What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is an analytics tool that is web-based and is free. It is offered by Google. This tool helps you to analyse the traffic to your website.

Even though the term “web analytics” sounds like a very minute area of your digital marketing presence, the benefits that Google Analytics for your business are in fact so huge that you can’t live without this in your daily business practice.

For most companies, their website works as a centre for all of your digital traffic. If you are running any digital marketing activities – such as pay-per-click advertising or adverts on social media channels – your users are most likely going to visit your site at a point along the user journey.

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As your website is the central hub of your digital marketing presence, your site is the most reliable way to give you a holistic 180-degree view of the effectiveness of all the online campaigns you are running to promote your product/services . As we stated previously, Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you track the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. This is why over 50 million websites around the world use Google Analytics. If you are not making use of it, you should set it up immediately.

How is Data Collected by Google Analytics?

Google Analytics uses a tiny piece of JavaScript tracking code in order to collect data about your site’s visitors as well as their interactions on your website. 

After creating your Google Analytics account, add the script onto your website. Once Google Analytics is set up, Google it will drop a cookie into the user’s browser for your site. This will help to track every single interaction that a user performs on your website.

The Interactions that Google Analytics Measures?

The term ‘interactions’ refers to all the kinds of activities users perform on your website. These can be as simple as loading a page or something more particular such as clicking a link or a video play button.

Each time a user interacts with your website, the tracking code sends data to Google Analytics about your users. In addition, it also sends information about their interactions on your website. The data that is sent by the tracking code is termed a ‘hit’. A ‘hit’ is defined as a URL string with parameters of information that is useful concerning your users .

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The URL string passes some useful data to Google Analytics about the user that triggered the hit. This information can include information such as:

  • The language of that the user has his/her browser in
  • The name of the page that they are viewing
  • The device that the user is making use of as well as its screen resolution

In addition, Google Analytics extends the gathered data by using other sources, for example:

  • IP address, 
  • Server-log files, and 
  • Additional ad-serving data. 

Using the augmented supplementary data, it can understand things like:

  • A user’s location, 
  • Their age and gender, 
  • The user’s browser, operating system, as well as the
  • Source/medium that referred them to the website.

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The data gathered from the hits varies according to the different types of user interactions. Here are the three most common types of hits:

  • The Pageview Hit is the most common type of hit which is sent to Google Analytics. This type of hit is triggered when a user loads a webpage, which has the tracking code, on your site.
  • Google Analytics is sent an event hit when a user interacts with a particular element on your website. It tracks actions such as clicking a video play button, a specific URL, a product carousel or when they submit a contact form.
  • A transaction or eCommerce hit passes data along to Google Analytics about the user’s eCommerce purchases, for example products bought, transaction IDs as well as stock keeping units (SKUs).

Use these next steps to get started with Google Analytics:

  1. Ensure that Google Analytics is implemented properly. Use Google Tag Assistant to check that it is. If you are making use of WordPress, utilise an analytics plugin to implement it correctly.
  2. When you have a query or challenge with your site, outline the dimension and metric that will demonstrate that problem or answer the question. For example, if you’re questioning if people are discovering a certain page through organic search, look at organic traffic to that page.
  3. Once you have the topic/dilemma, dive further into Google Analytics to find the root of it. If you find that individuals aren’t finding your page through organic search, see if you can use the information provided in order to learn why.

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