How To Decipher Your Google Analytics Reports

When you first see a Google Analytics report, you may be a little overwhelmed. What do all of these charts, numbers, and graphs mean? Google Analytics requires a bit more in-depth analysis than using Facebook or Twitter ads, for example.

Google analytics tracks and reports website traffic. It seems easy enough, but with so many customizable options and various reports it can be confusing. In this blog post, we will break down Google Analytics into an easy to follow how-to guide. We will start by defining digital analytics. Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and competition to drive continual improvement of the online experience for visitors to your website.

The analytics can measure macro conversions and micro conversions. Macro conversions are very important to your business and drive the revenue. For example, if your business goal is to sell a product, a macro conversion would be if someone purchased the product from your website. Micro conversions are also important, but not the driving forces of your business. These help customers move towards macro conversions. If a customer signed up to receive email coupons for your product, this would be considered a micro conversion.

A few other important terms Google Analytics uses are segmentation and context. Segmentation allows you to isolate and analyze subsets of your data. Some subsets Google Analytics offer include traffic sources, date and time, device, marketing channel, geography, and customer characteristics. This helps you isolate certain factors to see who is coming to your website and how they are getting there. Another term is context, which simply means what standard of comparison are you using. You can compare your Google Analytics reports externally to the industry standard or compare them internally to your site’s history.

Google Analytics recommends five steps of measurement planning.

1. Document your business objectives

2. Identify strategies and tactics

3. KPI’s (key performance indicators)

4. Choose segments

5. Choose targets

Google Analytics allows you to set certain goals for your website, including destination, duration, pages per visit, and event. We will go over what each of these means in more detail.

  • Destination: This means you want your visitors to reach a certain page. If your goal is to sell a product, that page would be an order confirmation page. If your goal is to get visitors to sign up for an e-newsletter, that page would be the “Thank You” page they are taken to after entering their email address.
  • Duration: This allows you to set a time goal that you want visitors to remain on your page. If you have an informative website where you want visitors to read your page in detail, this may be the appropriate goal for you.
  • Pages Per Visit: This means you can set a goal of how many pages you want each visitor to view while on your website.
  • Event: This means visitors did something on your website. For example, an event goal would be getting visitors to play a video or click on a link.

There are three main types of reports offered on Google Analytics – audience reports, acquisition reports, and behavior reports.

  • Audience Report: reveals characteristics about users
    • Helps you better understand user behavior
    • Gives you access to geographic data
    • Allows you to view mobile data to your site
  • Acquisition Report: compares the marketing channels
    • Lets you understand the different traffic sources to your site
    • Helps you find and analyze your marketing campaigns
  • Behavior Report: reveals how users interact with your website
    • Helps identify popular content on your site
    • Analyzes how visitors move through your site
    • Analyzes site search data

In conclusion, using analytics will allow you to understand and connect with your current clients. This will help you to identify the best marketing strategies to reach new customers and retain existing ones. By knowing where your audience comes from and what they like, you can create content personalized for your target audience. The continual use of analytics provides constant improvement of the online experience and acquisition of new clients.