Getting Started with Google Analytics

By Apr.21, 2016

Whether you have a blog, E-commerce site or try to sell new cars using the power of the internet like me, then the SSMM course at Salford University will teach you that Google Analytics will be key. It will help you to distinguish what sinks or swims and help you to understand your website visitor traffic.

So where do you start with Google Analytics?

Create an account for you and your website here or get an existing user to add permissions for your login and you’ll be able to see the incredibly useful and anonymous tracking data Google Analytics collects for visits to your website including

  • Location
  • Device type (mobile, tablet, desktop)
  • Operating system
  • Screen resolution
  • Internet provider
  • Age
  • GenderGoogle Analytics meme sudden clarity clarence reads i just installed google analytics now i can see everything
  • Language

Along with many other values to ultimately understand your audience so you can target and optimise your website whether you’re selling or creating content.

It may take a while, but spend a little time familiarising yourself with the toolbar at the side. It has taken me around ten weeks to remember all the different options and hidden treasures that can be found.

What is a dashboard?

When you find something great that you would like to see all the time when you log in, you can create a custom dashboard.

Add the most relevant data for you and it can all be easily accessed, kind a like your smart-phone home-screen with your favourite feeds/apps on. Alternatively you can choose from a wide variety of pre built ones and see which ones suit you.

Use the data to your advantage!

Start to look at your website traffic data and see how you can better target your PPC. Campaigns through Google AdWords that can also be integrated into Analytics (your campaigns will automatically show in analytics, if your Google account is the same for both).

Maybe have a look at the location and device type of your audience and test the water by starting campaigns only in the common areas.Road sign thatt reads data analysid CC BY-SA 3.0 NY

Monitor how good the conversion rate is and create reports on analytics using the data gained for future comparisons. If you have areas that have a high mobile device usage you can target a location and device type to see a greater return for your marketing budget.

Other features worth taking a look at

Mentioning this next part could take over your life, so please do not hold me responsible. Google Analytics is available as a mobile app, never miss a website visitor again.

Create event alerts so you can receive email updates from analytics, a very good one is to create a 404 page not found alert and broken links will be reported when used.

You can monitor traffic in real time and see what is being viewed. This can also be used to your advantage to check whether a custom email ad campaign works using the Google URL builder.

This essential tool can be used to separate referral activity into sections and makes it easier to determine what email campaign worked.

Have a check through where your referral traffic is coming from. See who is mentioning you on forums or blog posts this will give you an idea of the websites your audience visits so you can create new advertising streams.

A little tip from me is to analyze your previous content to determine what piece of content is working and why.

Also if you have a seasonal product or if you can guess what your audience is going to be searching for like Christmas, or a new car on the latest registration plate. Make sure you get a good piece of well optimized content posted well in advance so it can begin to gain momentum straight away.

Initially it can be very difficult to understand everything that is going on with Google Analytics but once you get stuck in, it can be extremely rewarding and may even save you a few £££’s