What is Google Analytics and How it works – Without having data available, you cannot know if your website is working properly. But, for the verification of the case, there is a precious tool : it is called Google Analytics, and it is a free tool that will allow you to have access to a huge amount of data.
Unfortunately, Google Analytics is a notoriously complex tool. Many people, therefore decide to abandon their use after an initial moment of confusion.
Still, there are key metrics to analyze if you want to be sure your SEO strategies are really working. So let’s try to understand together how Google Analytics works . In this guide I will give you an overview of the tool, which will allow you to make the most of some features.
What is Google Analytics
Clearly, before learning how to use the data it provides, you must first try to understand what Google Analytics is Analytics is the free analysis tool, offered by Google, which allows you to obtain details (even very in-depth) relating to the performance of your website .
It can also be integrated with other Google tools, such as Search Console or Google Ads, in order to provide you with other even more detailed and precise data. Data that obviously will relate to every quantifiable aspect of your website.
If we wanted to say it in even simpler words, thanks to Analytics you will be able to know exactly which pages are most visited, how many active users are at a given time, from what type of device they are connecting, and much more .
This is basically all that information that gives you an idea of how your overall SEO strategy is doing . In case your metrics are not satisfactory, thanks to Analytics you will be able to know exactly which aspects you need to work on.
To get an even deeper idea of how Google Analytics works, you need to know that thanks to this tool , a small piece of tracking code is inserted into your website .
Thanks to the tracking code, Google Analytics will record all the activities carried out on your website, as well as a huge amount of additional information about the users who visit it. All information collected by the tracking code will be made available to you thanks to the Google Analytics web platform.
How to Set up Google Analytics For Website
Obviously, for the Google Analytics tracking code to be inserted into your website code, you must first take steps to start using the tool . First, you will need to have a Google account : if you don’t have one yet, you can create it for free at the official page for creating Google accounts .
Once you have your Google account, you can use it to log into Analytics. For the first access, you will be asked for some data relating to your website . In fact, you will need to add, in addition to the URL of your website, also the sector to which it belongs and the name of the site itself.
Once you have entered the required information, you will get a tracking ID , which is the part of the code that will allow you to obtain all the information relating to your website.
As we said in the previous paragraph, in fact, thanks to the tracking code Google will be able to record the activities that take place on your website.
For this reason, the code you have obtained must be inserted on all pages of your website .
Of course, you won’t have to enter the code manually – just add your unique tracking code to each web page template on your site. Once this is done, the program will start monitoring the activities happening on your website.
Once you have your tracking code and have your Google Analytics account operational, you should also link Google Search Console to Analytics .
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This will allow you to analyze in more detail which keywords and search queries you managed to rank for. Furthermore, thanks to Google Search Console, you can find out how many users have found your site thanks to Google’s SERPs. It is therefore a tool that, like Analytics, can give you valuable information on the health of your site’s SEO.
In addition to your Search Console account, if you also have a Google Ads account you should link it to Google Analytics . This way, you can learn more about how your paid ads are performing.
How to use Google Analytics For Website: levels, metrics, and dimensions
Let’s find out now how to start using the tracking tool once you’ve added the tracking code to your website.
You will need to remember that Analytics breaks down the obtained data into levels, metrics and dimensions .
There are essentially four levels: the user level gives us indications on the actions of the individual user; the session level , on the other hand, concerns visits regardless of the user who makes them.
The page view level gives us information on the individual pages visited, while the event level gives us information on the specific actions performed.
To use Google Analytics at its best, you will also need to be clear about the distinction between metrics and dimensions.
Metrics are real data that records actual user behavior , while dimensions break down this data and describe it . For example, the total amount of monthly visitors to your website is a metric.
But this information alone may not be useful to you. In this case, Google Analytics allows you to set a dimension, i.e. to classify this data in a useful way for the objectives of your website.
Thanks to the size of Google Analytics, you can determine the age group that most visits certain pages of your site, or the prevailing geographic location.You can also get information about the gender and devices of your visitors: all data that will help you improve the performance of your website.
Google Analytics also provides you with data relating to user acquisition , i.e. where the traffic to your site comes from. In this way, you can identify the main traffic sources and enhance the channels that guarantee a greater flow of users.
In addition, the tool also provides information on user behavior . In the latter case, thanks to Google Analytics, you will be able to understand what is the average time a user spends on your site, which are the most visited pages, which are the ones that cause the user to leave the site.