics:
Sessions refer to the quantity of time a user is engaged in your application or the website.
Users are divided into new and returning based on the previous sessions and interactions they have had with your website or app.
Pageviews, as the name suggests, is the total number of pages viewed, where repetitions are also counted.
4. Pages per session
Pages/Session is the simple average of the number of pages that users view in a session. Repeats are counted here as well!
5. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is when users enter your site and leave without any interaction with the web page.
Conversion is the count when you achieve your targeted goals with your users. It might be sourcing their contact details or selling them a product, among many other things.
Do you need to use Google Analytics?
Ask yourself—do you have a lot of data with you that you believe can be leveraged into useful information? If the answer is yes, then, of course, Google Analytics should be a tool you should look at.
It can answer all of the following questions as well.
- How many visitors do you get for your website?
- Where do your visitors live?
- Is it necessary for you to have a mobile-friendly website?
- Through what websites are you getting traffic to your website?
- What marketing strategy is working the most?
- Which pages on the website are the most popular among visitors?
- How can you increase the website’s speed?
- What type of content do your viewers like the most?
Google Analytics is easy to set up and quick to learn in case you want to get started really quickly. This is often an overlooked point in this world where competition levels have never had this amount of high stakes! Having one tool from the start of your analytics journey all the way to perform the most complicated analysis is a user-friendly way: Google Analytics is the way to go.
How to get started with Google Analytics?
The steps to get you started with Google Analytics are pretty simple and straightforward. There are a couple of simple steps as shown below:
- Begin by creating a Google Analytics account (it’s free!)
- Add in details of the website you want to track: name, URL, and the industry
- Open the Google Analytics portal to verify if it is working
- Visit various sections of the GA portal and analyze if it records your visit
Pretty simple, right? Also, 1,250 Google Analytics profiles can be created and mapped using just one single Google account!
Here’s how it’s calculated:
As soon as you get the login credentials, you can directly create 25 Google Analytics accounts with the login. Further, you can create 50 profiles for each Analytics account, so it means 25 x 50 profiles equating to 1,250 Google Analytics profiles per Google account!
I believe that it would be about this time that you would wonder about the price structure of Google Analytics. Read on!
Is Google Analytics free or paid?
Google Analytics is free AND paid. You need to know at this point in time that you can get away with the free version if you run small or medium-sized businesses. You can leverage all of the features and make full use of them without spending a buck! But, if you are a large company or you have enterprise-grade requirements, then you should be looking at Analytics 360, the name given to the paid version of Google Analytics.
Analytics 360 will give you access to a lot of fancy things such as:
- Advanced sales funnel reports
- Attribution modeling
- Detailed dimensions and metrics
- Unlimited data access
It is a lot more than that, to be honest! Investing in Analytics 360 will give you a dedicated account manager too! This should add tons of value to the money you’re spending. But how much does it cost?
Analytics 360 has a pricing structure that begins at US$150,000 per year and rises when your website hits over a billion views per month. If you have the budget for it, look no further. But, to get started, I would recommend sticking to the free version as it provides ample features to keep your analytics campaign team occupied for a long time.
Google Analytics Structure
It becomes key that you understand how Google Analytics works. To do that, you need to delve into the working of GA by understanding the layered architecture model that it follows.
Considering the above image, you can see three important layers here.
The organization layer is the topmost layer, which means that everything that follows is a part of this. One organization can have multiple Google Analytics accounts. Multiple accounts are usually considered when you have a large organization. Most of the small and mid-sized companies can get away with just one.
Mostly one account is needed to use Google Analytics, but more than one can be used as discussed above. You can assign multiple native accounts of your website to be used for Google Analytics. Your CEO can log in using his Google account, while your analytics experts can access the same account using their Google accounts as well.
In Google Analytics, your application and/or website is considered as a property, and each of these properties can have a maximum of 25 views. What are views? Well, a view is the result you get when you apply filters and configure things to obtain a specific result. Views are temporary, and as soon as you delete them, you lose the filtered data.
Here, when you work with Google Analytics, you should know two important terms:
Dimensions: Categorical variables, i.e., they are descriptive and not numeric. Think about names, colors, and more.
In the Google Analytics regime, it could mean the customer type, login device, landing page, and user location.
Metrics: Numeric data, i.e., they are quantitative in nature. Think about age, population, temperature, and more.
In the Google Analytics regime, it could mean the aspects of bounce rate, session duration, pageviews, and sales conversions.
Dimensions are shown as rows and metrics are shown as columns in all of the Google Analytics reports.
This structured approach taken by Google will help users in the following way:
- See your most important reports and analytics data first
- Find out what campaign brings in the most amount of conversions and traffic
- Determine where your top visitors are from
- Understand what people want on your website
- Visualize the user experience of your customers
- Find solutions to the worst performing pages
- Determine conversion drop points in the sales funnel
Google Analytics Audience
If your product or service is deemed fit for an audience in the age group of say 23–28, Google Analytics makes it easy to do that. The built-in audiences will ensure that you can target people particular to a location and an age group.
If you want to sell the next fancy thing to an American, who is in the age group of 25 to 35, then it’s possible. Google Analytics will automatically separate the visitor data and will give you comprehensive reports on the audiences around the world.
Moreover, the ability to create custom audiences poses a huge advantage here. You could concentrate on the goal that you’re trying to accomplish and help the user better, rather than working on the audience reports a lot because Google does all the heavy lifting for you!
Advantages of Google Analytics
Knowing that Google Analytics is probably the most powerful analytics tool is one thing, but understanding how it can help you with your business is something else. Following are some of the ways Google Analytics can add immense value to your business:
Customer Responses to First Impressions
Google Analytics has been built to scale your business. But to get there, first impressions matter a lot. With GA, you can see how many people visited your website, how many of them interacted, or even how many bounced off. With this, you can analyze and see for yourself which pages are adding to the high bounce rate, while which ones are performing really well!
What this does is that it gives you an edge in terms of the opportunity to work with things such as mobile optimization, design changes, content length variation, and more, eventually driving more conversions and earning more returning customers.
Geographical Analysis of Users
Geographical location is the most important thing in driving your business across the globe. With Google Analytics, you are provided with all of the location-based information of your users. This ensures that you can create very specific campaigns in terms of product design and marketing that will help you achieve goals for corresponding regions.
Another advantage with Google Analytics is that you can find out where there is room for more growth in these regions. This, alongside your marketing campaign, should effectively give you an edge over the competition in terms of location-based catering.
Search Engine Ranking
You may already be aware of how you can use SEO and keywords to get indexed and rank your website higher on search engines. Of course, there is always room for higher ranking, and Google Analytics, alongside these other tools, will help immensely in gaining traffic and driving more leads to sales.
Experts across the globe agree that Google Analytics can give you accurate information about where you currently stand, which poses as a foundational step in helping you take calculated decisions while moving forward.
Setting up Goals
When talking about implementing Google Analytics, people tend to miss the aspect of setting up goals. Sometimes, Google Analytics is viewed as a tool that provides a lot of tools and that it might help the users. But, with the right use of it, you can revamp your Google Analytics experience and improve the business drastically.
Without setting up the goals, Google will not be able to give you the information about if you met your numbers or not. Without these numbers, it can also be slightly crippling when handling multiple campaigns and analyzing multiple pages. Hence, it is vital that you set up the goals and keep a constant track of them to see the progress.
To drive traffic to your website, as discussed above, you need to be visible on Google ranking, which means that your website needs to appear when someone searches for it on a search engine. To gain a lot of attention, you must have high rankings and use relevant keywords and certain search terms that ensure you get to those high ranks.
With Google Analytics, you have a comprehensive look at what keywords attract visitors. With this sort of information, you can understand what people are specifically searching for, and you can cater to that accordingly. There is a lot of difference between catering to someone searching for say ‘juices’ and serving another person searching for ‘natural juices for weight loss.’ Makes sense, right?
With Google Analytics, you can not only analyze your campaigns but also get insights about how your competitor is doing. You can have a direct look at their traffic as well and then later use this to your benefit by setting up scenarios and plans to help you gain more visitors compared to them.
It’s an iterative process: you assess what they’re doing differently and try it on your website to see if it would work. If it does, improve on it, or sack it if it doesn’t. This will help you in focussing on what matters and not losing time on something which might not work.
If you’re wondering about which companies use Google Analytics, then let me tell you, there are around 70,000 companies that use it. If over 60 percent of the Fortune 500 companies rely on it, I’m sure it can serve your business as well! Following are the top ones:
Time and again, it has been proven that Google Analytics is the key ingredient in the world of business establishment and growth. With numerous tools, analytics visualizations, and operations, Google Analytics ensures that you can have an edge in the competition when it comes to rising to the top.
Of course, there is a lot more to Google Analytics, and not everyone would require to use it to the fullest. Be it the free version or the paid version (Analytics 360), one must know what to monitor and how to go about understanding a specific set of functions here to make good use of the tool.
There are many other awesome things one can do with Google Analytics. Let us know in the comment section about how you’ve implemented Google Analytics for your business!