Understanding your business’s online data is a vital part of knowing what digital marketing campaigns are successful or how to improve underperforming campaigns.
Gathering data from multiple platforms can be time-consuming, but there is a way to see all your data in one central platform!
What’s this platform? Google Analytics!
In this blog, we’re going to explain what Google Analytics is, how easy it is to use for your business and some basics of the reporting features.
What Is Google Analytics?
Originally launched in 2005, Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google to track and analyze your website’s traffic.
Google Analytics is by far the most popular tool for websites and is currently being used by 67 percent of websites (and still growing).
The tool works by collecting data from your website and transforming it into easy-to-read charts, graphs and tables.
There are almost limitless options when it comes to viewing reports of collected data. While this may seem overwhelming, Google Analytics is extremely easy to navigate!
If you use other Google services, such as Google Ads or Google My Business, then it’s important to note that Google Analytics is a necessity for your business.
Overall, it’s the foundation of your reporting and can supply you with valuable data.
Using Google Analytics gives you an integrated digital strategy. You’ll be able to see your website traffic along with traffic from other platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Hulu and many more.
When you work with a digital marketing agency, they can help you set up or get access to your business’s analytics through your website host.
Now that you know a little about what Google Analytics is, let’s talk about some basic reporting features to show you what type of data you can expect to see.
Breaking Down Reporting Features
Although every dashboard of Google Analytics can be customized, here’s an example account that Google provides for practice:
On the left-hand side of the page, you will see tabs with different report options. The data that appears in the main section will vary based on which report you’re looking at.
Let’s break down each of the main report tabs so you can better understand what type of information is featured in each:
- Realtime – In this section, you’ll find any data that is happening in real-time, including active pages, traffic sources and pageviews.
- Audience – If you want to get to know your users better, this is where you’ll want to go! You can view their demographics, interests, mobile devices and more.
- Acquisition – Knowing where your users are coming from is crucial, so head over to this report to learn about it. You’ll be able to compare different marketing channels and find out which sources provide you with quality traffic.
- Behavior – This section allows you to see metrics from how users have behaved on your site, such as showing you average time on pages, bounce rate, unique pageviews and more.
- Conversions – Last, but not least, is the conversions report. When you look at this data, you’ll be able to see the path users took to complete an action starting from their entrance to becoming a lead/purchase.
If you’re just getting started and aren’t sure what reports are beneficial to look at, here are a few suggestions from our strategists:
- The Behavior Flow under Behavior shows what pages people are starting to leave on your website. This data can help you determine if something is wrong on your website or if you need to adjust to how your website is laid out.
- Under Acquisition, click on All Traffic and then Source/Medium. This specific report shows how people are getting to your website, the users, amount of sessions and more.
- Click on Conversions and then Goals to view the goals you have set up on your site (If you don't know how to set them up, click here for a walkthrough). You can create goals for almost anything, including if a user was on a page for more than ten seconds or a user clicked on more than five pages.
Feel free to play around with Google's demo account to get more familiar with the reporting features.
Please note that these few reports only touch the surface of what Google Analytics can provide for your business. If you're interested in learning more, be sure to stay tuned for part two!
Overall, Google Analytics is an extremely helpful tool to help you measure the success of your website and digital marketing campaigns. Google Analytics is a vital part of tracking data, so if you aren't already using this tool, the time is now to dive in.
I know this is a lot of information to take in at once, but you shouldn’t feel alone! Google offers Analytics Academy, which is a free course that teaches you how to use this reporting platform. There are two different levels of courses based on your knowledge level.
As a business owner, it's important to understand the basic metrics that Google Analytics provides, so I recommend taking the Beginner Analytics Academy course. When you work with a digital marketing agency, they can help break down the data that you're seeing.
At RevLocal, we pair Google Analytics with Reveal, our own marketing analytics dashboard. When you work with our team of experts, we will provide you with transparent data from all platforms.
Our dashboard focuses on the data that truly matters and helps you understand where consumers are in the buying cycle. If you'd like to learn more about Reveal, make sure to check out our blog covering the latest updates.
If you're ready to start your marketing journey with us, feel free to request a demo with one of our local team members.
This blog was written in collaboration with: Angel Ulis, a Lead Digital Marketing Strategist, and Dylan Weaver, a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist.