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Measure traffic: Google Analytics

Measure traffic: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that delivers information about the traffic of your website such as visits, page views, time on the site, and your bounce rate. You can find out from where the visitors of your website are coming from and see which pages are more visited, but there is much more valuable information that can be retrieved. In this article we will give you an overview of the main functionalities of Google Analytics.

The first step to start using Google Analytics is to implement their tracking code in your website. In order to get this code you need to login to Google Analytics and select the admin tab. From the account and property columns, select the property (website) you’re working with. Click tracking info and tracking code. This piece of JavaScript is your tracking code, which contains a unique ID (ex: UA-22126691-1) that corresponds to each analytics property (your website). You have to implement this piece of code in every page you want to track before closing the </head> tag. After the implementation, you can use Google’s tag assistant to verify that the implementation was successful (https://support.google.com/tagassistant/answer/2947093?hl=en). It takes some time to start seeing activity after the pixel is implemented, so don’t panic if nothing is shown in your Google Analytics dashboard the day after the implementation!

 

Once the tracking code is implemented and activity is being registered in your Google Analytics account, you can start using this information. Let’s have a look at some terms you must know before using it:

Acquisition—Describes the way you acquire users.

Avg. Session Duration—The average length of a session.

Behavior—This data can help you improve your content.

Bounce Rate—Percentage of visits in which the person left your site without interacting with your page.

Conversion—Number of times a goal have been completed.

Goals—This indicator let you measure how often users take specific actions on your website.

Metrics—Metrics are individual elements of a dimension that can be measured as a sum or a ratio. Screen views, Pages/Session and Average Session Duration are examples of metrics in Google Analytics.

New Sessions—Percentage of first-time visits

Pages/Session—Pages viewed during a concrete session.

Pageviews—Number of pages viewed.

Sessions—Period of time a user is actively engaged with your website.

Users—Includes both new and returning users.

When you login to your Google Analytics account, the first thing you see is a list of the websites you associated to your account, is what Google calls properties. Some basic data is shown, like number of sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate. In the top right corner you can use the date range to see your data for a custom time range or compare 2 different periods. To view more data of a specific website, click on the name and you’ll be redirected to the Google Analytics reporting page.

In the left side menu there is many options, let’s go over them:

Dashboard: 

In this part you can create customized views of your website’s data by using widgets. This allows you to access subsets of data without having to navigate through all the tabs.

Shortcuts:

As simple as you think – these are links to your favorite Google Analytics reports. When you are visiting a report that you want to re visit often click on the shortcut above it.

Intelligence Events:

The intelligence events are alarms you can set up in Google Analytics. You will receive an email when the specific action you defined occurs.

Real-Time:

This option let’s you see the current visitors on your site, showing a map with the locations, main pages visited, etc.

Audience:

In this part you can find all the data related to the users visiting your page such as demographics, geographic information, behavior, etc.

Acquisition:

In this part you can see all the data related to the sources where the visitors are coming from, mainly Referral, Direct, Organic, Social and others.

Behavior:

In this part you can see all the data related to the behavior of the visitors in your website, which pages they visit, how much time they spend, etc.

The data you can extract from this tool is endless, and some reports can be complicated. We recommend you to start generating simple reports in the beginning, and increase the difficulty of reporting step a step.

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