What is Google Analytics

Google offers a free tool called Google Analytics in their suite products, and they offer a paid version called Analytics 360. Google Analytics can be overwhelming at first because there are many tabs to explore, and it can be hard to decide where to look at first. The tool gives you an in-depth look at how your website performs. 

The metrics and data that Google Analytics provides many opportunities to optimize your site better and understand how people are interacting with it. 

Why you need Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a must for any company – regardless of size or industry. 

Its comprehensive interface provides graphs and data for you to look at and find ways to improve your website and understand the people that visit your site. This tool can help you understand demographics of people visiting your website, how long they stay on the site, and which pages have the highest conversion rate. 

Google Analytics helps give you a better understanding of how to optimize your website further and helps you track this information over time. 

It will store all the data from your website from the creation date to the current date. This tool is essential because it allows you to compare how your business has been doing at different times of the year. For example, if you feel like your traffic is down, you could see if traffic was down the same time last year and if it is, this could be a result of seasonality. 

Google Analytics provides a high level and detailed view for you to look at. Then you can dive into all the analytics reports and different tracking metrics that Google Analytics provides you with. The possibilities are almost endless with what you can learn about your business using Google Analytics. 

How to install Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be a bit tricky to set up a first, especially if you do not have a background with HTML, JavaScript, or PHP. The first step is having a Google account and using that to sign in to your analytics profile. 

After you’ve signed up for Google Analytics, you will need to fill out information for your website, and Google has a hierarchical system it follows when setting up accounts. 

You can have 100 accounts, 50 website properties under one account, and 25 views under one property. The image details the hierarchy system that is in place. 

Once you’ve entered this information, you will get a Tracking ID to install on every page of your site. The easiest way to implement it is to have the same head modules for pages or a few different head modules and add the Google Analytics tag to that. 


After you finish setting up your Google Analytics Account, the next step is creating goals for your website. The goals section can be found under Admin and then is under “view,” once you get in the Admin settings. You will click on “New Goal” and create your own custom goal. 

Some example goals include filling out contact forms for lead generation websites or purchasing a product on an e-commerce website. You can have as many as you want, and it is easy to make goals active or inactive. 

Once of this setup, you can begin to look at all the reporting and metrics features that Google Analytics offers you. It will take about 24 hours for everything to go in effect. You will be able to track goals individually or track all the goals at once. 

Types of Reports

  • Realtime
    • This report explains what is happening right now. 
    • Shows who is on your site 
    • Current trending pages
    • Great for news-focused sites
  • Audience
    • Will tell you all you need to know about the people visiting your website
    • Demographics
    • Interests
    • Geography 
    • Language
    • Behavior 
      • How often they visit the website
    • The technology used to visit the website
      • Ex. tablet, mobile, desktop 
  • Acquisition
    • This report shows all the traffic for the website, but can be broken down into more detailed increments 
    • All Traffic Report
      • Good high-level report
      • Categorizes traffic into seven different channels
      • Source/ Medium
      • Referrals 
    • Social Media Traffic
    • Can be connected to Google Ads and Google Search Console
      • Will allow you to learn more about PPC campaigns and the search traffic 
    • Campaigns
      • Broken into all campaigns, paid keywords, organic keywords, and cost analysis 
  • Behavior
    • How viewers interact with the website
    • Landing pages
    • Exit pages
    • Site search
    • Site speed 
    • Can find the best conversion path based on these metrics
  • Conversions 
    • How your goals are converting
    • What pages people are converting on 

Tips for using Google Analytics to improve your website

Some Google Analytics reports or metrics will be used more frequently and give you a better understanding of how your website is performing. Below are some helpful tips to enhance your website by using Google Analytics.

  • Can Find “Low-Hanging Fruit” Pages
    • Find the search results that are bringing you traffic, and you can find this by going to the acquisition and search console. 
    • Find the pages that are ranking on the second page and think of ways to get them to the first page. For example, use long-tail keywords compared to a shorter keyword. 
  • Target Audience 
    • Google Analytics can help you find new markets to target or which ones to stop targeting. You can do this task by analyzing the demographics and conversion rates. 
    • Customer Segmentation
  • Technology
    • Figure out what form of technology people are using the most to interact with your websites and make sure the page is optimized accordingly.  
  • Bounce Rate
    • Don’t get caught up in this analytic, but it is crucial to understand why someone leaves your site after visiting one page.
  • Keywords
    • Google Analytics is an excellent tool for identifying how people are reaching your site and what pages show up for the keyword they are searching
    • Can give ideas for new keywords
    • Can use on-site search queries
  • Don’t Focus on One Report
    • Look at everything
    • Don’t get too caught up in one metric
    • Look at the bigger picture to understand why a metric could be down 
  • Sources of Traffic
    • Understand where the people are coming from and what they are doing on your website
    • If one of the top-performing pages is older, improve, so it is still relevant to what is happening now
    • Create more topic similar to the top-performing pages 
  • Customized Reports
    • Google Analytics offers the ability to create your report
    • This will allow for more personalized reports for your website and can save time 
  • Links 
    • Identify the top landing and exit pages
    • Ex. on the top landing pages you can add internal links, and on the exit pages you can add external links
  • Attribution
    • You can find the data point under the “model comparison tool.”
    • It is really important and gives an insight into what channels are helping convert users
    • You can look at the page they first interacted with and last interacted with 
  • Track Campaigns
    • When you launch a new campaign, you can track to see if it increases traffic and if the new traffic is going to areas your campaign targeted.