How to read Google Analytics

Google Analytics

If you’re not familiar with the Google Analytics tool or you’re not from a marketing background, it can be confusing, especially to login and see lots of data with numbers and graphs that you don’t know how to read, or know what to do with. You are not alone! Navigating Google Analytics can be tricky, even for a seasoned professional with updates and endless possibilities for reporting. This blog identifies some top tips to help you understand your website and how it’s being used, by de-mystifying some initial feelings towards the Google Analytics tool.

What is the Google Analytics tool?

Google Analytics is a free tool developed to track how website visitors interact with your website. It allows access to easy-to-read and easy-to-produce reports, which can help your business make important decisions about your website development and SEO tactics.

What is the latest development with Google Analytics?

2022 will see a roll out and continued development of the platform’s GA4 which replaces Universal Analytics from July 1st 2023, encouraging users to upgrade, whilst encouraging the use of other Google tools. The phased roll out is important for eCommerce businesses as they rely so heavily on GA data to form most of their marketing decisions. But as your local digital marketing consultant, I can help you with these changes when you need to make the switch, with changes worked into your ongoing monthly report.

Top tips

Here’s some top tips for reading Google Analytics so you can understand the data at a glance.

1. What is your reason for checking?

One of the first tips to highlight is to ensure that you have a reason to check your analytics. It might sound simple, but you could waste time looking at data with no real takeaway, unless you have an action in mind. For example, perhaps you want to identify if those online profiles with partners are bringing you any additional traffic? Now that really is something worth checking for.

2. Set up notifications via email

Extracting useful data can be time consuming, but setting up email notifications can get you to the juicy bits quicker and with more ease. To do this, open the ‘admin’ section of the analytics account, then in the ‘view’ section select ‘all website data’ and select the ‘custom alerts’ tab. It’s here you can choose to receive emails, or even text messages, each time something happens that you’d like a further understanding on.

3. Make a data comparison

It can be simple to access data in the here and now or report on your most recent activity, but for long-term business success, it is important to also look at how far you’ve come. One of the best ways to do this is to use the compare tool on the date ranges. This is where you can auto compare to a recommended time period or select your own dates.

Perhaps you’d like to review the data month on month? Simple, just pop the dates in the relevant field and apply it to the reports.


4. Mobile vs desktop

Mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic by 2014 and it’s not a surprise with the constant development of mobile phone technology and unlimited data access anywhere in the UK. It’s possible to access a simple report in Google Analytics that will give you an overview of your mobile traffic versus your desktop traffic. Select the audience tab, then select mobile. You can even take a look at which device your website visitors most commonly use.

5. Where do your leads come from?

Understanding where your customers come from when they purchase something from your website or fill in a contact form can feel like a mystery, but not with the Reverse Goal Path tool. Providing that you have some goals set up correctly on your account, then the RGP tool can show you who has completed a goal and every single page of the website visited before they did so. It’s a step-by-step look at what content on your website is helping you to convert those leads.

The possibilities with this tool are endless but as we already alluded to, it’s always important to have an idea of the data that you would like to see, in order to meet your business goals. Contact activ Digital Marketing Kingston today and find out how I can support you with a more accurate look at your website data.

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