Website administrators could be using a wide range of reporting tools, but Google Analytics definitely remains the most important business intelligence platform for every webmaster. Along with other Google platforms like Google keyword planner and Google Adsense, the use of Google Analytics is the best. As Google’s native platform, it covers almost every aspect of website functioning and offers you tons of useful features.
But the sheer number of options is enough to make a lot of webmasters dazed and confused. They have a hard time distinguishing between important and irrelevant metrics, which often leads to time-waste and “off the point” reports.
My goal is to help you get around simply and effortlessly, so keep reading to learn 10 ways to use Google Analytics like a boss.
How to Master the Art to use Google Analytics
The 10 functions of Google Analytics that I am about to discuss here follow a logical pattern. Firstly, I want to introduce you to the basic reporting sections. Secondly, you will learn about dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs). After that, I will describe metrics I believe to be fundamental for the vast majority of websites. Without further ado, let’s take a look!
The first reporting section is crucial because it provides you with audience-related insights. The whole unit is divided into multiple categories in order to analyze website visitors from all angles. Using this feature, you can learn all about:
Demographics: It includes general data like age or gender.
Location: You can see where the audience comes from.
Interests: The metric shows you what your visitors are interested in.
Behavior: Google Analytics also reveals the behavior of site visitors and shows the number of recurring visitors.
Devices: You get to learn about different browsers and devices used to access your website.
Users flow: It’s a graph that visualizes user experience.
Custom: Finally, you are free to tailor audience reports and focus on what you consider most relevant.
If you want to figure out where the audience comes from (and who doesn’t?), then you must go to acquisition reports. It’s a critical segment of Google Analytics because we all want to find a way to attract more visitors to the website.
The section gives you a general overview of all traffic sources combined. This is a good starting point, but you will have to dig deeper in order to find more accurate information. As always, you can keep an eye on various parameters:
Channels: It reveals whether something came from paid or organic search, social media, etc.
Referrals: Discovers third parties that redirected users to your site.
Campaigns: This feature analyzes the performance of your campaigns.
SEO: It gives an overview of your optimization efforts.
Besides these variables, you can also check out additional features such as keywords or social impacts.
Just like the name says, behavior reports show you how users behave when they land on your pages. Of course, it all begins with an overview section and then gradually unfolds to give you more comprehensive feedback.
This section reveals the pages people visited and search terms and phrases they looked for on your website. You can also see “Event Categories” to know if someone actually clicked a certain link on your site. With all those details at your disposal, it is much easier to understand what users want to see and consume online.
Converting visitors is a dream come true for every website administrator. After all, the ultimate purpose of your online business is to attract new customers and grow revenue.
Conversion reports are focused on this part of the business because they explain actions taken by the website visitors. Needless to say, you can discover various details:
Goals: It analyzes website performance according to the goals you’ve defined.
E-Commerce: This unit is dedicated to financial results.
Multichannel funnels: Shows the step-by-step process users go through before completing purchases.
Attribution: This one measures the ROI of each traffic source separately.
Now that you understand the fundaments of Google Analytics, it is time to move on and define your objectives. This is very important because you might get lost in the abundance of information otherwise.
Think about your digital business and ask yourself: What do I want to achieve? Paper writing help agencies need websites to raise brand awareness and attract more visitors, but your goal might be to sell more products through the website or something completely different. The way you answer these questions will give you a general idea on how to plan and define your KPIs.
Create a dashboard
Dashboard creation is the next step in solving the Google Analytics puzzle. It’s an intuitive and user-friendly process since the New Dashboard button is the first thing you’ll see on the menu. The platform allows you to launch a simple Google Starter Dashboard, which is a convenient option for beginner-level administrators.
Once you’re done with the dashboard creation, you must tailor it so as to match your KPIs. Each dashboard offers you a number of widgets where you can find different metrics and set up filters. That way, you are free to define objectives, timeframes, specific pages, and many more.
Analyze the audience
Now I want to concentrate on four elements of Google Analytics that might as well be the most significant for newbie analysts. The first one is audience analysis, with a focus on technology and mobile usage.
The technology feature reveals browsers your visitors are using, while the mobile section highlights visitors coming from smartphone devices. This information is critical to the success of your website because it helps you to optimize for each device individually.
For instance, you can almost entirely focus on mobile experience if you conclude that the majority of visitors use smartphones. That way, you can build a fully responsive site and take mobile experience to the whole new level.
My fellow colleagues at EssayWritingLab believe website traffic is only important if you are selling advertising space on a website. While the metric is indeed crucial for online advertisers, I believe it has the same level of importance for other websites, too. After all, how can you expect to generate new leads and drive conversions if you cannot attract enough users to your site?
However, you shouldn’t analyze the number of sessions separately, but rather try to combine it with additional KPIs. The final objective is to increase traffic by attracting users who are really interested in your content, products, or services.
If you want to understand how your homepage or landing page is performing, you better analyze bounce rate. This KPI shows you how quickly a visitor leaves your site upon landing. Of course, lower bounce rate suggests that your website is doing well. But if you notice that people abandon your website very quickly, you definitely need to consider rearranging the entire homepage or specific elements such as colors, calls to action, images, and so on.
For me as a content creator, this is by far the most interesting metric. If your traffic and conversions depend on content quality, you definitely need to identify the most popular pages and the ones that chase visitors away.
Authors at Australianwritings.net and Edugeeksclub use this metric to learn which topics perform well and also to figure out what needs to be eliminated from their content creation strategy. After that, they can create more well-performing articles and stop writing posts that don’t contribute to the popularity of their sites.
It’s impossible to run a successful website without quality reporting. Google Analytics gives you all the tools you need to identify both the pros and cons of your site, but you have to figure out the key metrics that explain your online business.
I showed you here 10 ways to use Google Analytics like a boss. While these aren’t the only useful features, they are definitely critical to the overall functioning of your website, so make sure to use them and improve performance in the long-term perspective.