Google Analytics is a free Web analytics service by Google, which provides detailed statistics/insights of a website’s traffic, user behavior, users flow, referral traffic, time spent on a particular page etc. and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes.
So, if you want to know how many visitors are visiting your site, which campaign is performing and so on? Google Analytics has answers to all these questions. You can use this information to optimize your campaigns, improve visitor’s experience and much more. By integrating with Google AdWords you can review the performance of your marketing campaign through already set goals such as sales/conversions, lead generation or enquiry. If you sell product/services online you can trace performance of your website through e – commerce reporting in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics basic services are free and premium service costs $150,000 USD, which provides you more data, faster processing and advanced analytics tools.
How to install Google Analytics
To create a Google Analytics account go to http://www.google.com/analytics/.Log in with your Google account.You will also have to sign up for a Google account as it is mandatory for installing Google Analytics on your website. Email address of any provider can be used for this purpose. Click on access Google Analytics then click on sign up button, a form will pop up, asking URL, Location and Time zone fill it and click on continue.
Steps to set Google Analytics tracking Code:
1. Sign in to your Google Analytics accounts
2. Go to Admin Tab
3. Select Account
4. Select property you are working with, it can be a website or a mobile app
5. Select tracking info-> tracking code
6. Copy the code snippet and paste it before the closing tag in every page of your website
Now you are done with the installation process. Generally it takes 24 hours for Google Analytics to start working and data will appear in your report.
To make sure that Google Analytics is working fine, go to home tab in report – real time – overview, if you are present at your website your visit should show in the report. There are other methods too for verification, Go to your website and right click, select view page source, a new page will get opened, if you find “ga.js” there, it means that Google Analytics is installed properly and working fine.
If you use Google Chrome, set up a Google Analytics Debugger in your browser. Enable it, open your website and right click to select “Inspect Element” in console tab, you will see “Tracking beacon sent” if tracking code is properly installed.
There are several methods to segment your data as per different dimensions however filtered profile provides most accurate segmented data. It lets you access all reporting tools including goal visualization.
Be careful while applying filters to your profile. Apply filters before extracting data from your website and keep them in the same order as they are included. Once you have applied filters, you cannot make changes in it. You cannot change information later.
There are three predefined filters in Google Analytics. You can view them in Admin page by choosing Filters tab under Accounts tab.
1 Domain’s Traffic–You will see traffic from a particular website or a domain as specified by you.
2 IP addresses traffic – You can include or exclude the traffic coming from your company’s IP address or you can set a range of IP addresses you want to see, as per your choice.
3 Subdirectories Traffic – In this option you can include or exclude traffic coming from specified directories.
We suggest you to keep an unfiltered profile so that you can back up your historical data however you can try filters by creating a test profile. To get an accurate traffic data exclude company’s internal traffic and also traffic of any marketing agency working for you.
Google Analytics Functions – Home Page– After log into your Google Analytics account you come to home page where you see one or more websites which you have registered in sign up process. The home page gives a rough idea of your website’s traffic like sessions, duration of sessions, bounce rate and goal conversion rate. It shows the data of a month by default however you can change the date range as per your wish. You can also compare performance of your website in two different time slots.
Reporting – This is very important tab. It shows complete data of your audience. There is a search box on top of menu where you can search specific reports. After that there is a Dashboard which you can customize and add widgets as per your requirements. You can also use readymade dashboards through Google Analytics Solution Gallery.
Shortcuts – Make shortcuts of those reports which you visit on a regular basis. It is time saving and convenient.
Intelligence events – This function works like an alarm clock. You set a value and when that value is reached you get an email.
Real Time – It shows how many visitors are present at your website right now. It gives real time data. You can find details about present visitor of your website.
Audience – This is the most important tab, we use Google analytics for tracking audience. You get detailed information about your audience in this section. In overview you can get information of number of sessions, page views, location and device. You also get to know the age, gender, interest and behavior of audience.
Customization – Here you can specify what kind of report you want, you can create new reports, customize them or import report tools from Google Analytics Solution Gallery. Its main use is that you get tailored report mailed to you regularly
Admin – It is the last menu which controls all the functions of your account. You can manage all the setting of your Google analytics account.
Tracking Goals – Every website has a goal be it product sale, increasing traffic, clicks on page or ad view etc. These are the things you can judge the performance of your website with. Some broader parameters are content sharing, bookmarking, newsletter subscription, etc. You can track all these activities by setting goals in Google analytics.
How to set goals in Google Analytics – You need to be very clear on what goals you want to achieve through Google Analytics.
Steps to set Goal
1. Go to Admin tab
2. Choose an Account, Property and View for which you want to set goals
3. Select Goals under View all website data tab
4. Click on +New Goal to create a Goal, you have a choice to create a custom goal or you can choose from the template
5. Give Name to the Goal and Select Type according to your need. There are four types of goals as per actions Destination, Duration,
Pages/Screens per Session and Event
6. Follow the steps and save the goal
If you want to change anything in goal you can click edit during set up process. Once you have created goals, you can edit it by clicking on the name of the goal and follow the steps.
You can also import a predefined goal as per your need by clicking on Import From Gallery.You can choose a goal template and then edit it as per your requirements. These templates come with set up suggestions which helps you in setting attainable goals however you can select custom to end set up process without any suggestion. Goal categories include revenue, Acquisition, inquiry, engagement, etc. as the objective. Set up at least one goal for each category. You can also assign a monetary value for a goal during set up process.
You can share your goals with others by clicking share button in goal setting in admin page. You will get a URL to share.
Once you create a goal, recording starts however you can put off recording by changing recording status to off and when you need it change it to on. Remember once you create a Goal, you cannot delete it. If you don’t need that Goal lateron, you can make it inactive.
Track Google Adwords Performance
If you are using Google Adwords for promoting your website you can get deep insights into site performance, paid traffic, marketing campaigns by integrating your Google Analytics with Google Adwords. To link Adwords with Google analytics
Log in to your Adwords account
1. Click the tools button and choose Google Analytics
2. A new window will pop up of Google Analytics
3. Go to Admin tab in Google Analytics
4. Select the Property you want to link with Google Adwords
5. Go in Property column choose the property and click on Adwords linking
6. Tick the check boxes near to Adwords account, if you are using My Client Center (MCC) account; click the arrow next to it to expand, now tick the check boxes next to Adwords account.
7. Click the continue button, in link configuration section in Google Analytics
8. Enter a title to recognize your linked Adwords account
9. Choose a view and click on link accounts button, Congrats! You have completed liking your Adwords account with Google Analytics
E commerce functions – If you are into e – commerce industry you can track sales activity, revenue, conversion rate and traffic. Select “Yes, an e – commerce website in the menu and put e – commerce tracking code into your website. You can also track which content of your website people are more interested in, their behavior on your website for this you have to set up an internal search tracking. Go to profile setting tab and select do track site search button in the site search setting.
Tracking page views – Google analytics track page views but there are many interaction that does not create page view such as flash games, videos players, etc which can be tracked by using virtual page views and event tracking. For a virtual page view, put the snippet in call to action code with a name. Similarly for event tracking put the snippet in to call to action code.
Track Social Media Impact – With increased use of social media by internet users, companies are putting great emphasis on social media marketing through this function you can analyze social media impact on your website. You will get social media report in social section within traffic sources report.
Google Analytics Reports
Custom reports are the source of valuable information. It gives exact information you want, you can tailor custom report as per your requirement. Here I am providing an easy step by step guide to create custom reports.
1. Sign in to your Google Analytics Account
2. Click customization tab on the top of page
3. Click on +New Custom Report a form will pop up, you need to fill this form
4. First field is Title, Give a name to your custom report
5. Then comes Report Tab, you can create multiple tabs in report tab for advance and specialized reports
6. In Type Tab you will get three layout options, Explorer it provides you chart and data table, in Flat Table you will find a flat table of data. Map Overplay is useful for location based data report.
7. Metric Groups lets you choose the data which you want to see in the report. There are many options in this field such as Acquisition, Advertising, Behavior, e-commerce, Goal conversion, Social and users. You can choose any number of metrics.
8. In Dimension drilldown you choose to classify the data. You can further classify it in individual rows in the report. This option gives deeper insight to the reports.
9. Next option is Filter it allows you to see specific data. For example you can filter to see only acquisition reports.
10. Now choose a View where you all to see you report and you are done with the work and click on save button to see the report.
11. Click on customization to access custom report
You can also get ready- made custom reports which can reduce you hard work and save your valuable time. Here I am giving a list of some of the useful custom reports.
Time of day report – If you want to see which days of the week you get more traffic, use this report. You can publish your content during that period so that you website gets maximum exposure. To apply time of day report, click here – Time of day report and login you Google Analytics account. This report has another version especially built for e-commerce sites. It exhibits transaction metrics on the top of page. Click here E – commerce time of day report.
Keyword Analysis – if you want to understand how keywords work and improve the ranking of your website use this custom report. It observes most searched keywords and displays visitor metrics, page load time,conversion rates, engagement and revenue metrics. Click here to apply – Keyword Analysis
Referring Sites Reports – This report shows list of sites which are sending traffic to your website. It also displays goal completions and conversion rates. To get this report click here – Referring sites
Better Adwords – if you are using Google Adwords to promote your business this report can help you a lot. It exhibits Adwords acquisition and revenue data in one report which saves your time and gives you valuable insights in Adwords. Get it from here Better Adwords .
Browser Report – This report displays number of browsers your audience is using. You get to know which browser is bringing you most traffic, revenue and purchases. You can also figure out bounce rate of your website in a particular browser. Get Browser Report.
These are some of the most popular and frequently used custom report in Google Analytics. You can get some readymade custom report from Google Solution Gallery . There would be several option choose one which best suits your need, click on import, select a view and click on create.
To conclude Google Analytics is a very important tool which every company should use. It not only gives you statistics about your website but also helps you in improving performance of your website. I am sure that you have learned new things from this article by which you will better understand Google Analytics and efficiently manage your website and audiences.