Explaining all of Google Analytics’s features in one blog post would be like trying to summarise Tolsty’s War and Peace into a newspaper article!

So in this post I’m going to cover the basics of what is Google Analytics and how does it work along with an overview of each main report.

Google Analytics Explained

What it is

The official statement from Google is “Google Analytics gives you the digital analytics tools you need to analyze data from all touchpoints in one place, for a deeper understanding of the customer experience. You can then share the insights that matter with your whole organization.”

Translated into non geek speak – “Analytics gives you lots of data about the people that visit your website or app to help you make improvements to your processes or sell more”.

What it does

Essentially it’s a small piece of code that is put on your website.  Every time someone visits your website the code generates a cookie that is sent to the visitor and tracks lots and lots of information about them – for example where they came from, what country they’re in, what they’re interested in etc.

Therefore its SUPER important that you have a Privacy and/or Cookie Policy on your website to adhere to GDPR regulations.
Google Analytics explained

Google Analytics Explained – Audience Section

The Audience section of Google Analytics is probably the one most used by small business owners and it’s all about WHO the people are that have visited your website.

From number of users, pages visited, session duration and bounce rate to age and gender of visitors, their interests and where they are from there is tons of data in the Audience section.  You can even find out what devices your visitors used to get onto your site and what browser they used!

Google Analytics Explained – Acquisition Section

Personally I think this Reporting area is the second most important in the whole of Google Analytics (with Conversions being the first).

Acquisition tells you HOW the people from above actually got to your website – basically giving you data on if your marketing is working or not!

For example, the report below shows that most of this websites visitors (and it’s Google’s Store demo account) can from Organic Search results (48%).

Paid Search (Google Adwords etc) has contributed less than 3% of the total traffic to the site – depending on the cost of the ads and if they were high converting is it really a good return on investment?

Google Analytics Explained – Behaviour Reports

This is probably the least used reporting section for my clients with the majority telling me it’s the most confusing for them – anyone fancy guessing what the image below tells us 😉

I agree that there are some confusing reports in this section but the great thing about Google Analytics is that you don’t have to look at ALL the data – just the parts that are most important to you and your business.

This section really does give some good information – for example it shows you the lowest performing pages on your site so you can refresh them to get more engagement, want to know when people get bored with your site and leave??  That’ll be the Exit Pages section!

Google Analytics Explained – Conversion Reports

Absolutely THE most important section for all small business owners (well, any business owner really) – these reports give you information on your product sales, sales funnel and goals (if you don’t actually sell items online).

If you’re not an e-commerce retailer this section is still SUPER valuable to you.  

Just take the aim of your website (eg to obtain enquiries, download documents, request information) – turn them into goals and Analytics will not only show you how many people actually do what you want them too, it will show you lots of other data so you can perfect the flow and increase your conversion rates!

So there you have it  – the basics of Google Analytics explained!  If you’re not sure about anything or have a question please don’t hesitate to get in touch by popping your comments below.

WANT TO WIN AN EXPERT GOOGLE ANALYTICS SETUP AND REPORTING WORTH OVER £240?

I’m giving one lucky business a totally bespoke, expert Google Analytics set up and monthly reporting for 3 months to celebrate Small Business Saturday on 2nd December.

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning please answer a few quick questions about your current Google Analytics usage here.