Learn more about how to take advantage of Google Analytics to maximize the effectiveness of your online presence.
How to Best Interpret Your Google Analytics Reports
Google Analytics is a powerful (and free) tool that any business with a digital footprint should utilize to maximize the effectiveness of their online presence. The “bread and butter” of what Google Analytics does is to track the performance of various outreach initiatives and marketing campaigns of individual webpages. To do this, Google Analytics provides insight into traffic flow, the heaviest traffic periods by the hour, and how visitors landed on a particular page.
However, simple data accumulation is just the beginning of what Google Analytics offers. The software can also take the raw data measured by Google and turn it into actionable information that companies can harness to design more effective marketing and bump up SEO in the future. The following covers a few key features of Google Analytics and how you can read the reports to understand their practical implications.
Nearly all online activity leaves bread crumbs with nuggets of valuable information – provided you know how to interpret it. Google Analytics makes reading the bread crumbs easier. Tracking who visits your site, what they are interested in, and how long they stay are all critical bits of information that can inform smart marketing.
“Sessions,” which are essentially visits to a website, are recorded on the first page of Google Analytics reports. In addition to the number of visitors, you can view how many pages the average visitors clicked on, how long they stayed active on the site, and how many pages they viewed for each session. All of this information is contained in the Audience Overview section of the report.
Assessing Individual User Data
Google can also track how individual visitors behaved on the site, including their media interests, geographical location, the path they took to reach each page, and the device they are using to access the web. This information is also found in Audience Overview.
Acquisition is arguably the second most critical page of the report because it shows how a user found your site. The main categories on the Acquisition page are organic search, referral, social media link, and direct contact, meaning they typed the website directly into their browser.
These represent a sampling of the many features in Google Analytics. Once you get used to the basic layout and information presented, you can move on to even more involved analytics to supercharge your future marketing and outreach work.