Help managing and understanding your website

Google Analytics: the Basics

What Does Google Analytics Do?
Google Analytics offers realtime information about your website, its users and their behaviour on your website. It can provide useful information about the numbers of people on your website, the content that is being viewed and ranked plus weak or exit points on your website. If you are realistic about running a successful business online then you really need to have some analytical tool to provide information on your website. Luckily google – the tool on which you want to rank on offer one such free tool – Google Analytics.

Key benefits using analytics are

  • Measure your website’s performance/utilisation
  • See if your marketing efforts are working
  • Which type of content to create or products to list on your website
  • Divide users into different segments (like age, gender, country, device, etc.)
  • Help optimise website pages to boost conversions

Before setting up a Google Analytics account

Before setting up your google analytics account I would recommend setting up a gmail account. You can use this for a number of google related activities including google maps and google my business for local seo, google drive for sharing large documents (brochures/service downloads) and gmail itself which offers high level of email delivery and 15G of mailbox space… all for free.

If you want to operate under your own domain (www.domainname.com) then google does offer a apps for business solution. However for now if you wish to use your own email then setup a forward on the gmail account in the settings section and forward the emails from this account to the email address you wish to operate from – this way you wont need to check both inboxes.

Google Analytics Help

Google Analytics: Your first site setup

Once you have your gmail account setup proceed to analytics.google.com to setup your account and website. Once you have selected sign up for free you will be asked to setup an account name. If you have multiple websites then give this a service name (eg: company name). If you only intend to setup a single account then name it something related to the website (it doesn’t have any technical impact). For example I will name our account SWD Ireland Websites.

Next you will be asked: What do you want to measure? At the time of writing there were 3 options – for the topic of this articles we will select web. Next it will ask you for property details. Give name a descriptive title like “Company Name Website”. When a property is added, Google Analytics creates a tracking ID and some javascript This code needs to be copied at the highest point available in the head section of your website.

If you are using a wordpress/CMS website you can download a google analytics plugin and use the tracking ID generated to add this code. This is available on most if not all website services.

Once installed google uses cookies to track how a user behaves on your website and then collects information to show you different reports. If you go back to your analytics account you should see the reports available to view the users on your website.

Audience Report is great to see the numbers on your website – changing the date at the top lets you generate different reports which you can also schedule to be sent – weekly for me is best I think.

Acquisition Overview Report is good to dissect the numbers in the audience report to see where these users came from. If you are running paid adverts you can load just their information to see how long they stayed on the site. High bounce rates (no interaction) would indicate the user did not find the information they were looking for. High pay per click marketing campaigns and high bounce rates are never a good mix!

Behaviour Report is my favourite – here you can track to see what the most popular content on your site is. For example lets say in your report you can see product x is the most viewed content with low bounce rates. Here we would recommend making a showcase piece for this content on your homepage to make it easier accessible and if an option allocate a small marketing campaign to promote this product.

Cant find the information you are looking for?

If you are looking for more information on data analytics and reporting please contact help@swordswebdesign.com

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