Google Analytics – Short Conceptual Explanation

Google Analytics is a tool that tracks website data. It collects data that includes the number of visits, the duration of each visit, the source of website traffic, and the pages that were visited. Based on the information it collects, marketing decisions can be made to better attract and keep users on the site.

Google Analytics Dashboard

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool that can be used with websites in addition to Google’s many platforms, like AdWords and YouTube. Based on the information it tracks, it can provide a personalized report that includes multiple metrics that are measured on the website. When analyzed correctly, the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns regarding SEO, content, and more can be determined.

Graph

What Google Analytics measures

Google Analytics measures many pieces of data that can be reviewed later. Some of the things it measures include the:

  • Number of people visiting the site
  • Number of pages visited before leaving the site
  • Average time a user spends on a page or the website
  • Source users used to click on the website
  • Keywords and concepts used when searching the site
  • Devices users are using when visiting the site

The difference between metrics and dimensions

Metrics and dimensions drive the data collected by Google Analytics. The first step is viewing the metrics, which are the statistics that Google has collected about user behavior. Based on that information, dimensions can be deployed that combine those data points with business specific questions that can be answered based on the way the data is analyzed. For example, the number of people visiting the website is a metric that is easy to measure, but it isn’t helpful when informing a marketing strategy. When adding dimensions that include age, gender, or location, it becomes clear who is using the website the most, which can influence the details of a new marketing campaign that targets those individuals.

What to do with the information from Google Analytics

Based on the information that is collected, details of a website can be altered to make it more successful. How the website is tweaked will depend on the type of data being measured and the goals of the website being analyzed. For example, Analytics can measure the source of users who visit a website. That includes whether they’re coming from social media, local search on Google, or if they are using a directory, like Yelp. If many visitors are being directed from social media, it can be a sign that a recent social media campaign is working, while low conversions and a lot of money spent means that the campaign needs to be rethought. The more specific Google Analytics information is, the better it can inform future strategies. Measuring the location of visitors can uncover which areas of the world visit the site the most. Analyzing search data, however, and what people click on the most can uncover popular topics that can be expanded upon – and it can reveal where people abandon their shopping cart, so that those pages can be made more friendly to shoppers.