How to Get The Most Out of Google Analytics

30 Jun 2017

Every website owner has to be able to precisely analyze their content’s performance, regardless of its type. In that case, there’s mostly just one solution: Google Analytics (GA).

You’d be amazed how many aspects it can track! And does it for free. You don’t need to pay anything – except attention to the following lines.

Learning the ins and outs of GA is a must for all website owners. Not just because marketers say so, but because it’s a good way to grow your business.

Here are the top tips on using Google Analytics and getting as much as possible from the data (and how to precisely read the data).

1

Set Up Your Goals

Are you running an eCommerce business?

Are you selling certain services?

Have you developed a SaaS and people are downloading it?

Regardless of what the answer might be, you should always clearly define your goals in Google Analytics so you can track and analyze it better.

Downloads, form completions, add to cart, successful sales – everything can be defined and tracked through GA. You should do this right at the start because your decisions should be based on the goals and conversions you focus on.

google analytics

To define these goals, head to your Google Analytics and click on the Admin wheel. Then, click on Goals from the right column and on the red button NEW GOAL. The tool provides you a user-friendly wizard which guides you through the entire process.

2

Track Your Events

Part of setting up your goals is Event Tracking.

By using just a bit of extra code, you can start collecting data on countless extra activities that can’t be tracked with the regular GA code. These are actions you can’t track because they don’t lead to a Thank You page or follow up page.

Events include aspects and actions like:

button clicks,

clicking on links,

email addresses,

social media icons,

file downloads.

Setting up events is just like setting up goals, except you’ll have to add a specific code.

If your site is using Universal Analytics, you’ll need to use this code:

ga(‘send’,’event’,’category’,’action’,’opt_label’, opt_value)

There are a few variables that will change with each different event you track:

Category – grouping events into desired tracking groups

Action – the action the user takes

Label – to differentiate this event from the others (optional)

Value – perceived dollar value of event (optional)

If you want your visitors to download something without taking them next to a Thank You page, you’ll want to input the following:

  • Category: Downloads
  • Action: Click
  • Label: Whitepaper/Plugin
  • Value: 0

Thus, the code you should implement on your page looks like this:

ga(‘send’, ’event’, ’download’, ’click’, ’plugin’, 0);

3

Sync Your Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools

For the uninitiated, Webmaster Tools (now officially rebranded as Google Search Console) is another free application which lets you check the indexing status and optimize the visibility of your website.

By connecting your Search Console property (website) with your GA account, you gain full access to Google’s new Search Engine Optimization reports.

These come in three forms:

  • Queries,
  • Landing Pages,
  • and Geographical Summary.

In addition to helping you discover your top performing search queries and landing pages, the data can also be used to identify:

  • Keywords that have a low click through rate, but high average position. Once you know what these are, you can change the meta title and description of your page to improve their CTR.
  • Landing pages that have a good click through rate, but low average position. These pages can then be put through an on-page optimization process to improve their rankings.
  •  The countries your organic visitors are browsing from.

4

Filter Out Your Traffic

Do you and your colleagues have your website set as their home page, or do you visit to test and update content? Of course, you do.

Accessing your website over and over again can actually alter your analytics data.

To prevent this, and to exclude yourself and your co-workers from your Analytics data, you will need to set up a filter under the Admin panel.

If you have a static IP address, go to All Filters, click on Add New Filter and set a Predefined Filter to exclude traffic from your given IP address.

If you don’t know your IP address, just google ‘what’s my IP.’ Be aware, though, this will ONLY work if you have a static IP (most business broadband packages come with a static IP these days).

Conclusion

Every website owner needs to use Google Analytics, regardless of the stage of their business.

This fantastic free tool can answer so many questions, be them simple or complex. Without it, you can’t possibly know the answer to essential questions, such as:

  • How many people visit my website on a daily basis?
  • Where do these visitors access my website from?
  • Are they using mobile devices to browse my site?
  • Which pages on my site are the most popular?
  • How many visitors are converted into customers?

And the list can go on and on.

If you have additional questions about Google Analytics, please post a comment below.

If you found this article helpful, you can share it with your audience on social media.

Irina Pogor

Irina Pogor

Irina is all about creative writing. She's an ambitious, open-minded girl who loves good coffee, pistachio and high heels.
Irina Pogor

34 Comments

  • robin rue

    July 6, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    I definitely haven’t been using all the features on GA. Thanks for the heads up about the stuff I was missing.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:35 AM

      Glad we could help, Robin!

  • Blaine is Lost

    July 6, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Yes Google Analytics is a great tool for bloggers like us. This post is helpful and it gave me an idea on how to utilize GA even more.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:35 AM

      That’s nice to hear!

  • Sarah Bailey

    July 6, 2017 at 5:13 PM

    I need to keep this and go through it step by step, I use GA for my stats but other than that I don’t use it to it’s full potential.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:36 AM

      GA can provide plenty of insights, besides data. Hope this article helps!

  • Esse D

    July 6, 2017 at 6:51 PM

    I am such a Google Analytics nerd and I STILL learned good information from this post. I’m going to go home and update a few things tonight! Thanks for the info!

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:36 AM

      Hehe, you’re welcome!

  • Mary Moodie

    July 6, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! AND THANK YOU! Did I mention thank you? I am still trying to get a handle on the analytics side of web building and this has been a great help. I will be keeping an eye on this post.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:38 AM

      You’re welcome and no problem! 😀

  • Corinne & Kirsty

    July 6, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    This post is so useful! I know google analytics is so important but i never really understood how it works so thank you! xx corinne

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:38 AM

      Thanks, Corinne!

  • Heather Johnson

    July 6, 2017 at 9:36 PM

    I check my Google Analytics occasionally to keep an eye on my traffic. But, to be honest, I blog for fun, so I do not do much else with GA. Great tips for those who blog more professionally!

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:39 AM

      Thank you, Heather!

  • Amber Myers

    July 7, 2017 at 12:14 AM

    Thank you for this! I always want to figure out Google Analytics so this is super helpful.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:39 AM

      Always here to help!

  • JD Obedoza

    July 7, 2017 at 2:35 AM

    Great post. Exactly what I’m looking for.

    I need help with mine. I’m planning to collaborate with other bloggers. The problem is how do we distribute ads revenue generated per post.

    Please teach me. You can reach me on my email indicated on this comment. Thanks

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:41 AM

      I’m afraid we don’t know much about this subject. I’m sure that there are other websites where you can find this kind of details.

  • Claudia Krusch

    July 7, 2017 at 2:45 AM

    I just started to use Google Analytics. So far I love it. It is so easy to use.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:41 AM

      That’s great then!

  • Sincerely Ophelia

    July 7, 2017 at 6:22 AM

    tzhis is really awesome. Def needed for every blogger. Thanks.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:42 AM

      Agreed!

  • Nicole - Miss Sparkle

    July 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM

    I’m such a social media addict that I really neglect website analytics. Your guide is very helpful and hopefully will get me up to speed a bit more.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:42 AM

      Well, you can combine social media with analytics and see what happens in GA.

  • Blair villanueva

    July 7, 2017 at 5:53 PM

    Very cool review and tips. I will incorporate these in my blog. Thaka

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:43 AM

      Thank you, Blair!

  • David Elliott

    July 7, 2017 at 6:27 PM

    I really need to filter for events and certain things that go on with my blog. I have google analytics but I admit that I don’t know how to use it properly just yet. I am working at it though.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:43 AM

      Hope this article helps, David!

  • sondra

    July 8, 2017 at 12:38 AM

    Data is a lot more important than people really know. The more you can track it because easier to understand the audience.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:44 AM

      You’re absolutely right!

  • Rebecca Swenor

    July 10, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    This is a great post on how to get the most out of Google Analytics for anyone with a website. Google Analytics sounds like a great tool to have for sure that gives a lot of great information. Thanks for sharing this awesome information that could help so many.

    • Squirrly

      July 10, 2017 at 11:46 AM

      Thanks for reading, Rebecca!

  • Chemady

    July 11, 2017 at 4:48 PM

    I make use of google analytics on a daily basis in order to check for any lapses and progress of my site. It’s such a great tool to use.

    • Squirrly

      July 12, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      It certainly is!