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Google Analytics is a free tool, provided by Google that is very helpful for business owners to see what visitors are doing on their website. The data found in Google Analytics can help website owners develop a digital marketing strategy that is results-driven. Instead of hoping and praying for a successful digital marketing campaign, use the data to influence your strategy! Wouldn’t you like to know how people interact with your “online presence”? Some business owners invest a lot of money into their website, and very few actually use Google analytics to influence their business practices!

Google analytics for beginners a complete guide

Learn all there is to know about Google Analytics for Beginners – a Complete Guide! Using Google Analytics to reveal the following:

  • Who your web site’s visitors are and where they are located in the world
  • What website visitors are doing when they get to their site
  • What content is meaningful for your visitors when they interact with your website

How To Set Up Google Analytics

Have you set up Google analytics? Google Analytics can tell you exactly how people are finding your website (organic, paid search, social media, etc), but it can also tell you what people are doing on your website once they land there! 

Step 1: Set up Google Tag Manager

Google is super user-friendly! Using the Google Tag Manager you can add HTML code to your website, without having any coding knowledge. Isn’t that great?! Google tag manager will populate a code that will need to be added to your website header and body.  From the Google tag manager, you can track exactly how many people fill out a contact form, download your pdf freebie and much, much more!

google tag manager - complete guide to google analytics for beginners

Step 2: Create a Google Analytics Account

Of course, you’ll need a Gmail account to do this. To set up Google Analytics, visit the website and follow the steps to creating a new account. An analytics tracking code will be produced, which will need to be added to your google tag manager. So, after obtaining the certification code, go back into Google tag manager, and select “Add new tag”. You’ll choose the “tag configuration button”. Since you’re connecting the Google analytics account you’ll choose “Google analytics – Universal Analytics”. Then, to paste the Google certification code, you’ll select “new variable” and simply paste in the code you received from Google Analytics. Complete! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Step 3: Add Trigger

Now, you want to tell the Google tag manager which pages you’d like Google Analytics to provide data on. Choose the trigger option, and select all pages to ensure that Google Analytics collects data from all the pages on your website. Click save!

Step 4: Set Up Goals

Now you have the option of telling Google which websites are the most valuable to your business. What is a success for your business? Is it when website visitors add items to their online cart? Or, is it when your business receives a phone call or e-mail lead? So, from the main Google Analytics dashboard, you want to choose the admin button on the bottom left-hand side. From here, select goals. Then, you’ll select the red button to set up a new goal.

What are the types of goals you can set up?

set up goal - a complete guide to google analytics for beginners

  • Destination: Choose this one if you want to track when a visitor reaches a specific web page. This could be an e-mail subscription confirmation page, a contact page or whatever page you wish to track visitors.
  • Pages/Sessions: Select this goal if you want your visitors to visit a number of different pages.
  • Duration: Do you want to see how much time visitors spend on your site? If so, set up a duration goal.
  • Event: If you wish to track how many visitors click a specific link, or interact with a video on your web page, then set up an event goal.

Step 5: Set up Google Search Console

google search console google results keyword rankings

Finally, the Google Search Console is essential for finding errors on your website. It also allows you to track your site’s performance and allows you to understand which keywords and phrases are bringing users to your website. How can you set up Google Search Console to communicate with your websites and analytics? After visiting Google Search Console, and creating an account, you’ll click the “Add a property” bottom at the top of the page. Enter the URL of the website, and click continue. A code will be provided and this code will need to be added to the DNS configuration of your hosting provider!

Google Analytics for Beginners – A Complete Guide – Using Google Analytics to Understand Your Website!

Part of my digital marketing services is offering clients paid Google ads campaign management. The goal is to bring traffic to the website so they convert into paying customers! But, what happens if people visit your page, and don’t do anything? How would you even know? It’s all in the analytics! That’s why it’s so important to properly set up Google Analytics so you can make decisions based on the data collected!

Understanding Analytics

google analytics 2 Google Analytics for Beginners - A Complete Guide

In this case, 1.1k visitors came to the website, but only less than half (517) people actually engaged with the website. Furthermore, on monthly reports, Google Analytics tells us that the site has a bounce rate of 83.4%. This is ridiculously high. Remember, a bounce rate of 26-40% is excellent, and slightly above that is average. 83.4% is way too high. It means that 83.4% of people are coming to the website and leaving without viewing any other content on your website! How can you improve your website’s bounce rate? Sex appeal basically. In the digital era, we live in, the overall look of your website matters, a lot!

bounce rate google analytics for beginners a complete guide with Kathleen Parisien SEO Content Marketing

Especially, the mobile version of your site!

As we can see, more than half the traffic is coming from a mobile device. Therefore, it’s essential that the website is mobile-friendly. This includes optimized website speed so the site loads quickly and efficiently! Use this free tool to test your website’s speed and overall performance: Gtmetrix.  If your mobile score is low, and the majority of users are coming to your website using their smartphones, then it’s very important to ensure optimal health for true success with your website.

Google analytics mobile usage

Traffic Generation – Google Display Ads

traffic google analytics

Google Analytics tells us an exact breakdown of how visitors found your website. In one month, 66.8% of users came from Google display ads, and only 23% came from direct methods. This means, that the display ads campaign is effective as it is driving traffic to the website.

To expand your knowledge on Google Display Ads, check out this previous blog post from Kathleen Parisien SEO Content Marketing.

Google Display Network

Use the Google Display Network to show your visual graphic to people actively searching for your good or service. In this campaign, the ad almost got 1 million impressions, but only 508 clicks. This data is from one month and is limited because of a very low budget. However, for only 0.55 cents a view, 508 people came to the website. 508 people actually interested in this specific offering visited the site. Sadly, we know that out of these 508 people, no one took action. The website did not convert one single soul into a customer. What does that tell you? Google Analytics is an amazing tool that every site owner needs in order to make decisions. From these reports, it’s clear that the website needs to be sexier, more modern…. And the mobile version must work better than it currently does!

click gogle display ads

Google Analytics for Beginners – A Complete Guide

Not only has this informative guide explained how to set up Google analytics, but it also provides real-life analytics from a real-life business. Are you looking for help with understanding your Google analytics? Be sure to book a free consultation!