5 Things To Know: Google Analytics For Beginners

By Michelle Washmuth

EVVUS, Contributor

So you’ve got your website up and running. Now what? How can you know if your site is doing well?

The answer: Google Analytics. Using Google Analytics can help you figure out what people are clicking on, and how you can improve your site. Knowing these qualities is important in creating your digital marketing strategy.

You may be thinking, “I’m not a numbers person. I don’t know how to sift through all these reports. Just show me what to do.” Well, Google Analytics can produce reports that are visual, easy to read and easy to use!

Here are 5 basic things you can learn from your Google Analytics:

  1. Where your site traffic is coming from. With the Audience reports, you get to find out details about your users, like their age or gender. This allows you to learn about who you’re actually reaching on your site, which may change the way you market your product or content. You can also find their geographic location and language they speak. You may find out your audience is in one particular area of the country, and could readjust your marketing strategy with that in mind.

  2. What people are clicking on. You spent all that time creating killer content [7 Steps to Creating Killer Content] (if you haven’t yet checked it out) may have spent hours on content you think is the best masterpiece in the world - but your traffic may show otherwise. The Behavior Flow report gives you a visual of what visitors typically do on your site. The report can also show you how engaged users are with your content. Do users click through the same path on your site? Do they skip over any particular sections? This could be good insight into what content works -- and what doesn’t.

  3. What’s working -- right now! Ever wanted to be a “fly on the wall” while visitors scroll through your site? Google Analytics also offers Real-Time tracking, which is great if you’re looking for instant gratification! You can see what people are clicking on at the exact moment they click, or tap if they’re on your app.  

  4. Are you meeting your business goals? Goals, which represent a completed activity called a conversion, are manually set by you and can be purchases, reading multiple articles on your site or a specific amount of time spent on your site. Google Analytics will let you know what’s leading people to make a “conversion” on your site -  if your website features online shopping, how many people make purchases from their shopping cart? Or do they do research on your site and then go to the store? If you use Google AdWords, a marketing platform that lets you advertise your business, connecting Google Analytics with AdWords can show if your advertising goals are being met.

  5. How people are finding your site. Google Analytics also allows you to track how people are getting to your website. Do people find your site through a web search, or are they directly typing in your URL? Are they getting to you from an ad you purchased? Or is social media your big referral? Once you know what’s working -- and what’s not, you can use your digital marketing budget to make a little bit go a long way.

If this all sounds difficult to follow and overwhelming, Google has got your back. The Google Analytics Help Center has articles on anything and everything there is to know about Google Analytics.

At the risk of sounding too cheesy, knowledge is power, and the more you know about your site traffic through Analytics, the more successful you can make your marketing campaign.