Google Analytics is a tool to analyze website traffic. It allows website owners to analyze the traffic on their website in terms of the geographic location of visitors, number of visitors, number of sessions per visitor, average time spent on the website, pages visited, and several other parameters. Google Analytics is used to understand the source and the behavior of visitors. This information can be used to optimize the content on the website and promote the business in a better way.
How does Google Analytics work?
Website owners can monitor the traffic on their website by adding their Google Analytics code to each webpage. Once the Google Analytics code is added to the website, it collects visitors’ data and sends it to Google Analytics. Google Analytics offers various options to study website traffic, such as Real-Time data, Report snapshots, Dashboard, and Insights. Real-Time shows data about visitors who are browsing the site at the current time. Report Snapshot shows an analysis of visitor information according to a predetermined format. The Dashboard is where website owners can customize the data they see in the section. The Insights option is available only if your website has a large traffic; otherwise, it remains inactive. If active, the Insights option shows automated insights about unusual trends in visitor behavior. You can also create custom insights offered when certain predefined conditions are triggered on your website.
The Google Analytics Dashboard
The Google Analytics Dashboard is the section where website owners can see customer reports. Owners can create reports based on a combination of two parameters. The second parameter, in this case, is called the second dimension. To give you an example: there are four broad categories of parameters available on the Dashboard, namely, User, Behaviour, Ads, and E-commerce. Under each of the categories, there are multiple options available to choose from. Under the User category, you have options like Active Users, New Users, Sessions, Sessions per user, Engaged Sessions, etc. If you choose the parameter Active Users, Google Analytics will ask you to select the second dimension. The options available to you are Age, Town/ City, Country, Gender, Language, Region, and many more options. This second parameter of your report is called the second dimension. You can create several such reports based on metrics you wish to analyze and save them. When you visit the Dashboard section of your Google Analytics account, it will show you these reports segregated into seven-day slots.
Options to customize the Dashboard
There are four broad categories:
Under the User Category, you have the following options: Active Users, New Users, One Day Active Users, Seven Day Active Users, Thirty Day Active Users, Sessions, Sessions per User, Engaged Sessions, Engaged Session per User, and User Engagement.
Under the Behaviour Category, you have the following options: Event Count, Event Count per User, Events per session, Conversions, Screen views per User, Average Engagement time per session, First opens, and First visits.
Under the Ads category, you have the following options: Ad exposure, Ad revenue, and Ad unit exposure.
Under the Ecommerce category, you have the following options: Total revenue, Quantity, Product revenue, Purchase revenue, Average Revenue per User, Transactions, Event revenue, and Event value.
The following options are available as the second dimension: Age, Town or City, Country, Language, Region, Gender, New or Established, Audience ID, Signed in with User ID, App Version, Browser, Device category, Device brand, Mobile model, Operating System, Platform, Screen Resolution, Stream ID, First session date, First visit date, First user Google Ads ad group name, First user medium, First user campaign, and First user source. These options are divided into three broad categories: User, Device, and Acquisition.
Using a combination of the two parameters, various reports can be prepared and monitored regularly. It is thus possible to study customers from various perspectives. Google Analytics divides the time frame for the reports into weekly intervals ending with the current day. Thus you can monitor reports for the latest week and previous weeks. It is also possible to share these reports using email and other media.
Google Analytics variants
The latest version of Google Analytics is called Google Analytics 4 or GA4. The previous version of Google Analytics was called Universal Analytics. This was the default property type for websites before October 14, 2020. Starting July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will not process data. Google Analytics 4, formerly known as “App + Web,” is the default property type for websites starting October 14, 2020. Property refers to a website or domain. Google Analytics 4 is more privacy-focused than its previous version. It uses Machine Learning to discover insights into the customer’s journey, and it integrates seamlessly with Google’s advertising platforms.
Google Analytics, along with other Google services like Universal Analytics and Google Global Site Tag, control more than 70 percent of the Global Analytics market. It is a wonderful tool to analyze website traffic and study your customers. The new version of Google Analytics will only make the process of understanding customers easier and more refined. With Google Analytics around, there is no need for any other software to get customer insights.