What Is Google Analytics and The Benefits For Your Business

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There are a lot of important KPIs and metrics for today's online business. Also, there are a lot of tools that allow for accurate data gathering and analysis depending on the use case. But when it comes to analyzing your website performance, tracking behavioral patterns of your visitors, and evaluating the success of advertising campaigns, there is nothing better than Google Analytics. 

Let’s find out the features this software comes with and the benefits it can open up for business owners. 

What is Google Analytics and why do you need to use it

Google Analytics, as the name suggests, is an ultimate web analysis tool developed by Google. With the help of this service, the website owner can unlock detailed data about the traffic source, user behavioral factors, and so on. 

What Is Google Analytics and The Benefits For Your Business

According to statistics, there are 29 million sites that use this service and there is no surprise because this tool opens up the following opportunities: 

  • monitoring of behavioral factors of visitors.
  • conversion analysis.
  • fixing and tracking key indicators for the business.
  • implementation of A/B testing.
  • getting detailed information on the effectiveness of various ad channels.
  • tracking website performance in real-time mode, which opens up the possibility of making instant decisions.

In fact, this is only a small part of the features in-built. The functionality of this tool is more extensive, so let’s find out what this must-use solution is capable of. 

Main insights Google Analytics offers to discover

Digital marketing and website promotion are no longer possible without data gathering and analysis. Google Analytics, in turn, allows you to get a detailed picture of what is happening on your site, learn the peculiarities of your audience's interaction with the resource, and even find out more about the characteristics of the audience. 

Main insights Google Analytics offers to discover

Below are the main advantages of this analytics service: 

  • Availability of a free version, which may be sufficient for most businesses.
  • Convenient navigation and ease of use. To use the service, there is no need to have any technical knowledge or skills, all the functionality of the tool is intuitive.
  • Convenient integration with other services from Google and other platforms.
  • A large community of users and specialists who can help.
  • The availability of recommendations from the service will allow you to understand how to proceed and what each indicator means.

Let's take a closer look at what you can get with this tool. Below you will find the main features of Google Analytics and the data that you can get when using the service.

Tracking website traffic

The service tracks all visits to your web resource. This feature makes it possible to study the traffic that comes to your site. The results of such monitoring are one of the components of the effectiveness assessment. 

With the help of Google Analytics, you can get information about the total traffic volumes and generate reports on the items you need. It is also possible to configure the creation of reports for different periods of time to receive the most accurate data on traffic.

Geodata

The service allows you to receive geo data regarding your users’ location, according to their IP addresses. Let’s suppose you provide travel insurance services like EKTA Traveling company. In such a business area, it is important to understand which country or region the users come from to come up with better-personalized offers and understand the actual needs of the customers. 

Traffic sources 

When integrated with your website, Google Analytics allows you not only to find out the volume of traffic but also to accurately determine where this traffic is coming from. For instance, you can find out whether the users come from organic search, advertising, affiliate platforms, or social media. 

Such information allows you to decide on the most effective channels of communication with the key audience so that you can prioritize them and develop better-tailored marketing campaigns.

User behavior

This data allows you to understand the ways the users interact with your site and move from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel. This report demonstrates which content or page elements attract visitors and encourage them to take the targeted action, plus you can also define which UI and design elements need improvement to engage the users better.

Conversion rate

Conversion is an extensive section of the service that includes many reports. For instance, you can analyze the success of your advertising campaign depending on the pre-set goal or unlock deeper insights if you have developed multi-channel funnels. 

But to get more information, it is vital to analyze the conversion rate more comprehensively in different categories, such as: 

  • Associated conversions. These are the conversions for which the current channel was not the last interaction.
  • Main conversion channels. This is a list of channels that led a site visitor to conversion, as well as the number of conversions and their value (if specified).
  • Time to convert. This insight shows the number of days from the first session to the conversion.
  • Sequence length. This point is almost identical to the previous one. The only difference is that the first column does not indicate the number of days before the target action, but the number of user interactions with the site. 

The most useful reports from Google Analytics

The capabilities of Google Analytics are very extensive. With the help of the detailed reports, you can view almost any statistics on the site, set goals for analyzing and calculating conversions, generate comprehensive summaries, etc.

In your profile, you will find several sections, and they will contain additional subsections that are also divided. That is, you can get a lot of statistical information about a web resource here. But it's worth focusing on the most useful Google Analytics reports - they are explained below. 

Audience

This category of reports allows you to get a lot of valuable insights about your custom audience. For example, you can track the geolocation of users, the devices they use to visit the site, where they come from (from search, targeted advertising, external links, etc.), and much more. 

Google Analytics Audience

Using the built-in Google Analytics features, you can not only specify the time interval for analysis but also segment the audience for more accurate analytics. This is useful, for example, when running an advertising campaign. This way you will be able to assess its effectiveness and understand what audience you managed to attract. 

In the  Audience section, you can get comprehensive statistical information on several subsections: 

  • Overview: general user statistics (number of sessions and visitors, average session time, bounce rate, etc.)
  • Active Users: The number of visitors to the site during the selected period, for example, from 1 to 30 days.
  • Cohort analysis: a tool for combining users into cohorts according to a specific characteristic. Such groups can be added to segments and tracked more accurately.
  • User statistics: fairly comprehensive reporting for each visitor to your web resource. From the report, you can find out when they visited the site for the first time, which gadget was used and what is the visiting frequency, plus track conversion for each of the visitors.
  • Demographics: these are the users' reports based on their demographics: gender and age. Demographic information is gathered with the help of cookies. Do not forget to notify the visitors that you are using them to better personalize their experience and offer the most relevant content.

Traffic sources

In this section, you can get more detailed information about where the audience comes from to your web resource. The main traffic sources are: 

  • search engines (organic traffic);
  • direct visits;
  • social network;
  • external links;
  • email newsletters;
  • advertising.

The study of traffic channels allows you to understand which of them are the most effective, and which strategies require improvement. For example, if you have a lot of conversions from ads, but there is almost no organic traffic, this is a reason to think about SEO.

By the way, all traffic channels in the table are clickable. By clicking on the corresponding item, you will receive even more detailed statistics. Plus, here you can view the so-called performance view. These are clearer reports that show how some channels are more effective than others.

If you run AdWords advertising campaigns, you can use the Google Ads analytics section. It contains data on advertising campaigns, the most effective keywords, and other important information.

User behavior

Behavioral factors are some of the keys to understanding your users and your website effectiveness as well. This section contains detailed information on how users interact with content and with the site in general. 

Google Analytics User behavior

For example, you can find out which sections and pages are most visited, where there are too many bounces, how quickly pages load in different web browsers, and much more.

By the way, pay special attention to the subsection Site speed page timing. Here you will not only see how fast the pages are loading, but you will also be able to get a set of recommendations for eliminating existing problems.

Conversions

A large number of visitors and their engagement are definitely good. However, making a target action and converting leads into customers is more important. That’s why Google Analytics has a section with a detailed analysis of conversions. In this case, you also indicate which target action can be considered a conversion. 

For example, subscribing to the newsletter, placing an order, or leaving a request are conversions depending on the goal of the advertising campaign.  That’s why you first need to set a goal to track the conversion rate in Google Analytics.

In the Conversions section, you can see comprehensive reports on pages where the set goals were achieved, visualize the sequence of actions of site visitors, find out the effectiveness of certain goods or services, and so on.

Google Analytics goal conversion rates

Also, keep in mind that there are tips inside each report. Marketers note that these tips are highly effective, which can be very useful for newbies. It is recommended to test the tips of the service in practice, as it can bring your site a significant improvement on specific points.

Real-time mode

The capabilities of Google Analytics allow you to see what is happening on the website at the moment at any time. And this is a very useful option for those who want to get the most accurate data. Information about visits to pages and other actions is added to the database a couple of seconds after their implementation.

Here you can see how many people are on the site or in the app right now, where they are geographically located, where they came from, which specific pages they are browsing, and how many of them have performed conversion actions.

Reports on events

You can set any event, from visiting a specified web page to performing a specific action: clicking on a button, downloading a file/document, and so on.

You can not only "force" the system to count the events you want, but you can also assign labels and values to those events. This is an optional feature but this way you can better update the data that is important to you.

Setting goals

One of the important advantages of setting up Google Analytics is the availability of ready-made goal templates that are available without any restrictions. However, it is not worth dwelling only on them. They do not differ so much in settings, and the data from them is not very representative. That’s why it is better to create your own goals through a special form.

Perhaps these are the most important points for business owners, regardless of the industry. As noted earlier, Google Analytics is free to use. Its functionality can be quite enough to track your website performance and get insights for further activities. As for the paid features of the tool, they are not always vital. Therefore, everyone has the opportunity to use it effectively for free. 

Wrapping up: what Is Google Analytics and the benefits for your business

Google Analytics is a must-use tool for any marketer and online business owner. The reports it comes with provide important and useful information that can serve as an action plan to improve the performance of your site. 

The key to the successful use of this service is to skillfully apply all the analytical data obtained in practice. The correct analysis and the skill to extract step-by-step guidance from such data will improve the position of your business in the online space and help you successfully implement all the strategies for promoting your business.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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