What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that offers a simplified solution to users to track their website traffic while providing key insights and data. A service provided by Google’s marketing platform, it is free for any individual or business with a Google account.
Find out how Google Analytics can make a difference to a website and why it is the most popular web analytics service used by nearly 40 million internet sites.
What Is Google Analytics Used For?
Google Analytics is used as a digital marketing insight tool for small to large businesses to track their website performance. The marketing tool can be used for the following:
- Determine the target audience
- Create customised reports based on metrics
- Identify high-traffic pages on a website
- Provide SEO(Search Engine Optimization) analytics
- Analyse customer behaviour
- Influence new ideas
The platform’s clear-cut visualisation and real-time data can help marketers decide quickly on the next course of action to scale their website. Use Google Analytics to leverage data from other social media and advertising platforms such as Instagram and Google AdSense.
How Does Google Analytics Work?
Here are some of the basic information that Google Analytics can offer:
- The length of time a user spends per session
- Pages visited
- Type of web browser
- Type of operating system
- Referral sources to the website
- Whether the user is a first-time visitor
Such easy access to this information will help marketers make decisions and know which channel works best to create more visibility for any website.
How To Set Up Google Analytics On a Website
To set up a Google Analytics account after completing the web development, follow these 3 simple steps:
- Create a Google Analytics account
- Create a Property to create a tag for the website. For those with two different websites with different target audiences (E.g. home insurance/Food blogging in Singapore), create two different properties.
- Add a tag manager to the website. Either install it manually to each page on the site or use a Google Tag Manager to manage. Some content management websites (CMS) like WordPress have made it more convenient with a special box for a “G-” measurement ID.
Is Google Analytics Free To Use?
Yes, Google Analytics is free to use, providing all the necessary tools, such as real-time visualisation and customer data.
For a large organisation, a paid version of Google Analytics, known as Google Analytics 360, caters to large companies with an enterprise budget. The platform can be used to understand further customers’ behaviours through advanced data collection and deeper metrics.
What Is The Difference Between Google Search Console And 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 SEO marketers 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 make improvements to the content writing.
What Is GA4?
GA4, also known as Google Analytics 4, is the latest and improved version of Google Analytics that was released in October 2020. It aims to protect users’ privacy and no longer tracks IP addresses like the previous GA3 (Universal Analytics) does.
In addition, GA4 now tracks mobile users’ journeys better when previously, desktop browsing was a primary focus. We recommend switching from Universal Analytics, as Google will be phasing it out at the end of June 2023.
There are many benefits to Google Analytics, and it is a simple yet powerful tool that can put a business on the digital map. Website analytic tools help marketers reduce guesses, such as deciding on the right high-quality content and best marketing strategy.