Google Analytics is one of the best web analytics tools on the market today. More than 50 million websites worldwide trust this powerful and robust application.
Any website can use Google Analytics to get a better understanding about what visitors are doing on the site. This free tool makes it easy to track and analyze crucial data.
There are dozens of different reports you can access using GA. Some of these are simple, while others are a bit more complex.
As a beginner, I’ll explain which reports you should be using to get started. This guide will also walk you through the process of installing Google Analytics on your website.
What is Google Analytics? Why Use it at All?
Google Analytics is a free website analytics application that helps webmasters analyze site traffic. It’s one of many tools provided by Google for website metrics.
In short, the platform gives you a complete picture related to your site performance.
GA collects a wide range of data and generates insightful reports. You can use those reports to learn more about your website and its visitors.
Some basic information collected by GA includes how many visitors your site gets, where those visitors come from, how they navigate through your site, how long they spend on each page, and much more. The list goes on and on.
Why do you need Google Analytics?
Your website is the nucleus of your online presence. Whether you operate personal blog, small business website, or international ecommerce company, your website plays a crucial role in your success.
By using Google Analytics, you’ll have a better understanding of how effective your website is as a marketing tool. You’ll learn valuable information, such as which digital campaigns are driving the most traffic to your website.
Tracking traffic patterns and visitor behavior allows you to measure the effectiveness of your website, combined with your overall digital presence.
Where are your website visitors located? Which marketing channels are driving the most traffic to your site? What are the most popular pages on your website?
All of these questions, and more, can be answered with Google Analytics.
The Most Value You’ll Get: Seeing Your Traffic Volume
Everyone who uses Google Analytics loves it. I fall into that category as well. Any time I create a new website, the first thing I do is install GA; it’s become second nature.
While Google Analytics has seemingly endless capabilities, the vast majority of GA users just use it to monitor their traffic volume.
As a beginner, this is the most valuable information that you’ll get from using this tool. Traffic is one of the most critical data points for running a website and business.
Seeing your traffic go up or down by the day, week, or month is extremely beneficial.
Even at a basic level, you can learn a lot about your the performance of website by monitoring the traffic. If traffic is increasing, something is working. Is traffic decreasing? Something is wrong or needs improvement.
For newer websites, seeing your traffic increase is a major validation metric. It helps keep you on track and motivated that you’re doing the right thing.
2 Other Useful Reports
Most of you will install Google Analytics, use it to quickly check your traffic, and then log out. While that’s totally fine, there are a couple of other useful reports you review.
- All Pages
- All Traffic
Even as a beginner, you’ll want to check these out.
The All Pages report is located in the “Site Content” section of the “Behavior” menu on the left side of your GA dashboard.
The report displays all of the pages on your site that people have looked at over a certain time period. It’s helpful in determining what visitors are interested in when they land on your website.
Viewing the All Pages report will tell you which pages need to be updated or improved. Pages with the highest level of interest should be optimized for conversions. If an important page isn’t getting much attention, you can make adjustments accordingly. – Read more