Analytics: the branch of logic involved with the analysis of propositions.
That sounds overwhelming and confusing as definition! This is the position which most people take when they take their first glance at Google Analytics. So let’s break things down and get started with Google Analytics.
Setting Up Your Google Analytics
First you will want to go to www.google.com/analytics. If you do not have a Gmail account, you will want to create one in order to access Google Analytics. Now, that you are on the site, click sign up. Here you will have to provide information about your website, industry, and decide what you would like you account name to be.
After you have filled out this information you will be assigned a Tracking ID. This is the most important step when setting up your account so pay attention! Copy this Tracking ID and go into your website’s html code. Paste this code near the beginning of your code in-between, <head> and </head>. This should be done on each and every page of your website!
After you have set up your Website with the Tracking ID, you will now be able to gather information about the people visiting your website. Now you just need to wait until enough data is collected!
Basics of Reporting
This is where the analytical part comes into play. Now that you have everything set up and some months have passed, it is time to see the fruits of your labor and see what can be improved. After logging into your account click the reporting tab at the top of your screen.
Here you will see an overview of your website and a graph that tracks the traffic that has gone to your site in the past month. You should also see key indicators and a pie graph at the bottom the big chart. Let’s take a look at what everything is:
a) Visits: the total number of view of your page in the selected time frame
b) Unique Visitors: shows how many people are new visiting your site in the selected time frame
c) Pageviews: how many total pages where viewed during the selected time frame
d) Pages/visit: how many pages where seen on the average visit
e) Avg. Visit Duration: the average time a person sent on your website
f) Bounce Rate: the percent of visitors that upon arriving at your site immediately left
g) % New Visits: a rough estimate of percentage of first time visits
This was just a quick overview to get started with Google Analytics. This is a very powerful tool that is used by Search Engine Optimization. Knowledge is power and knowing how traffic is coming to your site and from where will help you identify your target market, optimize, and drive more traffic to your website.
To continue on from here, I would suggest becoming Google Analytics certified. If you want some help on how to start, read Google Analytics Certification Study Tips and Resources.