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Beginners Guide to Google Analytics


Reading this means you probably have or manage a website. This is a huge step in the marketing of your business.
The logic thing when owning a website is to set-up a webmetrics tool.

Why? Because you need to know what’s happening on your website and if it’s profitable for you.

It’s a simple setup that will give you answers to questions such as:

  • Do I keep track of how many visitors I get on my website on a daily base?
  • Do I keep an eye out for what device they’re on?
  • Where are they coming from?
  • Which pages are the most popular ones for people to visit?
  • What social network generates the most traffic?
  • What channel gives me the best ROI?

This article will give you an insight about how to install & use Google Analytics in a proper way. The first good news here is that it’s very easy to install.
Unfortunately, set-up isn’t everything… you have to keep on top of it to get the most out of it. This guide’s goal is for you to be able to tell:

  • Who your « traffic » is: discover your audience
  • How they find your site: what are your best sources
  • How to interpret results: sessions, transactions, value, assisted conversions,…
  • How to get more qualified traffic: optimisation


1. Setting up my Google Analytics Account in 10 steps :

  1. Start by visiting the Google Analytics website: google.com/analytics
  2. Click on the “Access Analytics” blue button in the upper right corner
  3. Take your mouse to the “Add a new account” button in the upper right corner
  4. Find the “Sign Up” button and click it
  5. Fill out the information required (site URL, account name, time zone or territory). When finished just click the “Continue” button (FYI: Adding your last and first name is optional but the country/territory is a required field)
  6. Read the Google Analytics Terms of Service, check the box saying you agree with them (if you do), then just finish the registration process by clicking on “Create New Account”
  7. A code will be given on the following page, don’t be scared… just copy the JavaScript code and click “Save and Finish”
  8. After that, you should be redirected to the account overview for the site you just set up. (FYI: you’ll see that under ‘status’ there is an error message. This means that the code hasn’t been installed yet)
  9. One of the most important steps is this one. It’s the correct pasting of the Google Analytics JavaScript code, before the body tag of your website source code. Important: every page of your website must contain the code!
  10. CONGRATS! You’ve just completed the first steps of a Google Analytics set-up. Now you just have to wait a couple of days (at least one) to start seeing your data.


2. Analysing my data: Understanding Dimensions and Metrics

Before trying to understand your reports, it’s important to understand what dimensions and metrics are.

A dimension is a characteristic of your visitor

Example: For a visitor from Brussels who arrived on my website via an organic search term, say ‘performance marketing’ on google.be, the dimensions are ‘city’, ‘country’, ‘keyword’, ‘source/medium’, etc. These dimensions characterize the visitor (i.e. the visitor is from Brussels, Belgium, and searched for ‘performance marketing’ via ‘google.be’). This is how Google Analytics will reports about a visitor.

A dimension corresponds to a row in your analytics report

Via dimensions you can decompose a metric by a specific value like country, city, country, source/medium, keyword etc.

A metric is a number and it corresponds to a column in your analytics report

Visits, Conversions, Revenue, Pageviews, Bounce Rate, etc. These are examples of metrics.


3. Discover your Audience

One way of finding out who your audience is, is to let them answer different surveys. But this is time-consuming, and if you don’t know how to analyse the results, you better not start with this. Luckily there is an easier way to get to know them.

Learn more about your visitors by looking into the audience tab on the Standard Reports of your Google Analytics.

This report will give you more insights about where your users are coming from, what their interests are, through which device they came.

By looking at the device report, you can see how many people are coming to your website through a mobile device. If the percentage is elevated, this could tell you it’s time to invest in a mobile website (if you haven’t done so yet).


4. How are your visitors finding you?

In the Acquisition tab of your Google Analytics menu, you can find the details in « All Traffic ».

By checking this report you can find out how a user found your website. You’ll see the different sources he came through.


5. How to interpret your results?

These are a few key metrics you should take into account.


Through this metric you can see the total number of pages (including unique pageviews) seen on average by the users on your website.

Avg. Time on Page

This one lets you know how much time people are spending on your website.

New Users

The amount of new users is an important indicator for your website. Unfortunately the loyalty of clients only goes as far as it can. Most of your users will check out the offer of competitors and maybe even step over to your competition after a certain amount of time. If you want to keep your traffic level high, it’s important for you to gain new traffic.

Bounce Rate

When users arrive on your website and leave the page immediately without going on other pages, this is known as bouncing.

You don’t necessarily need to worry about a high bounce rate, because if users stays for a long time on that page, it could indicate an interaction with your website. For example: they could be reading all your content, looking at a video on that page, … If you keep a blog, showing this kind of interest can only be a good thing.

Remember it’s important to always cross the data from one metric with data from another. This will help you gain the full picture of what’s happening on your website.


These are actions made by users on your website that have an importance for you. For example, staying over two minutes on your website could be a goal. Looking at a video placed on a page could also be considered a goal.

Every action that has a certain value on your website (registration for a newsletter, login to your account, …) should be measured.

Watch out! Don’t fall into the giant web of datacollecting if you are not going to do anything with it.

Everything you measure should have a specific goal in your strategy.

You should know what impact it has or what it means if people are fulfilling certain actions on your website.


This is directly related to eCommerce. If you sell something on your website then this is a must have for you.

There is nothing more important than knowing exactly how much you get out of your website. Which digital sources are giving you the highest return on investment? Ask yourself in which sources you should invest more, according to the sales you get out of it.


6. How to get more qualified traffic?

In order to optimize your campaigns you need to interpret your results correctly. Luckily we’ve discussed this point in the section above.

The last thing you need to do is to optimize those results.

You can’t start marketing campaigns without knowing the aim of those campaigns.

Do you want more brand awareness? Do you want direct response? Every type of marketing has its types of objectives. Don’t go measuring conversions or transactions when your goal is to make your brand more visible. When making such a campaign, you should be measuring your brand volume growth, or a growth of social engagement, … If those results are negative after making such a campaign, you probably didn’t target the right audience, or, worse, you didn’t send the right message…

It is important to categorize every action according to the phase in which the user finds himself. The model of Kaushik Avinash is the best model you can use to do so. By integrating all these performance indicators in a dashboard you’ll be able to make smarter decisions.





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By |2018-10-26T08:42:37+00:00March 17th, 2015|