Google Analytics is a mandatory tool for website owners. By installing Google Analytics on a website, you can easily monitor web traffic.
However, not just traffic that you can know. This platform also provides various data about the performance of a site. Starting from where the source of traffic, visitor demographic data, popular content, and others.
All of this data can be used as material for evaluating content and websites. For example, you can decide which content needs to be rewritten or optimized. What plugins need to be added. What technical aspects need to be improved. Which content or products attract visitors.
All things about your website can be known through Google Analytics . But…. You have to know how to use Google Analytics.
In this article, you will learn how to use Google Analytics. We will explain you how to read all analytics data. There are at least six types of Google Analytics data that you need to know:
- Visitor demographics;
- Visitor behavior;
- Number of traffic;
- Traffic sources;
- Website speed;
If so, let ‘s just start discussing how to use Google Analytics.
Important Terms in Google Analytics
Before technical talk about how to use Google Analytics, you have to learn the terms first as a SEO tools. Because, Google Analytics has a lot of menus and sections.
Without knowing important terms, you might be confused and will not be able to use this service to its full potential.
Here are some important terms in Google Analytics:
- Organizations ━ When you have many products and metrics to measure, Organization is grouping them all together in one “folder”. Through Organization, you can use several Google services at once like Analytics, Tags Manager, and Optimize. You can also manage users, access data, and integration between products.
- Accounts Is your access point to the Analytics service. You need at least one account to be able to use and monitor metrics from Google Analytics.
- Properties ━ Properties are objects whose metrics are monitored by Analytics. The object in question can be a website, mobile application, or device. Later, Analytics will issue a special tracking ID for each property that is monitored.
- Views ━ Are for specific data that you want in a property. For example, you can make each view specifically for the entire web traffic, AdWords traffic, subdomain traffic, and so on.
- Session ━ Is an Interaction between users and web pages within a certain period. Generally, Google Analytics counts interactions until the user is inactive (no interaction) for 30 minutes.
- Bounce rate ━ Percentage or number of visitors who leave the web after viewing just one page.
How to use Google Analytics
After you understand the terms above, Now Let’s discuss how to read Google Analytics data. In fact, the six ways below are just a small piece of the overall data that Analytics can get.
But for starters, these six methods are enough to introduce you Google Analytics. These six ways are also more than enough to analyze the performance of a simple web or blog.
In the Realtime menu > Overview , you can check realtime web metrics. When you open the web, application, or your device at that time, the recorded data can be directly accessed
On the Overview page, there will be some data that will appear:
- Number of users who open the web in realtime
- User distribution based on the device used for web access (desktop vs. mobile)
- Pageviews per minute
- Pageviews per second
- Top referrals
- Top social traffic
- Top keywords
- Top active pages
- Top locations
All of the above data is available in simple form. For more complete view, you can access the Locations, Traffic Sources, Content, Events, and Conversions submenus under Realtime.
2. Google Analytics Audience Demographics
Who visits your website? Where did they come from? What topics are they interested in?
That all can be known with Google Analytics. In fact, compared to the other four main menus, the Audience section provides very complete insight.
To see a simple view or summary of audience data, you can go to Audience> Overview . In this section, you can see data such as:
- Number of users;
- Number of page views;
- Number of new users;
- Number of pages opened in one session;
- Number of sessions;
- Number of sessions per user;
- Bounce rate / bounce session;
- Demographics based on language, country and city;
- Operating system used;
- Mobile operating system information used by the audience.
Outside of the data above, you can also find out specific info about the audience. Click Audience> Demographics to find out the gender and age of the audience.
You can also find out what topics your audience likes through Audience> Interests . Through this menu, you can find out what topics interest visitors ( Affinity Categories ), what products are interested and ready to be purchased ( In-Market Segments ), and both ( Other Categories ).
3. Check Visitors’ Behavior With Google Analytics
Don’t think visitor interaction with web content cannot be mapped. Through Audience> Behavior , you can find out how the audience actually responds to every page on the website.
Because this data is very important for you to know, we will discuss this section specifically. There are five types of data that will be discussed. They are new visitors vs. long time visitors, frequency and recency, engagement, session quality, and possible conversions.
New vs. Visitors Old vs. New Visitors Returning
Here, you can detect the number of unique visitors or audiences who are visiting the web for the first time. Besides that, you can also know how many loyal visitors you have.
Not only raw numbers can be known. In both data categories, there is a more complete description of the bounce rate , the number of pages per session, and the average duration per session.
All of this information can help you map out the behavior of new and old audiences.
Frequency and Recency / Frequency
This part can be somewhat confusing. But, we will try to simplify it for you.
Frequency means how often visitors return and revisit the website within a certain time . Google will record every time an audience visits your website.
Say, a visitor opens your web four times a week. Google will separate each session and count them separately. Each session is named “first session”, “second session”, “third session”, and so on.
It is different from recency. This data shows the time period (in days) since the audience first visited the web. If a visitor opens the web on Monday, then opens it again on Thursday ━ it will be counted once visited since the first session.
Through engagement , you can find out two types of data. First a matter of session duration. Second is the depth of the page.
In duration session, Google registers sessions within a certain period of time. For example, session 0-10 seconds, 11-30 seconds, 31-60 seconds, and so on. You can check the number of sessions and the number of pageviews for each session range.
The depth of the page or page depth to explain how many pages are opened in one session. As with session duration, you can also look at the number of sessions and the number of pageviews in the page depth category.
Just like the name, Google counts session quality in a scale of 1 to 100. The smaller the number means the lower the quality of the session. In other words , the session in question is getting further away from the transaction. Conversely, high value means getting more quality and close to the transaction.
Google also counts the number of session, session with transactions, and session without transactions for each session quality scale. That way, you can map trends in the number of visits to get to conversions.
Conversion Probability (Beta)
In addition to assessing session quality, Google also calculates the possibility of audience conversion. Similar to the previous metric, Google assigns values on a scale of 1-100. The smaller the value, the less likely the conversion will be. And vice versa, a large value also means a high possibility of conversion.
Data calculation is still available in beta. Google can only require a minimum of 1000 times an ecommerce transaction to be able to analyze the conversion rate. If the minimum number of transactions is not fulfilled or Google is not sure of the results of the analysis, this option will not be available in your Google Analytics.
4. All traffic / Overall traffic
The amount of traffic is one important aspect that you need to know. This data shows how many websites you visited in a certain period of time. From here, you can know how popular the web is.
However, the amount of traffic is different from the number of unique visitors. In this section, Google only counts the number of times the page was opened. If a visitor reaches the page up to 10 times, the number of open too, who will be counted.
To find out All Traffic menu, you can click the Acquisition> All Traffic.
Under All Traffic there are still channel, treemaps, source / medium, and refferals option. You can you use that four options to see the web traffic in detail.
For example, in the Channel, you can see what marketing channel are accounted for visits to the web. More on this matter will be discussed in the Traffic Sources or Traffic Source section.
In the Treemaps or Hierarchy Map section , you get visual assistance to see traffic trends on the web. This kind of display is more intuitive. In addition, you can also pick which is relatively important, the relationship between two different data.
And in the Source / Medium or Source / Media option , there is a list of marketing channels along with specific sources that contribute to traffic on the web. You can know, for example, what social media works and in what way (referral, cpc, or organic).
The final choice is Referrals or references that contain the website address. That web address mentioned, most likely, contains a link to your website.
5. Traffic Sources
There are many ways to get to your website. The most common way is to type the URL into the address bar in the browser. But it can also, visitors find the web through search engines, or another websites that provide backlinks, or even advertisements.
You can get to know the “walks” visitors take with Google Analytics. By knowing this data, you can evaluate the source of your traffic. You can also use data as consideration in creating promos or strategies to reach the audience.
To find out the source of website traffic, click Acquisition> All Traffic> Channels.
Anyway, there are four traffic sources in Google Analytics. They are organic, direct, referral, and social . The following is a little explanation:
- Organic ━ traffic obtained from the search results on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo !, and others .
- Direct ━ traffic originates from the URL directly typed in the browser address bar.
- Refferals ━ lists websites or channels that send traffic to the web.
- Social ━ sign up for social media that sending traffic to your website.
In addition to the four sources above, there are also paid search and email. These two sources of traffic are usually only found on business and e-commerce websites.
Paid search is traffic obtained from advertisements. Then, email is the traffic that is obtained when you attach a web URL to a newsletter or email marketing .
6. Website Speed
In addition to Google PageSpeed Insight and other tools , you can also check website speed through Google Analytics. For that, just click Behavior> Site Speed.
If you want a simple view, you can select the Overview or Summary menu . Here are some data displayed on the summary page:
- Average Page Load Time;
- Average Transfer Time;
- Average Domain Lookup Time;
- Average Server Connection Time;
- Average Server Response Time;
- Average Page Download Time;
- Site speed based on browser, country and page.
Outside the data above, the load time of each page can also be found in the Page Timings or Page Time section . Google deliberately sorts from popular pages
Google also provides an ideal recommendation for loading pages. Click the Speed Suggestions. Choose which page you want to know about. Then click the link in the Page Speed Suggestions column.
Later, you will immediately be taken to the Google PageSpeed Insight pop-up. This pop-up will analyze the requested web page. In a short amount of time, you will get suggestions that can be applied to speed up load time.
There are many kinds of data that can be obtained with Google Analytics. But as a beginner, you need to know at least six things: realtime, visitor demographics, visitor behavior, number of traffic, source of traffic, and website speed.
If you need more specific insight, you can check Google Analytics articles specifically for businesses . The article specifically discusses how to compare web performance with competitors, checking the location of visitors, browser compatibility, how to know popular keywords, why visitors leave a page, and the strategic time to send an email.