Google Analytics: The Basics

So what is Google Analytics?

It is a free web analytics service offered by Google which can track and report on website traffic. If your business (or personal endeavour) doesn’t have an active or up to date website, then this ideally needs to be remedied and Google Analytics incorporated in order to market more effectively.

But what is website traffic? 

Traffic on your website is split into three sections through Google Analytics: 

  • Organic
  • Referral
  • Direct 

Traffic is the amount of visitors to your website, and how they arrived there. Organic traffic is what you should be aiming for: a high amount of organic traffic means people are finding your website through Google search results, which is a good thing. Direct traffic means people are finding your website by directly typing your name or website address: which is still good, as it means people know to search for you. And referral traffic means people found your website through other means, such as clicking an external link, through another website or through social media. 

Google Analytics gives you detailed reports on all traffic. It will let you know exactly what people searched for to find you (so you can tailor your keywords and website towards this) and how exactly people landed on your website. Based on a monthly comparison, it will also show whether you have more or less traffic from one month to the next, so you can monitor your website work and see precisely what is driving more visitors and what isn’t. 

Main Features

Along with the detailed traffic reports, Analytics can also provide in-depth information on the following: 

  • A ranking of pages, showing you which pages of your website are most popular
  • Bounce rate: how quickly people are leaving or staying on your website. 
  • Whether people are using laptop, tablet or mobile to view your website 
  • Which country provides most visits to your website . And much more. 

A Google Analytics account is easy to set up and link to your website. All the instructions can be found under the official Analytics section of your Google account (and, naturally, this can be Googled!)

This blog has only just scratched the surface of the tools available to you, but there are lots of free tools online, including You Tube tutorials and PDFs to download which will also tell you all you need to know, so there is plenty of information easily available to you.