How to View Statistics for Your Website on Google Analytics
Website analytics and statistics are two words that might not be used together in the same sentence, but they’re essential to understand if you’re serious about your digital marketing efforts. With Google Analytics, you can track all the daily activity of users on your website, including where they came from, how long they stayed on your site, and how they interacted with various elements on your site (e.g., pages, posts, videos, and events). Then, you can use this data to optimize your site and identify any improvements you can make to enhance your user experience.
Why might someone want to know this kind of information? Primarily, so you can track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. However, you can also use this information to identify potential problem areas on your site and find a way to fix them. For example, you can use the data to pinpoint specific areas where people are having trouble navigating your site or finding what they need. Or, you can use this data to identify high-traffic areas on your site that you might want to redesign or improve.
The Basics Of Google Analytics
If you’ve ever used Google Analytics, then you’ll have a basic understanding of how it works. For those of you who haven’t, here’s a quick primer.
First off, make sure you have a Google account. Then, if you have a website, you can access Google Analytics by going to https://analytics.google.com. You’ll then be presented with a splash page that will offer to install the Analytics app to your phone or integrate it into your website. Click on the Get Started button to continue.
Now, you’ll be brought to the dashboard. This is where you can find out all the essential stats about your website. To begin, click on the View menu and select Overview to see the number of sessions on your site, the time spent on each session, and the countries that accessed your site. Then, move down to Traffic Sources to see the number of sessions coming from each country and the top three referrers.
Next, click on Behavior to gain more insight into your users’ activities on your site. Here, you can see the number of pages visited, the frequency of visits, and even the time of day that your users tend to visit your site. Remember, this information can be pretty revealing. For example, if you notice that a majority of your traffic comes from Germany at 2:00 p.m., you might consider hosting content for German audiences at that time.
More Than Meets The Eye
As a digital marketer, it’s all about numbers. Looking at the raw numbers behind your website gives you an idea of how well it’s performing and whether you’re reaching your target audience. But, in addition to looking at the raw numbers, you can take things a step further and look at the numbers with a scientific eye.
For example, you can use Google Analytics to determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Take a look at the Traffic Sources and Behavior subsections of the dashboard. You’ll see a section called “Goal Conversion” that shows you how many people who came to your site did what you instructed them to do once they got there. For example, did they read your blog post or register for a class or click on a display ad to make a purchase?
Based on that information, you can determine the success or failure of your marketing efforts. Did you focus on the right audience? Were you able to drive them to the right place at the right time? Did you follow up with the right call-to-action to ensure they took action and actually performed the desired behavior?
If you set up the right kind of conversion tracking using tags and customized variables, you can determine the exact actions that led up to the purchase (or other relevant behavior). For example, did they make it all the way to the checkout page before abandoning ship? Or, did they fill out a form and submit it without checking any of the fields?
By understanding the variables that led to a particular action, you can determine how to prevent it in the future. Maybe you noticed that a large number of your users were clicking on a certain product but couldn’t make it to the checkout page. You can use the “new visitor” segment to see the specific words or phrases on your site that lead someone to click on your product and end up as a registered user. Or, you can use the “new user” segment to track the specific landing pages that brought new visitors to your site. In either case, you have a problem that you can fix. Just remember to profile your target audience and find out what they want before assuming you know what they’ll want.
Taking Analytics To The Next Level
As you grow as a business, you’ll want to look for ways to make your site better. One of the best things about Google Analytics is how easy it is to make changes and see the results of your efforts right away. For example, if you decide that a specific blog post was responsible for a spike in registrations, you can use that post as a guide to write similar content for future campaigns. Or, if you notice that your highest-performing blog post led to a spike in web traffic but none of your other content is performing well, you can repurpose that blog post for use on a different platform (e.g., YouTube, Medium, or LinkedIn).
One of the things that makes Google Analytics so effective is that it allows you to drill down into specific categories and metrics. Take a look at the screenshot below. You’ll notice that I’ve sorted the stats by Demographics and Location. By doing this, you can easily identify trends and data points that are specific to a particular group of people or location.
For example, if you notice that a large number of your users are located in Spain or coming from Spain, you can focus your efforts on marketing to, and capturing the attention of, those people. Or, if you notice that a large number of your users are between the ages of 18 and 24, you can repurpose your content to attract this audience.
Keep Your Analytics Up-to-Date
To keep up with the ever-changing world of digital marketing, you’ll want to make sure that your Google Analytics is always current. To do this, simply hit the menu button at the top of the website and select Reports. Then, click on Version comparison to see the changes made from one version of Google Analytics to the next.
From here, you can see a detailed list of all the changes made since the previous version of the software. Simply click on the Newest link to bring you to the most up-to-date version of the software. Then, you can click on the Download button to get the latest copy.