What Is Google Analytics?

Incredibly detailed stats about who visited your site

Google Analytics is a tool used to view web traffic information to give website owners an insight into how their site is performing. It can provide useful metrics on visitor numbers, page views, bounce rate (how quickly people leave), and how long users spend on the site. You can also get a good idea of where the visitors are from and even which computer they are using to view your site.

What Does Google Analytics Do?

Google Analytics gathers information about your website because Google tracks who visits which sites. It takes that data and compiles it into reports which can be analyzed to help you create a plan for your site so the site can accomplish the goals you set out.

The data can be filtered based on specific details: time of day, location, which pages are most popular, etc.

Google Analytics can also pair with other services, like Google Ads, and social networks, to see how your use of paid-for advertisements and mentions has an effect on your site's activity.

Combined, these tools can really help website owners and administrators improve search engine optimization (SEO), and enhance the quality of content based on user preferences and habits. For those looking to sell products or services online, this information can help improve retail sales and lead to a more profitable business.

What Information Does Google Analytics Analyze?

Google Analytics is constantly evolving to collect and analyze more data, more effectively, but at the time of writing it looks at page views and visitor data, taking into consideration their location, time and date of visit, length of stay, their device type, operating system, and browser on that device.

It can also look at demographics, such as user's age, gender, and interests, whether they're a mobile or desktop user, a returning or new visitor, and if they have been converted into a paying customer. All of this data can be accessed historically, and looked at in real-time, to see who is actively on the site at any one time.

Google Analytics also has limited scope for focusing its data tracking on individual visitors, but that is limited in scope and number, and Google says all data collected is anonymous. Analytics is also relatively ineffective at harvesting information from visitors who have disabled Cookies in their browser.

How Does Google Analytics Work?

Google Analytics is able to gather all the data and visitor information it does through the use of page tags. Page tags are written in Javascript and added to each to-be-tracked page on a website. That tag essentially tells Google information about any visitors to the site, The tags help harvest important information about them and the device they're using. Google Analytics then analyzes that data using proprietary algorithms to collate it for a person or team to review. The reports can be customized to the needs of the team.

  • Can I use Google Analytics for free?

    Yes. Anyone can use the standard version of Google Analytics for free. Google offers a premium version called Google Analytics 360 (GA360) for businesses. Google also offers a free YouTube Analytics tool.

  • What is a secondary dimension in Google Analytics?

    A secondary dimension provides deeper insight into a set of data, giving you an additional level of sorting in your report. For example, you choose gender as the primary dimension and age as a secondary dimension.

  • What is a metric in Google Analytics?

    In Google Analytics, a metric is a quantitative value. Common metrics for web pages include impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and bounce rate.

  • What data is Google Analytics goals unable to track?

    Google Analytics cannot track purchases, newsletter subscriptions, video views, or lifetime value as goals.

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