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What is Google Analytics and Why is it such a Powerful Tool?

By Kieran Layton on April 29th, 2019

The information provided by Google Analytics is highly valuable for your business marketing strategy. Whether you have a team in house, or outsource to an agency, understanding its value as a marketing tool is essential.

Our regular SEO and PPC reports all include analytics data, to help illustrate how your campaigns are performing, where your traffic is coming from and who is visiting your website. It is important that you understand this information or at least the basics so that you can make informed decisions on your marketing strategy.

Keep reading to find out what Google Analytics is and why it is such a powerful tool.

What is Google Analytics?

In short, it is a free analytics tool offered by Google, that provides various metrics about your website. It works by embedding a few lines of code into your website that tracks website data. Google then aggregates this data into different categories of digestible information.

Importance Of Digital Marketing
Advantages Of Digital Marketing

There are 4 levels of aggregation of 4 categories that Google organises the data by:

  • Users
  • Sessions
  • Page Views
  • Events

What data does Google Analytics collect?

Google collects a huge range of data that can be separated into Metrics and Dimensions.

Metrics are concrete data collected by Google about your website:

  • Volume of Traffic
  • Time spent on page
  • Number of pages viewed

Dimensions, are user demographics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location

Google is also able to arrange the data into information gathered before the user hits the website and while the user is on the website.

Acquisition Data - Is data about the users before they visit, this is mostly about where they have been before they arrive at your website, did they search for you on Google? Did they Google something and you came up, did they click your bio on Instagram or a link you shared on Facebook. It also includes demographic data, age, location, gender etc.

Behavioural Data - Is the data about users whilst they are on the site. How long they spend on each page, what pages do they look at on their visit and in what order? It helps to identify which pages are popular and where people are dropping on the site.

What can I do with Analytics data?

Google Analytics gives you the tools to better understand your customers. With the variety of information that Google Analytics data provides about your website, you can understand how they interact with your website and what areas need improvement. You can measure the performance of website traffic driving campaigns, PPC, SEO and Social Media. So not only can you understand your users you can quantify your digital advertising ROI.

What are the key terms to understand? - Analytics Glossary

Acquisition

These reports offer information on how people have found your website, whether it's through paid traffic (PPC), organic (SEO), Social Networks and custom tags.

- Session

A single visit to the website, this could include one or more page views.

- New Sessions

Sessions timeout after 30 minutes of inactivity, so if a user leaves a tab open with your website on it for 30 minutes the next time they interact will be counted as a new session.

- New Users

Within a selected date range, new users are people who visit your website for the first time. As Google Analytics uses cookies for tracking, if a user has cleared their cookies they will be counted as a new user.

Behaviour

This is the group of data that indicates user behaviour on the website.

- Bounce Rate

This is the percentage of sessions where a user leaves after having only viewed one page. This can provide a rough guide to how well your content is performing and if your SEO efforts are working. If your content is interesting people we will stay and engage for longer. If your metadata is inaccurate people will quickly realise the page was not as described and leave.

- Page / Session

This shows the average number of pages viewed in a session.

- Average Session Duration

The average time users spend on your website. Bear in mind Google does not count the last page view so results are skewed lower than the actual amount of time people spend.

Conversion

This is when a goal is completed or a purchase is made during a session. One conversion per session is recorded.

- Goals

These are used to track actions on the website. Goals are something that requires setting up to track such activities as an email subscription, submitting a contact form or logging in.

Why is Google Analytics important?

Your website is at the centre of your digital presence, all traffic from various channels is driven to your website. Understanding how your prospects use the website through analytics is critical for any business. Understanding your audience is a key factor in converting traffic into customers. Google Analytics allows you to understand your current and potential customers, not only through their behaviour on your website but what social platforms they are using and what they are searching online.

Why Is Analytics Good For SEO?

It’s always nice to understand where your viewers are coming from and how long they are staying for but how does this help SEO? Analytics allows your SEO team to see all these metrics giving an indicator into specific problems for example one page might have an unusually high bounce rate suggesting that either the page content is wrong, the page is ranking for the wrong keyword or much more. In all analytics allows SEO teams to diagnose problems within the website whether it is based upon user experience, keywords or content on the website. The features provided by analytics allow people to analyse data giving a far greater range of information on user activity and behavior.

Why Is Analytics Good For PPC?

The data collected by Google Analytics is important for marketers as it plays a vital role for campaign analysis and strategizing. The integration between Google Analytics and Google Ads as well as other marketing platforms, helps marketers get a clear view of how their ads are leading to conversions — and then quickly adjust creatives and bidding accordingly.

The reports in Analytics help us measure what happens after users click on our ads, so we can learn what’s working and what’s not, and take steps to improve your campaigns. We can explore why users didn’t convert by reviewing the bounce rates and site engagement metrics for non-converters, and figuring out where and why they abandoned.

In addition to campaign data, Marketers and Web Analysts can also see website performance data such as Site Speed and Session Duration using the reports in Google Analytics. With these, we can make necessary suggestions in improving website interface and performance to ensure that both campaign and website is optimized for conversion.

If you want to understand & improve on your website performance, and want an agency that are using the best tools for the job, contact Vooba today!