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Using Google Analytics Correctly – Part 1

December 18, 2014, by Sebastian Maier

Google Analytics Correctly

Almost everyone, who operates or works with a website, has heard of Google Analytics at least once. According to Wikipedia, no less than half of all websites use the service actively.

Although the use of Google Analytics is so widespread, there are still many website operators, who either hardly know or do not yet know the service. In this article, therefore, I would like to show you which features are hidden within Google Analytics and how you can use this tool sensibly and efficiently to optimize your website.

Analyzing and Connecting Data

On its website, it says that “Google Analytics helps you analyze visitor traffic and paint a complete picture of your audience”.

Google Analytics Trace Customer Path

With Google Analytics, you can gain insights into the behavior of your site’s users. You can, for instance, know how visitors came upon the website, how they use it, which browser they use, and from which device they accessed the site.

With Google Analytics, you can also measure the success of promotional efforts or the conversion rate of Google Ads. However, I will handle these topics in detail in the second part of this article, which will be published in January.

The Most Important Analyses for Website Content

At a glance, you get the most important data on visitor behavior on a website in the “Audience Overview”. This covers a display of graphs and figures, covering a period of your choice, for user numbers, page views, bounce rates, etc.

Google Analytics Audience Overview

If you scroll down a bit in this view, you come across further analysis options. Here you get advanced information about the demographic characteristics, systems, and devices of site visitors. With these data, you can customize the website even more to suit user needs, for instance, their mobile behavior.

Google Analytics Demographic Characteristics

“Audience” also provides analyses of other exciting data, such as the “Users Flow,” which I consider a really helpful visualization. At a glance, you see which pages site visitors most often land on and how they subsequently interact with the website.

Google Analytics Users Flow

User Behavior

If you want to scrutinize the subject of user flow a bit more carefully, Google hardly leaves anything to be desired under the menu item “Behavior -> Overview.” There, the subpages are listed according to the frequency of hits.

Google Analytics Behavior Overview

In this view, the “Exit Pages” are of interest to website optimization. It pays to check the subpages, where visitors leave the site often, meticulously and, if possible, improve them.

Google Analytics Exit Pages

In a smooster web project, we are happy to set up the site’s Google Analytics account for our clients straightaway. We also equip them with the information, which, while using Google Analytics, they have to take into consideration regarding data protection in Germany.

By the way, as mentioned above, look forward to Part 2 of this article in January, which will deal with campaign and conversion tracking with Google Analytics.

Do you have even more useful tips on how one can analyze website content using Google Analytics?

(All images Ⓒ Google Analytics)

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