Today I will discuss with you Google Analytics and am going to share a complete guide with 35 key actions and metrics you must know to be able to make the best out of Google Analytics. With the launch of Google analytics 4, you can now view the app and website data together making it an even more powerful tool you must understand to grow your business.
This tool is essential for Digital marketers and for any company with a website or blog. Because if you don’t know what to measure and how to do it, you won’t be able to adapt and improve your online communication and marketing strategy.
Good. Today I will share with you how I use this tool to scale my businesses. I have compiled the 35 most important metrics and actions that you can check out with this great tool. It is essential that you know what to measure and how to do it to successfully develop your strategy in Social Media, Content Marketing, SEO, or SEM Campaigns.
You must keep in mind these questions whenever you are dealing with google analytics. What is my target audience? Through what means do they access my website? How do they behave on my page? And how do they meet the objectives of my online strategy? These are the four big questions that Google Analytics will help you answer in detail.
Despite the amount of data that Google Analytics represents in the form of metrics, this is not a tool for mathematicians or programmers. It is a business tool for marketers and, without a doubt, it is one of the essential tools for any Digital Marketing Manager. All the values that Google Analytics reports contain must be used to make the best decisions for your business.
First steps in Google Analytics
The first thing is to create an account and configure it for your website. Then I will explain how the Google Analytics interface (the buttons) is used so that you know how to move and navigate through it. Before starting in the 4 main areas of the tools, I will also explain what are the basic metrics that you will see later in all the reports mean. Are you ready? Let’s go there!:
Configure and activate Google Analytics
By creating each new account, you get the tracking code (ID). After inserting this code on our website you will be ready to start. Start analyzing from minute zero!
Use of Google Analytics:
You need to know all the basic functions to dive through all the data. The dashboard is straightforward once you get used to changing dates, chart types, and various variables.
1. Date range:
The analysis of the different values with which we are going to measure the performance of our website will refer to a period. That is why it is essential to adjust the date range by narrowing the interval. The impact of our campaigns, the evolution of traffic or the fulfillment of objectives is essential to confine them to a specific time.
2. Compare dates:
Within the date range function, Google Analytics allows us to make comparisons of results with previous periods. So you can compare the overlapping charts for different months or weeks.
3. Time interval of the reports:
Visits evolution graphs can be seen by hours, days, weeks or months. This function is really useful for the different types of monitoring that we implement. If you are looking at the data for a whole year, it will be interesting to put the interval by weeks or by months, to compare with each other. The view by days is the one that comes by default.
4. Types of graphics:
Google Analytics reports have different graphic representation resources to reflect the values of the tables (bars, geomaps, etc.). This is very useful if you want to see for example the proportion instead of the total numbers. You can always vary what it shows.
5. Head-to-head metrics:
It is the accounting part of the values offered by Google Analytics. Generally, it represents a single metric in charts, but you can match it with another and have the two charts overlaid. It will help you study the relationship and correlation of some data and others.
6. Primary and secondary dimensions:
We can assign one or more metrics to each dimension. We can distinguish between primary and secondary dimensions. For example, if we measure the visits we receive on our website thanks to Google, we can add the City dimension to focus our analysis geographically.
The basic data and metrics of Google Analytics
In the reports, you will see many results that will always provide data for the same metrics. So you can compare one and the other in the following aspects.
The main measure that web analytics gives us is the visit. Every time a person clicks on our page and browses it, a visit is generated. It is the basis of our analysis. It is from the visit that we will extract all the essential information on the performance of our 2.0 strategy. We want visits, many visits, but of quality.
8. Unique visitors:
This concept gives us the idea of the approximate number of different people who access our page. A single visitor interacts with our website and can generate several page views and several visits at different times.
9. Page Views:
It is the number of times that a certain page has been opened. It will always be greater than the number of visits and unique visitors. This will be the data that interests you to measure the number of impressions of a certain ad or content.
10. Average Pages per visit:
It is the number and a half of pages of our website that users have browsed during each visit. This data gives us the idea of how appealing our website is to navigate through it. How much interest the content we share and the relevance of the brand for users who have us as a reference.
11. Average time on page:
It is the average stay time of visitors on a certain page. With this metric, you can measure how long visitors last depending on the content, depending on what source of traffic they come from, depending on the city. The average length of stay is one of the factors that Google values the most to determine if an article is interesting or not.
12. Bounce percentage:
This data indicates the proportion of visitors who have entered our website and left it without visiting any additional page of our site. It is a fundamental value in the analysis of the behavior of our public. It gives us the key to the interest generated by the content or the design and usability of our page. By providing a good browsing experience to the user and sharing great content, we will obtain lower bounce rates.
This metric will not have the same values on all the pages of our website, as well as depending on whether it is an eCommerce, brand page, or blog. For example, the bounce rate of our home page will be less than that of an article on our blog in which the user has probably been satisfied with its content when they found the valuable information they were looking for. To obtain really interesting data on the bounce rate we must put it in relation to the content of our site and thus take a good x-ray of those that arouse interest or not.
The four major areas of Google Analytics
Who is my target audience?
In this section, you will be able to segment your audience by city, language, technology, etc. This way you can compare the results of the previous metrics for each case.
13. Recurring visitors:
Metric that gives us information about the part of the public that accesses our website at least for the second time. It is contrasted with the metric of new visitors. In the beginning, a website will have almost all the new visitors, and with time and good work you have to increase the values of recurring visitors. This way you can also give results in the medium and long term since those visitors do not depend so much on your efforts in social networks and search engines.
14. Geographical and language data:
It allows us to segment our audience, to know from which countries they visit us, the language of our readers, and approximations about the age or gender of our visitors. Incredible data that will give us the keys to guide the content, page design, publication hours, etc.
This section provides us with all the information about the operating systems, browsers, and types of devices (pc, mobile, or tablet) that our visitors use to access our website. These data will be of great help to us to adapt the design of our page so that browsing it is accessible from any of these technological means and we do not miss a single visit because we do not have a site with responsive or adaptable design criteria.
How do they access my website?
One of the most interesting data is knowing how you managed to attract someone to your page. You will also be able to know the behavior of users according to their origin.
They are the traffic sources through which we are receiving the visits that access our website. From the channels tab in the acquisition menu of Google Analytics, we find the reports of the sources and means of visitors. In the navigation menu of the report, we will be able to adjust the views to obtain all the data related to the traffic received. It puts us on the track of how and how much our SEO positioning strategy is contributing if we look at the volume of visits we receive thanks to organic or referral searches as well as, if our social media strategy is working and attracting audiences from themselves. The channels are:
- Organic search: These are the visits that access the web through search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
- Direct traffic: These are the visits that arrive by entering the URL of our website in the browser.
- Social: It is the traffic that we receive on our website through social networks.
- Referred traffic: Which of our visits we are receiving thanks to the media that are linking our content.
Here we will differentiate the paid and organic keywords. They are the keywords entered in the search engines through which our visitors have accessed the web. The paid ones will be enabled when we have linked the account with the Google Adwords account, those from organic searches will be available, although there is an increasing number of words classified as not set.
18. Search engine optimization:
To activate this section you must link Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools. It offers us the information of the Google results for all the searches in which we come out: with the number of impressions of our pages, the number of clicks received our average positioning, and the CTR (the percentage of clicks). Thanks to this tool you will no longer have to worry about the words “Not provided” in your keyword report in search engines.
How do they behave?
In this section, you will learn what readers do on your website and what content generates more interest. By being able to analyze each page you will be able to analyze the results.
19. Percentage of departures:
It is the rate of abandonment of our website from a specific page. It differs from the bounce rate in that between the access page and the abandonment page of the visit, our visitors have interacted on it by browsing more than one page.
20. Landing pages:
They are the pages through which our visitors come to your website. It is the page that has managed to attract the reader and discover your page, so it is “the one that has the most merit”. It will allow you to view the content that most attracts your readers on social networks and search engines.
21. Average duration of the visit:
It is the average time that our users remain on our website. It is also very important to measure the interest of different types of users in our content. The duration of the visit will be interesting to study for the landing pages of your website, and thus you will know which of them hook the readers the most.
22. Average frequency of visits:
It gives us the measure of the time that elapses between visits. How many of our visitors access our website a certain number of times as well as the interval of days that pass between connections.
23. Site speed:
Google Analytics offers us data on the loading time of our page, redirection, or connection with the server, among others, with these values gives us suggestions for improvement. Through these metrics it allows us to optimize the browsing experience of our website, improving the technical aspects that may be the cause of the loss of users.
An event happens with a call to action located on one of the pages of our website. The reproduction of a video, the completion of a form or the activation of a banner are events that we can register on the site and measure the results it is producing with our visits. For this, we must install the event tracking since its operation as an element independent of the page load must be done in a specific way.
With Adsense reports (one of Google’s advertising products that allow us to earn income through the placement of ads on our website) we can integrate Adsense’s own metrics into our analysis tool. We can measure the performance and income generated through Adsense on our website, analyzing this data by page and traffic referrals.
What is the conversion of my visits?
It will be of little use to know the total data of your visitors if you do not know which ones are currently meeting your objectives. This way you will know what content or sources really are for you.
Before starting our analysis process, to get the most out of the amount of data that Google Analytics offers us, we will establish our objectives depending on the online strategy we have outlined. We can configure four types of objectives: destination, duration, pages per visit or events. To register an objective we will go through the administrator tab in the view column, «Create new objective».
27. Achievements of objectives:
It is the number of occasions in which we have achieved a goal. When viewing different reports, it will be very valuable not only to know the total number of visits but to look at only those that have generated a conversion. So you can discover that although there are many media that bring you many visits, sometimes those generate fewer conversions than others with less traffic.
28. Value of conversions:
If what we have is an online store, we can have the data of how much we are billing for each of the objectives. However, the value of the objectives in cases other than sales can establish it roughly. We can also integrate and compare the offline information of our business, with the proposed objectives and see the result as a percentage.
29. Multichannel funnels or funnels:
Thanks to them, we will obtain information on which channels have contributed to generating our conversions as well as the routes that our visitors have followed within the web since they have accessed until they have reached our goal. The funnels will help us analyze the degree to which each of the channels is helping to generate business or meet our objectives.
Setting up your own views and reports
Google Analytics customization options
Google Analytics offers you a multitude of functions to customize your own reports and dashboards. So you can track and share certain variables.
30. Custom reports:
One of the options of the Google web analytics tool is the possibility that it gives us to create our own personalized reports including only the metrics and dimensions that most interest us for our measurement object. In the same way, we can create different types of reports to report certain data to the different managers of our company, advertisers, etc. You have the convenience of being able to combine different graphs and metrics in the same view.
Another of the personalization possibilities of Google Analytics is to establish filters with which to specify much more the views that the personalized reports of the tool offer us.
32. Advanced segments:
Segmentation will allow us to generate very precise information directly oriented to our objectives, analyzing more localized sets of data. If we can segment the global data into small groups, it will be very easy to discover each behavior and trend.
33. Dashboards or panels:
Within the Google Analytics customization options, one of the most interesting possibilities is to create our own reports or views. Through the widgets we can concentrate only on the metrics and dimensions that interest us the most, isolating and highlighting the most important information for our business and orientation of our website. One of the great options that it provides us is that we can download very elaborate dashboards, made by people who have shared them.
Share and export the reports
You can easily share the reports through –
34. Invitation to the account:
Through the administrator tab in user management, Google Analytics allows us the option to enable access to our account for those people with whom we may be interested in sharing our views and reports, with different departments of the company or advertisers in our page, for example.
35. Schedule reports by email:
We can share our reports via email from the tool itself, in a timely manner, or by scheduling them as often as we want. This can be used to send your superiors or clients your personalized monthly report.
36. Export function:
All reports can be exported to different formats such as PDF or Excel. This possibility is one of the most used in the generation and customization of the results reports that we generate with the data that Google Analytics gives us. As Digital Manager we will have to prepare performance reports and analysis of strategies and web traffic. For this task, one of our best allies will be to have a results template in which we can periodically dump the data of our analysis to be able to present the reports on the evolution of our social media plan.
Measure and adapt your strategy based on the results
Set what are your metrics that serve as indicators of your work on the web: your KPIs. Measure week by week and month by month to be able to make changes in your strategy. You will obtain valuable information that has to be used to adapt your content, your positioning work, your actions in Social Media, your Email Marketing campaigns, or your paid campaigns.
I hope you find it useful and that it helps you improve your conversion and positioning of your brand. What concepts would you add to this collection of metrics? Do you have any tricks in Google Analytics? Is there a metric that is fundamental for you?