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Google Analytics for Beginners

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Google Analytics for Beginners

August 21, 2016

Google Analytics for Beginners

Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking and and analyzing your website’s performance. If is useful for understanding user behavior, identifying key demographics and measuring onsite traffic. Google Analytics can play a fundamental part in growing your business or brand online.

As a business owner, there are a lot of questions you’ll want answered in relation to the performance of your business website. Google Analytics can provide you with everything from understanding which marketing campaigns are performing the best to which content on your website captures the most interest. If you’re looking to connect the tool to your website, Google Analytics offers a great tutorial which you can find here.

Because Google Analytics can be an overwhelming tool at first, I have put together a short list of terms and metrics you should familiarize yourself with when beginning to use the tool.

 

Terms to understand:

 

Pageview

The amount of times visitors arrive on individual pages of your Website. If a user reloads a page, that action will be counted as an additional page view. If a visitor navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second Page View will be recorded as well. Page views allow you to see which pages on your site are the most popular.

Sessions and Page / Session

A session is defined as a series of page views that a single user makes within one visit to your site over a particular timespan (Google defaults that time frame to 30 minutes, however you can modify the timespan to fit your interests). Simply put, this means that whatever a user does on your site before they leave equates to one session.

‘Pages / Session’ is simply the average number of pages visited per session. The higher the Page / Session metric, the more engaged readers are with your content, and the more they are navigating throughout your site.

Bounce and Bounce Rate

A ‘bounce’ is when the user comes to your site and visits only one page before leaving, regardless of how long they spent on the page itself. Technically, it’s a visit to your site with only one interaction.

‘Bounce Rate’ is the percentage of visitors to your site that ended up with a ‘bounce’.

UMV

UMV, or unique monthly views, is the number of individual users that visited your website.

 

User behaviors to understand:

Traffic

The first behavior it pays to pay attention to is your traffic, and more specifically, where your traffic is coming from. It’s vital for you to know which sites are referring you the most traffic, and from there it’s possible to maximize your efforts towards those channels.

  • Direct traffic measures how many users visit your site by directly putting your website URL into their browser.
  • Organic traffic identifies how many users are conducting a Google search and landing on your site after clicking on a search result.
  • Referral traffic examines the users coming to your site from other outlets such as press placements.

Engagement

Once you’ve analyzed what’s working for your site content-wise, and how people are getting to that content, it’s time to explore how users are then engaging with that content.

  • Pages per visit indicates the average number of pages visited by users who come to your site. Naturally, the higher this number is, the more engaged your audience is, and the more they are exploring what your site has to offer.
  • Session duration is the average amount of time that these visitors spend during a given session on your website. Once again, the higher the number, the longer the session, the more engaged people are with your brand and your website!

As you can see, Google Analytics can tell us a lot more than your old school ‘hit counter’. It allows you to really dig in and find out what is working (or not working) for your business.

Do you have Google Analytics installed on your website? Do you have questions regarding your website’s performance? We would love to help!

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