If you are a web developer, blogger or owner of a website, Google Analytics is an invaluable, free tool which allows you to track your digital marketing effectiveness.
Given that your website is the central hub of your digital presence, your website is the best way to give you a holistic view of the effectiveness of your website design/campaigns/products/services…and Google Analytics (GA) can help you do just that.
What is not measured cannot be improved
Basically, Google Analytics records the activity of your user from the moment he arrives until he leaves your website, and transforms it into different reports with graphs and statistical data which can be measured ongoingly, and hence, improved upon!
The way GA does this is by providing valuable insights into the following data collected from your website:
- Number of visits
- Number of pageviews
- Bounce rate
- Visitor demographics
- Traffic sources
You can look at the above, collected data in two ways:
1) User Acquisition Data
Data about your users before they visit your website
This includes information such as age, gender, interests, as well as data about where they are coming from eg: Facebook, other websites, Google search etc. Having this information at your fingertips allows you to figure out which user group and/or channel to target.
2) User Behaviour Data
Data about your users whilest they visit your website
This data is collected during a user’s session on your website and includes:
- how long a user stayed on your website
- what their first and last page on your website was
- the most common “pathway” through which they moved through your website
Unlike “user acquisition” data, “user behaviour” data can be easily changed by making key changes to your website eg: using the info GA provides you can identify the pages where users get “stuck”, improve their user experience, consequently resulting in more conversions to paying /signed up customers.
In a future blog we will take a more in depth look at Google Analytics from a developer’s point of view such as advanced features like "tracking events", as well as custom reports.