Google Analytics: What is it?

July 17, 2023

Web Development

Google Analytics: What is it?

Launched in 2005, Google Analytics is a service offered by Google to determine traffic in websites and applications. To put it simply, Google Analytics is supposed to help businesses track how well a website is performing as well as collect information from people who visit the site. This information being the things that visitors click on the most, which in turn helps gauge user trends and patterns. Businesses often use this information to determine customer behavior, which helps improve marketing tactics and advertisements.

The Ins and Outs of Google Analytics

If you’re just starting out in the digital marketing scene, we’ll try to keep things straightforward. Google Analytics is free for anyone who owns a Google account, which makes it popular amongst businesses that haven’t quite grown yet. As explained above, Google Analytics aids these businesses in determining the top areas of user traffic in their websites, if marketing strategies were a success, and even tracking patterns and trends brought forth by netizens.

Google Analytics helps website owners know certain relevant data such as:

    • How many viewers are on their website at any given moment
    • how much traffic they get and other historical data
    • what pages in the website people visit
    • how website viewers browse through their website
    • Tracks website sales
    • What countries do their website’s viewers reside in
    • How ads are performing
    • Along with other things

Basically, the main functions of Google Analytics are:

  • Audience Tracking

More than just the basics, Google Analytics can even track the types of users visiting a website, including those unique netizens that have not normally browsed through before. Moreover, GA can also provide information about how long a user browsed and which pages they clicked on. The service also provides businesses with demographics as to when and where users accessed a website from.

The number of pages clicked on by a user is also tracked here, which pairs well when analyzed along with the average user duration on the page. If users only click on one page before exiting, it is called bounce rate. If a website’s bounce rate is relatively high, it may indicate a technical problem that needs to be fixed since this means that users often open a page then immediately exit after it opens.

Businesses may also check the amount of traffic a website has gained during or after a marketing campaign by analyzing the amount of new and returning visitors. It is also important to note that returning visitors also increase the value of the online business.

GA also shows the pages of a website that receive the most traffic, which can be exploited as this data correlates to user satisfaction on certain pages

  • Types of user traffic

Online businesses often get visited by netizens who have accidentally clicked on an ad online, and this is what we call paid search traffic. Organic traffic on the other hand is from users who visited from non-paid sources, Google searches for example. As GA can track both of these, the organic search metric is crucial in determining the effectiveness of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, meanwhile the paid search traffic indicates how well online advertisements work.

If more information is needed about organic searches, the Search Console tab provides businesses with data about search queries, or how well keyword combinations lead to users clicking on the website.

If SEO strategies sounds confusing, it just means how often your business pops up when netizens search keywords related to your business. For example, a lemonade business would want its target market to search for “good lemonade,” and if their business pops up and is visited during that search, that means SEO strategies are working.

  • Advertisements

If you want a detailed analysis about Google Ads related to your business, Google Analytics offers statistics about how long customers browse on a website and other behaviors after they click on an advertisement.

The limits of using Google Analytics

Obviously getting into digital marketing is already a handful in its own, and using Google Analytics is already tough to digest on its own. There is a steep learning curve one must go through just to get the basics done, and to make it worse, there is a lack of customer service when using the free service. Moreover, Google tends to sample size data taken from a business’ website since tons of people use the service already, it would be way easier for them to analyze only a part of the website and apply it to other users visiting the business.

Considering how the service is completely free however, using Google Analytics is still a great success in itself, and with their recent upgrade to Google Analytics 4, the free service is certainly looking up and will reach greater horizons.