An introduction to Google Analytics

An introduction to Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service provided by Google for tracking interactions that users have with websites. It collects data which is used to generate reports that a website manager can access through the Analytics website.

The service is implemented using a snippet of JavaScript code that a website manager / developer is given when signing up to the service; that is placed in the <head> section of the code.

The Analytics user can then access the service and select the data they are interested in viewing. For example, they may wish to see the number of times they’ve had a referral from Facebook in the past two weeks.

There is many different kinds of information that can be collected, this includes…

About the Audience

  • Geographical area & language, which can be narrowed down as far as city, so you can find your Poole users; or demographics such as age and gender.
  • The technology they are using, such as type, brand and model of device, screen resolution, operating system, input selector (e.g. touch screen) and ISP (Internet Service Provider).
  • Whether visitors are new or have used the website previously, and if so, how many times.

About Marketing Channel Effectiveness

  • How users are accessing the website, whether they are a referral from another website or going directly to it.
  • The source of a referral (the location of the link a user used to find the website).
  • Hits generated from organic (free) and paid internet marketing.
  • Interaction with social plugins and other social networking tools.

Website Experience

  • The experience users are having when using a website such as average page load times.
  • What frequently used search terms are.

Conversions and Goals

  • The Analytics user may choose to set-up goals, conversions or transactions on the account. This will monitor the frequency of desired actions on a website. For example, a website may be informative and the website manager may wish to know how many users are downloading a particular PDF document.

Analytics also includes statistics like bounce rate (the number of users leaving without visiting a second page), the number of pages viewed by session and average session duration. This information can be applied to many of the previously mentioned groups.

For example, a desired statistic may be to compare the bounce rate between mobile and desktop users. Which may indicate the need for a responsive design.

These statistics are very valuable to a marketer because they can be used to analyse the success of an existing strategy or highlight the need for a future objective.

If you would like more information regarding this topic, please get in touch.

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