Person looking at a laptop with analytics

Google Analytics: What is It?

January 29, 2021

Today, we'll clear the board with simplicity as we move further into the next article of our Google Analytics series. In this post, we review What is Google Analytics? More importantly, we'll discuss what it will do for you.

To summarize, Google Analytics is a free-to-use analytical tool that website and webspace managers use to see the results of their work; to see the graphic evidence of their accomplishments. We used the wording 'web space' instead of just websites because, in addition to the websites you manage, Google Analytics can also apply on outlets like Youtube, Blogger, or Using third-party platforms, while you may add content to them, these are not websites that you directly manage. With that said, Google Analytics can still be used to see the fruits of your labour.

To elaborate further from our touchpoint beginner's guide to Google Analytics (GA), we know the software has been around for over 17 years and has become a marketing standard. You can gain insight into your online performance when you view the marketing tool results regularly.

The detailed reports can be very graphical, including exportable tables and charts, and these displays can provide hands-on options for sorting and searching through your traffic details.

Seeing the Results

The setup for Google Analytics can vary in difficulty depending on your platform of use, and installation options can include plugins for WordPress, pasting in the javascript provided by Google, or uploading the same said code into some pages of your website. Once done, you can begin seeing results of any number of targeted marketing campaigns, including email marketing and even Google advertising.

Google Analytics can also be configured with the Bing Search Console and enable Search Console data sharing to combine your reports, but we'll discuss that in another topic. The data provided by these reports can also determine:

  • which browser your audience used
  • if the visitor was on a desktop or mobile device
  • the number of users using that browser
  • number of pages per session
  • session duration times and which pages were visited the most
  • how the visitor found your website
  • which country they originate from
  • the percentage of *bounce rate
  • and of course what time of date and days of the week they visited

*Bounce rate is a marketing term to indicate the percentage of your visitors who entered the site and then leave instead of viewing additional pages.

Using the Google Analytics Data

Using the data provided from your results effectively can help you to determine the following:

  • what browsers are used the most for your pages
  • what operating system your audience uses
  • if visitors are using desktop or mobile devices more
  • what page are your start and endpoints for the average visitor
  • if your marketing strategies are working for any inner-page or external-page links you have created
  • which pages are the longest viewed
  • if visitors used a search engine, social networking, or other sources to find your pages
  • if your visitors are local, national, or international
  • and the time and date of when you have the most traffic

Helping You Understand What Google Analytics Can Do For You

Using the content from the bullets above, here is an example scenario of what a client could do to change their strategies after reviewing Google Analytics and Search Console historical data.

A client has a brick-and-mortar shop with an online eCommerce store selling products. This client wants to increase their sales in preparation for an approaching holiday. They have reviewed their reports from last year at the same time and found that most visitors were on their online store between the hours of 12 pm and 4 pm and with the heaviest traffic on Wednesdays and Thursdays. They also found that this spike in traffic mid-week was also National traffic within their own country.

Using these report findings, the store owner could launch a marketing campaign in the weeks leading to the holiday. As some options, the client could offer lower shipping, promotional product pricing, or push sale targets on international customers to try to match the predicted national sales. Alternatively, they could also focus on the shorter visitors on the other days of the week and provide promotional sale offerings for a limited time leading up to the holiday to balance their budget!

To help gain the upper hand in your marketing strategies while appealing to your customers, consult with Alley Kat Web Consulting today! In addition to website consulting, design and development, and maintenance solutions, we also offer Google Analytics training. Alley Kat will design Google Analytics training around your needs to help you ensure you're getting the results you need for your business. Contact us today to learn how we can help.