How Do I Read My Google Analytics Data
If you’re trying to grow your business and improve your online performance analytics are crucial. They provide the reports about how your website is doing, how many people are accessing your website, for how long, from which country and so much more. But no matter how many analytic reports are provided to you, there is no point if you don’t know how to decode, read, and understand them. We at marketing eye have put together the information you need, so that you can read your data, make sense of it, and turn them into insights that you can use to improve the performance of your company.
Before we begin let’s define some key terms so that you can refer to them while reading through the rest of the blog.
- Users – refers to the number of visitors who came to the website during the range of time specified. Each person that visits the website within the date range represents 1 user.
- New Users – The number of new visitors during the specified time frame. These are most likely people who have not visited your website before but could also be previous users who have cleared their cookies.
- Sessions – The number of visits your website gets in the date range. Every single visit counts as a session, if the same user goes onto your website closes the tab and then loads up your page again then it counts as 2 sessions.
- Number of sessions per user – The average amount of times a user visits your website. The lower the number is, the more likely it is for the customer not to revisit your website.
- Page views – The number of times a particular page is loaded during a time frame. Every time a page is refreshed it counts as a new page view.
- Average session duration – Average amount of time a session goes for from when the page loads to when it is closed.
- Bounce rate – The percentage of visitors to a particular website who leave the site after viewing only 1 page.
Now that we understand these terms, we can start diving deeper into how to read your Google Analytics reports
Firstly – lets look at which channel people are using to get to your website. This report is found under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. We can look at if they are arriving via the different channel groupings. An example of these channel groupings are Direct, Organic Search, Paid Search, Social.
With this we can get a deeper understanding into the channels that are bringing traffic through to your website, and how long people are on your website for when they come through the different channels. This can show you where to place more focus into. For example if over time we are seeing a reduction in the number of users/new users coming via the organic search channel, we can infer that we are not showing up in organic search results. With this understanding, we can try to boost your website ranking via SEO by increasing the keywords used on your pages, or by adding/editing the meta description of your website.
Now let’s look at, which country people are viewing your website from. We can also look in on the traffic we get from different cities in each country if we want to see this on a more granular scale. This ‘location report’ is found under Audience > Geo > Location – This provides the data in different formats. For more visual learners it can be displayed via a pie chart, but it can also be viewed in tabular form. This information can provide insights on where consumers are coming in from. If for instance your business was operating out of New York and you noticed that there has been an influx of web searches from Canada, we can do research to understand why that has occurred, and if it’s not relevant traffic we can edit the website, or advertising to cater to a more relevant demographic.
In that same manner, if web searches from New York have started to decrease when compared to previous months, we can look at what we can do to increase it. Whether that be, for example via more paid advertising, or SEO.
While we’ve touched on 2 of the reports, there are countless other reports that could be created with different filters. Once you understand the service and figure out which reports are your favourite and provide what your company needs, you can save them. Every company looks at different analytics to base decisions off, its best to go into a decision-making process backed with quantitative data. Usage of Google Analytics is a must, when trying to grow your business online. Google Analytics is a ‘freemium’ service- businesses can use it for free but can pay a recurring monthly fee for more advanced features.With the dynamic nature of the internet, its more important than ever to stay up to date with the internet landscape and understand your website. Checking in on your website at least weekly to understand the ins and outs of your website is a must, by having the data from Google Analytics and being proactive with decision making, you can get an edge on your
Image credit - Myriam Jessier