Beginners guide to Google Analytics

SEO | Web

June 28th, 2013

google_alaytics

Google Analytics is a vast and powerful tool that enables you to track the effectiveness of your website. Argon Design will install Google Analytics with every website build we do. Once logged into the Interface you are greeted with an abundance of figures, stats and graphs and it can all be very overwhelming initially. This post will explain some of the key stats, what they mean, and how you can use this information to make informed decisions about your website.

Once logged in for the first time you will see the following screen which is the Audience overview page.

Google Analytics Overview

Google Analytics Overview

Audience

This is an overview of arguably the most important stat, how many visitors have you had. The sample size is the previous month by default but you can adjust these dates using the date selector in the top right. Also in this section you can click into Demographics > Location and see where in the world your users are. Technology statistics can reveal what Operating System users have, what browsers and what screen size resolution they are using and in the Mobile area we can see what Mobile devices users have etc. All this information can help us as developers cater for the majority of your audience.

However, one of the most common questions we get is…

Difference between ‘Visits’ and ‘Unique Visitors’

Visits is the total number of visitors you have had whilst Unique visitors refers to have many “different” visitors you have had. Example, Frank visits the site once and Bob visits the site three times over a week period. Visits = 4 and Unique Visitors = 2 (Frank & Bob).

This overview also shows you how many Pages per visit, the average visit duration and the total page views. Now lets drill down into the fun stuff by using the menu on the left.

Traffic Sources

In the traffic sources overview you can see where your traffic is coming from. A graph will show the percentage of traffic that comes from Search Traffic (Search Engines), Referral Traffic (A link has been clicked from another website) or Direct Traffic (user has typed the address in the browser).

Keywords

Here you can see how many people have accessed your site using certain keywords typed into search engines.

Sources

This lets you delve deeper in the traffic numbers by letting you know exactly which search engines have been used & what links are passing the traffic onto you .

Content

Another of the main links on the left, the overview page will tell you how many times each of your pages has been accessed, in almost all cases this will obviously be the home page. From there you can see which are the most popular pages and which are not being viewed as often as you like. We can use this information to make informed decisions. For example maybe this page is lost in the navigation and that is why users are not locating it. A solution might be to make a banner on the home page that stands out.

Whilst this article only scratches the surface of the level of depth Google Analytics can go into, we have covered the key areas you will find most beneficial to your site. If you would like to go into further details or understand how we can use your statistics to improve your website traffic please contact us.