How it works: Google Analytics

At Squirrels&Bears we believe in simplicity and we like to provide clear answers to your questions. In our #howitworks series we focus on simple explanations of various aspects of small business, highlighting the basic facts, what works and what doesn’t work. And we hope to make your life a little easier.

The Basics

  • Google Analytics is a premium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.
  • Google Analytics’ approach is to show high-level, dashboard-type data for the casual user, and more in-depth data further into the report set.
  • Google Analytics uses a small piece of Javascript tracking code to collect data about your website visitors and their interactions on your website.
  • A properly set up and running Google Analytics account is one of the best ways to keep informed about your website and visitor behaviours.

Do:

  • Set up an analytics tracking code on your site – it allows Google to analyse the traffic to your site.
  • Create your own dashboard with your most important reports, so you can review them easily at a glance.
  • Use Google Tag Manager  to collect actionable data so you can track your social media marketing ROI.
  • Create custom segments that reflect your most valuable customers so you can check the performance of these segments and see if you are on the right track.
  • Get your top reports emailed to you.
  • Filter the internal traffic to your web site to keep your team’s visits separate from external visitors – once the filter is set up, Google Analytics will not collect the data that is filtered out.
  • Set up site search for any website with a search box on it.

Don’t

  • Get lost in all the data – organise your metrics with the right views.
  • Panic if most of your organic keywords are not provided – this is to protect the user’s privacy by hiding the keywords they used to get to your website. You can use Google Webmaster Tools to uncover those missing keywords instead.
  • Ignore your bounce rate – if it’s too high, you should review the possible reasons for it and fix it.

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