Using Google Analytics to gather data

Expert Advice

I meet many brands you do not take advantage of the data they can capture from Google Analytics. This is either because they haven’t set it up, don’t have access to the data as their web developer manages the site or they don’t understand all the information that is available. Let me first of all encourage you to have Google Analytics on your site, it is really easy to set up and the support team are great if you have any problems.

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At first glance, Google Analytics can be daunting and it can be difficult to absorb how the statistics can help you understand your website visitors. Many people have no idea what the terms such as Bounce Rate, Engagement, and Sessions mean.

However, with a bit of basic understanding of what you’re looking at on a Google Analytics Dashboard, then you can use the wealth of data to improve your brand and fine-tune your marketing strategy. In this post, I am just going to give you some basic definitions of the key terms and in later posts I will discuss how to implement the findings.

Google Analytics terms

Once you have set up your Google Analytics you will see the following terms on your dashboard associated with your website;

Sessions: the number of times a user has engaged with your website.

Unique Users: website visitors who have initiated one session

Page views: the number of pages viewed per session

Bounce Rate: the number of single-page sessions, this means the visitor only looks at one page and then goes off the site

Time on Site: the amount of time a single user spends on your website

Pages per Session: the number of pages a person browses on your website

Organic Traffic: users who find your website following a general search on a search engine

Referral Traffic: users who visit your website via a link on another website

Direct Traffic: users who find your website through either links in emails, bookmarked pages, or RSS feeds.

Social Traffic: users who visit your website via a link on a social media platform

Paid Traffic: users who land on your page via a paid ad on either social media or Google AdWords

Email Traffic: users who visit your website via a link in your email marketing campaigns

Top Landing Pages: the best performing pages on your website

In the next blog post about Google Analytics I will help you work out which data is valuable.