All the way back in November 2005, Google launched its new service called Google analytics, known simply as GA in tech circles. It’s been through a heap of revisions, now currently on the fourth iteration, or GA4. Within five years of launch, market analysis from Amazon subsidiary Alexa Internet suggested that approximately half of all websites were using the analytical web tool.

Today there are more than seven times that number of websites, yet GA remains the go-to kit for around 55% of them. The number even rises to 84% when we only look at websites using traffic analytics tools. Simply put, Google Analytics is the most widely used software of its kind, the most trusted platform for millions of businesses.

What does Google Analytics do?So here’s precisely why Google analytics is the most essential tool for your website optimisation, and a must-have in the eyes of professional SEO agencies!

What does Google Analytics do?

GA gives website owners a plethora of data for tracking performance. In the words of the company themselves, “Google Analytics is a platform that collects data from your websites and apps to create reports that provide insights into your business.”

Boasting an exceptionally user-friendly design, all of those juicy facts and figures are displayed on your central dashboard. Here’s exactly what information you can leverage:

  • Traffic: First and foremost, Google analytics tells you all about your website traffic, i.e. how many people are visiting your site and what they typically do once there. Helpful metrics like bounce rates help you understand which individual pages aren’t captivating your audience so that you can make the most impactful changes.
  • Demographics and Behaviour: GA doesn’t only tell you the number of people entering your website. It also lets you know where those users are based, helping you to highlight potential markets for your business. There are also various insights into your visitor behaviour, most notably how they interact with your site, how long they spend there, and whether or not they return at a later stage.
  • Track Conversion: Fundamentally a business tool, Google Analytics has plenty of data concerning hits and transactions. Beyond the basic traffic insights, you can actually see how your success at each stage of the buying process. Pageview hits are a good measure of your outreach, whilst event hits let you know the percentage of those visitors who progress onto an action such as completing a form, following a link, or playing media. Transaction hits represent those visitors who complete a purchase, meaning GA allows you to track the entire journey.
  • Reports: Data is great and all, but it can sometimes be difficult to make perfect sense of it. This is why Google Analytics presented the most significant information in detailed reports, complete with easily grasped visuals and specific filters. You can break this down for set periods of time to keep an eye on long-term performance.

How does Google Analytics help my Business?

Providing that you’re prepared to actually use the data to make improvements, GA helps your business in quite a number of ways. It’s massively useful for refining an effective SEO strategy, arguably the most significant element of your digital marketing. Whether you’re running local SEO in Sydney or a wider campaign, GA tells you how individual pages are performing, which keywords are drawing visits, and the overall SEO health of your website structure.

Armed with this knowledge, you can then make informed marketing decisions that minimise unnecessary spend and maximise ROI. You can run targeted ads based on the location and preferences of your site visitors, utilizing the channels that most relevant to potential customers. In essence, Google Analytics helps you to allocate your marketing resources on paths most likely to yield the best results.

Finally, GA can help you to generally streamline your business website. Most people won’t wait around for slow-loading pages, and so gaining insight into your individual page speed can expose any inefficiency capping your performance. Likewise, mobile device users aren’t happy to trudge through incompatible layouts, making GA a powerful tool to ensure you’re making your site accessible and enjoyable for all kinds of visitors.

Getting Started with Google Analytics

Before you can begin learning with Google Analytics, you’ll need to create an account. The learning curve is gentle and there are lots of official guides to help you out. As soon as you’ve set up your account, you can then link the tool to your website. Simply provide some basic information and you’re good to go!

Choose a name for your account and enter some website details. Remember that you can add multiple sites if you need – just enter the URL! Once you’ve told Google about your website, you can create your GA account. You’ll then get a unique tracking code that allows Google to collect data from you. You MUST add this code to your site!
Once you’re in, you can start tracking the data you’re most interesting in. You can be as precise as you like here, or let Google take the lead with suggestions. As you become more familiar with the platform, you can decide precisely what data to keep an eye on.

Google has made it very easy to use their web analytics tool, but if you do need any extra help you can always find professional SEO services to make the process smoother. Knowledge is power, as the adage goes, so don’t wait to set up a GA account and gain crucial insight about your business’ digital marketing.