Google Analytics
Published On: March 7, 2023 Revised On: December 16, 2023

Understanding the Essentials of Google Analytics

Website analytics collects, analyses, and interprets website traffic and user behaviour data. Every click, page view, and interaction with a website can reveal insights that drive informed decision-making.

Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google that offers website owners and marketers insights into the performance and user interactions on their websites.

At its core, Google Analytics is a data-driven tool designed to help businesses and individuals understand how visitors utilise their websites and make data-informed decisions to improve their online presence. This article will explore its features, benefits, and why it is the most popular web analytics service used by nearly 40 million internet sites.

What Is Google Analytics Used For?

Effective decision-making relies on data-driven insights. Google Analytics provides website owners with a detailed and real-time view of how users interact with their websites.

This data includes information on website traffic, user behaviour, demographics, traffic sources, and more. The ability to collect and analyse this data allows businesses and website owners to:

  • Understand the audience: Google Analytics helps identify the demographics, interests, and geographic locations of website visitors, enabling businesses to tailor their content and marketing strategies accordingly.
  • Evaluate content performance: Website owners can assess which pages are the most popular, where users spend the most time, and which content leads to conversions. This information guides content creation and optimisation efforts.
  • Monitor traffic sources: Google Analytics provides insights into where website traffic comes from, whether it’s organic search, social media, paid advertising, or referrals. This knowledge helps allocate resources effectively and optimise marketing campaigns.
  • Track goals and conversions: Setting up specific goals and conversion tracking in Google Analytics allows website owners to measure the success of various actions, such as form submissions, purchases, or sign-ups. This information is crucial for improving the user experience and increasing conversion rates.

Benefits of Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics offers several advantages. To begin with, it’s a free and easily accessible tool, ensuring that businesses of all sizes, bloggers, and individuals can benefit from its features without incurring significant costs.

One of its strengths is its capacity to provide comprehensive insights into website performance. This is achieved through extensive metrics and reports that allow users to delve deeply into website data.

Additionally, Google Analytics has real-time data monitoring capabilities. This real-time insight enables proactive responses to maximise opportunities and address challenges promptly.

Furthermore, Google Analytics has the flexibility to create custom reports, segments, and dashboards tailored precisely to specific needs and objectives. This customisation allows focusing on the most relevant metrics for unique goals and streamlining decision-making processes.

Lastly, Google Analytics can integrate with other Google services, including Google Ads and Google Search Console. This integration enables users to amalgamate data from various Google tools, obtaining a holistic and cohesive view of their online presence.

Key Features of Google Analytics

Google Analytics collects pseudonymous data on a website using a tracking code to monitor how users interact with every page. Once a Google Analytics account is created and linked to the website, it will use a Javascript code to collate the data and process it into a customisable report.

Here are some of the basic information that Google Analytics can offer:

  1. Traffic Analysis: This tool tracks the source of website traffic, including organic search, paid advertising, referrals, direct traffic, and more. Understanding where visitors originate empowers effective resource allocation and optimised marketing strategies.
  2. Audience Insights: Detailed demographic data, including age, gender, location, and interests of website visitors, is available. Knowing audience demographics helps tailor content and marketing efforts to better resonate with the target audience.
  3. Behavior Analysis: User interactions within the website, such as page views, session duration, bounce rates, and event tracking, are tracked. Identifying popular content and areas of user drop-off guides content optimisation and enhances the user experience.
  4. Goal Tracking: Specific goals and user actions like form submissions, purchases, or downloads can be tracked. Goal tracking measures the success of key website activities, aiding in understanding conversion rates and optimising the website for desired actions.
  5. E-commerce Tracking: For online stores, e-commerce tracking monitors transaction data, revenue, and product performance. E-commerce tracking provides crucial insights for optimising product listings, pricing strategies, and the overall shopping experience.
  6. Multi-Platform Support: Compatibility with websites, mobile apps, and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) ensures a consistent tracking solution across platforms. Monitors user behaviour and performance across all digital touchpoints.
  7. Data Export and Sharing: Data, reports, and insights can be exported and shared with team members or stakeholders. Sharing data facilitates collaboration and enables data-driven decision-making within the organisation.

How To Set Up Google Analytics On a Website

Step 1: Sign Up for a Google Analytics Account

  1. Visit the Google Analytics website: Go to and sign in with a Google account. If one doesn’t exist, create it.
  2. Set up a new account: Click the “Start for free” button to begin the setup process.
  3. Fill in the account details:
    • Account Name: Give the Google Analytics account a descriptive name.
    • Website Name: Enter the name of the website.
    • Website URL: Input the URL of the website.
    • Industry Category: Select the category that best describes the website.
    • Reporting Time Zone: Choose the time zone that aligns with the website’s location.
  4. Data Sharing Settings: Decide whether to share data with Google to improve Google Analytics. Make selections based on preferences.
  5. Click “Next”: Review the terms of service and click “I Accept” to continue.

Step 2: Set Up a Property

  1. Choose a property type: Select “Web” for websites or “Apps” for mobile applications.
  2. Configure the property:
    • Property Name: Enter a name for the property.
    • Website URL: Re-enter the website’s URL.
    • Industry Category and Reporting Time Zone: These will be pre-filled from the account settings. Modify if needed.
  3. Click “Create”: Review the information and click the “Create” button to proceed.

Step 3: Get the Tracking Code

  1. Read and accept the Terms of Service: Review the Google Analytics Terms of Service, and if in agreement, click “I Accept.”
  2. Copy the Tracking Code: After accepting the terms, the unique tracking code snippet will be provided. This code is crucial for collecting data from the website.

Step 4: Install the Tracking Code on the Website

  1. Insert the code: Copy the entire tracking code snippet provided by Google Analytics.
  2. Paste the code into the website: The method for doing this will depend on the website platform. Most content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have plugins that simplify this process. Alternatively, manually insert the code into the HTML of the website’s pages, ideally just before the closing </head> tag.
  3. Verify the installation: Return to the Google Analytics account once the tracking code is added. Under “Admin” in the left-hand menu, select “Tracking Info” and then “Tracking Code.” Google Analytics will indicate whether the tracking code is active and receiving data.
  4. Start Tracking: It may take a few hours or up to 48 hours for Google Analytics to begin gathering data. Once active, access the website’s analytics by logging into the Google Analytics account.

Understanding Google Analytics Metrics

Google Analytics provides metrics and data points that help gain insights into website performance. These metrics offer information about user behaviour, engagement, and the effectiveness of a website. Let’s delve into some key metrics and their definitions, along with an exploration of how they provide insights into website performance:

  1. Sessions: A session represents a user’s visit to the website. It starts when a user enters the site and ends after 30 minutes of inactivity or when they leave the site. Sessions give a fundamental understanding of how often users engage with the website. Monitoring changes in session numbers can help identify trends in user interest and overall site traffic.
  2. Pageviews: A pageview is counted each time a page on the website is loaded or reloaded by a user’s browser. Pageviews indicate which pages are the most popular and frequently visited. Higher pageview counts on specific pages may signify engaging content or areas that need further optimisation.
  3. Bounce Rate: Bounce rate measures the percentage of sessions where a user visits only one page on the site and then leaves without interacting further. A high bounce rate may suggest that users are not finding what they expected on the site or that the landing page needs improvement. It can indicate user dissatisfaction or a need for better content targeting.
  4. Average Session Duration: This metric shows users’ average time on the site during a session. Longer session durations often indicate that users are engaged with the content. Short session durations may suggest that users need help finding what they need or that the content needs enhancement.
  5. Conversion Rate: The conversion rate is the percentage of sessions that complete a specific goal, such as a purchase, form submission, or download. A high conversion rate signifies the website’s effectiveness in achieving its objectives. Monitoring this metric helps optimise the website for desired actions and goals.
  6. Traffic Sources: Traffic sources categorise how users arrive at the website, including organic search, direct traffic, referrals, and paid search. Understanding traffic sources helps identify which marketing channels are driving the most visitors. This insight guides resource allocation and marketing strategy optimisation.
  7. Exit Pages: Exit pages are the last pages users view before leaving the site. Knowing which pages have high exit rates can highlight site areas needing improvement. This data can be used to refine content or calls to action on these pages.
  8. User Demographics: Google Analytics provides demographic data, including age, gender, and location of the website’s visitors. User demographics allow for understanding and targeting the audience better. Tailoring content and marketing campaigns to specific demographics can improve engagement and conversion rates.

What Is The Difference Between Google Search Console And Google Analytics?

Understanding the Essentials of Google Analytics

While Google makes both, Google Search Console and Google Analytics differ in many ways. They are essentially free analytics tools that use different metrics to monitor a website’s performance.

An example would be to imagine having a house on sale: Google Search Console measures how many people know about this house and how popular it is. Google Analytics will show every visitor’s journey in the house, from opening the door until leaving.

To expand on this scenario, Google Analytics can tell how likely the visitor will buy the house based on the time spent on each room or whether they have a piece of furniture in mind after looking at a particular room. This is known as session duration and conversion, both equally vital to determine the success of a website.

Here are some of the measurements that Google Analytics uses:

  • Bounce rate: Percentage of visitors who do not engage with the content after clicking into a website (e.g. if someone spends less than ten seconds on a page and does not click on other pages within the site.). The lower the bounce rate, the better.
  • Conversions: the number of users who follow through on the call-to-action, such as purchasing a course or signing up for an email marketing list.
  • Audience demographics: users based on their location (including city), gender, age, language

In comparison, Google Search Console monitors the following:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): The number of clicks divided by the number of impressions on Google. Impressions are based on the number of people who have seen the link on the Google search engine.
  • Keyword queries: One of the best strategies for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is targeting good keywords.

Identifying which keyword brings the most traffic to a site and ranks well on the search engine can help pivot the website in the right direction.

  • Average ranking: There is a running joke that the best place to hide a corpse is on page 2 of Google search results. That is because people will only look past the first few links to find the answer they are looking for. Find out which keyword is helping rank on the first page in Google search results to decide whether to improve the content.

What Is GA4?

Understanding the Essentials of Google Analytics

GA4, officially known as Google Analytics 4, represents the most recent and enhanced iteration of Google Analytics, unveiled in October 2020.

Its primary objective is to safeguard user privacy, departing from the practice of tracking IP addresses as its predecessor, GA3 (Universal Analytics), did. Furthermore, GA4 has significantly improved its capacity to monitor the journeys of mobile users, shifting its focus from predominantly desktop browsing, which was the case in the past.


In summary, Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for digital marketers. Its importance lies in its ability to provide crucial insights into website performance and user behaviour. It allows individuals and businesses to make informed decisions, optimise content, and enhance the user experience.

Google Analytics provides data needed to adapt and refine digital strategies by tracking traffic sources, audience demographics, user engagement, and conversion rates. In an era driven by data and analytics, it is a tool for those seeking to grow online. At ARCC, we offer digital marketing services in Singapore. Contact us today to discover how we can elevate your business’s online presence and drive results with data.