Google Analytics for Beginners 2021
Google Analytics is the most popular analysis tool and it is a must-have marketing tool for a website. Google Analytics is like any other in the world – it is not 100% perfect and it has some major drawbacks that you should be aware of.
Google Analytics lacks some important features, and these features can prevent you from getting certain valuable data about your website and users. For example, user behaviour on your website, events and conversions.
Google Analytics for beginners is mainly to track traffic (less focus on users, events, and conversions).
By using Google Analytics, you will mainly get data about the website and web page number of views, sessions, bounce rates, user location, etc.
It won’t give you extra valuable data, such as who the users are, how exactly they behave on your website, what makes them convert and what doesn’t, etc.
In this post, we will share with you what you can and cannot do with Google Analytics. If you are new to Google Analytics, feel free to treat this as your guidebook to begin your digital marketing journey.
What You Can Do? Google Analytics for Beginners
1. Real-time tracking of how many users are on your website
Real-time reports in Google Analytics are a basic function for viewing users who are currently visiting your website.
To activate real-time tracking, you have to verify that you have correctly inserted the Google Analytics tracking ID on your website or app. Next, you can:
- Check the traffic changes for a day’s campaign
- See the immediate impact of social sharing
- Test the changes on your site by monitoring the completion of goals
2. The cities and countries your users visit from
Google Analytics can show you the location of your audience. In order to view the location report, in your Google Analytics reports tab, navigate to Audience > Geo > Location
You can then change the main dimensions to view users by country, city, continent, or subcontinent.
From there, you can see which locations have the largest audience and see whether you target the right audience.
3. Find out which equipment the audience uses
Google Analytics can tell you which devices your audience is using. This report helps track how your website is running on different devices. To view the device report, navigate to Audience > Mobile > Device
In Google Analytics, the best information about device reports is that you can view the brand and type of smartphone your users are using, and the operating system of the device.
From there, you can then optimize your website accordingly.
4. Find the audience’s interest
Want to know what your audience is interested in? Are they business owners or individual employers? You can discover the audience’s interest by navigating to Audience > Interests > Overview
5. Channels that bring the most traffic
In Google Analytics, you can see which channels are driving traffic to your website, whether it is the social networking site that attracts the most traffic or your site ranks high in an organic search.
You can track popular channels and improve marketing strategies to get more revenue from them.
Google Analytics has its own default channel groupings, and you can also create your own channel groupings.
To track what channels bring you traffic, you can navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
6. Track your marketing campaigns and activities
You can track your marketing campaigns in Google Analytics by navigating to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns
Google Analytics can help you evaluate these advertising campaigns to improve your marketing strategy.
7. Track how users browse your website
The behaviour flow report in Google Analytics shows how users navigate your website.
It shows where the user logged in and the next page he visited during the session. In order to view the behaviour flow report, navigate to Behavior > Behavior Flow
From the behaviour flow report, you can track the journey of site users. This will help you learn more about user behaviour, but you cannot know the reason why the user dropped off.
8. Check which pages are popular
Not all website pages are always at the top of search engines. There will be a few pages that rank well and are responsible for maintaining the overall traffic to your website.
In Google Analytics, you can view the most visited pages by navigating to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
From there, you can keep on optimising the content or insert the marketing material into it.
9. Check your website loading speed
Page loading time is the main factor Google considers when indexing your pages.
Sites with a loading time of less than 3 seconds are more popular and have a higher chance of ranking than sites with a slower response time.
Check your website loading time in the Analysis Report tab by navigating to Behavior > Site Speed > Overview
10. The conversion rate of the website
To view the conversion rate in Google Analytics, you must have set a goal. You can view the conversion rate of a single goal or select all goals.
To view the goal conversion report, navigate to Conversions > Goals > Overview
11. Track your best-selling products and buyers
In order to get reports from your Ecommerce website, you will have to set up Ecommerce tracking on your website.
This report will help you analyze purchase activity on your website or app. You can view product performance, Ecommerce conversion rate, purchase time and other data.
To view the top-selling product report, navigate to Conversion > Ecommerce > Product Performance.
12. Track all clicks that occur on your website
The power of Google Analytics is that it can track events, clicks and page scrolling on your website.
You can track clicks on the website, whether it is an ad click, an outbound link or any other website navigation link.
When tracking clicks on your website, using in-page analysis reports is very helpful. It shows the percentage of clicks on the clickable area on the page.
You can learn which clickable areas perform better than others.
13. Segment and divide website activity to view specific users
Google Analytics allows you to isolate and segment users who are more important to your business.
You can segment the data into new visitors, referral traffic, organic traffic, or by conditions and order.
Although Google Analytics is so powerful, it too has its drawback.
What You Cannot Do? Google Analytics for Beginners
1. Processing historical data
Google Analytics will only process data from the time you start tracking your website.
Before connecting to Google Analytics, it will not be able to process any historical data that your website has.
For example, you have set up analytics tracking in January 2020. Thus it will only process data after that date, and will not display any data before the start date.
You can use the data import function in Google Analytics to merge data collected from other sources, and then merge and analyze all the data according to your business needs.
2. Tell you what users do on other social networks such as Facebook
As mentioned earlier, you can track events, clicks, form submissions and how users browse your website; how users behave on your Facebook page or any other social networking sites.
3. It cannot track individual users: It is banned by Google
As a website owner or analyst, you may want to learn more about your users, such as who they are, what their IP address is, what they do on your website and the action they perform.
In this regard, Google Analytics only allows the use of unique user IDs. It prohibits sending personal information, usernames or IP addresses.
Therefore, you cannot really see and understand the behaviour of specific users on your website and obtain valuable data. You only need to resolve the aggregate data (as described in Google Analytics).
**This prohibition does protect user privacy.
4. Whether a user visits your competitor’s website
When a user visits your website, Google Analytics will start tracking his behaviour, the pages he visits, the content he views, and other trackable actions he performs on your website (for example, form submission).
After the user leaves your website, Google Analytics will not be able to track his whereabouts. In short, Google Analytics cannot track where users are hanging out on the Internet.
If you want to track an e-commerce website, you can use the funnel visualization report to track cart abandonment in Google Analytics.
On the other hand, if you want to track the form on the website, you can check the fields that are being filled and the fields are not by tracking form abandonment in the analysis.
5. When the user deletes browser cookies
Once a user deletes the cookie, the next time he visits your website, he will be treated as a new user.
6. How individual users convert and the process they go through
Who is switching? Who is not? The fact is, you don’t know anything about it in Google Analytics.
All you have is the conversion rate of the page, there is no more information you can get from Google Analytics.
You can’t see who is converting and who is not converting (extremely important for a marketer to know).
Why? If you have this data, you will be able to find out the pattern in user behaviour, and that will help you improve your website further.
You will be able to track the user’s journey and see which page or information is best for them.
For example, if there’s a number of users who spend a lot of time reading product information on your page and suddenly abandon their shopping cart, something is wrong, and it must be fixed.
From there, you can know which part of your website really needs your attention and take immediate action to rectify them.
So here you go, things that you can and cannot do with Google Analytics for beginners. We hope you learn something useful from this post. If you have any further questions, we will be pleased to answer them.