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An (almost) Complete Training Guide to Google Analytics

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The best free guide to setting up and using Google Analytics that you will find anywhere. Not only will you learn the mechanics of adding analytics to your website, but I’ll also teach you why you want to do this, and give you some amazing tips on how to effectively use Google Analytics to really understand how your business is performing online.

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7 ways to use Google Analytics: to help understand your audience

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So often we can get caught up in the detail that we miss the big picture.
As such, here are five very useful headlines you can look at creating for your own business or with your clients.

This is about:

Where
Who
What (browser, device)
How often?
What are they into?

If you click on the ‘audience’ tab you will be given a load of options:

Google Analytics 1

You’ll need some website data to work with, but if that is not there yet it may well be within the month.

1. Location – where are your main visitors coming from?

Go to ‘Geo’ and choose ‘Locations’:

Google Analytics 2

For me, over 50% of visitors come from the USA and United Kingdom. 5% from India, and with around 9% coming from Canada and Australia.

But actually, let’s say I want to drill a little deeper to know which States are driving most traffic.
Click on the country:

Google Analytics 3

And I can see that California, Florida and Texas are the top three for me:

Google Analytics 4

2. Age – how old are most of your visitors?

Google Analytics 5

As you can see, over 30% of mine are in the 25-34 range, and 50% are 25-44.

Google Analytics 6

3. Gender – are they male or female?

Go to demographics and choose ‘Gender’:

Google Analytics 7

As you can see 63% of my visitors are male.

4. Device – how many people are using desktop or a mobile device?

This is so important to know if your mobile site is ‘friendly’ but still not quite doing its job.

Google Analytics 8

For me 72% are using a desktop.

5. Browser – which one are they using?

Under the technology tab you will see ‘Browser and OS’:

Google Analytics 9

For me 63% are using Chrome, and 23% are using Firefox or Safari.

6. New/returning – how many people are coming back?

Under behaviour you will see this tab:

Google Analytics 10

With 28% returning visitors it means I need to be aware I am serving people who are already paying attention.

7. Interests – what are they into?

Go to the ‘Interest’ tab and choose ‘Overview’:

Google Analytics 11

As you can see 7.3% are into Tech, 5.9% Photography (Shutterbugs), and over 11% are into movies and TV.

Finally:

These are just the 7 items I’ve used to illustrate how to create what follows:

50% of visitors are from the USA (top 3 states: California, Florida and Texas), and United Kingdom
63% are male, and 37% are female
50% are aged between 25-44 years old.
28% are return visitors to the website; 62% are new
63% use Google Chrome, and 37% don’t
72% are on a desktop
Many have an interest in technology, films, movies and photography

Once you have this for your own site, write it out somewhere so you can revisit it later. Then think, are these the people I thought I was serving with content? And how best could I serve those paying attention better?

With Analytics you want to be setting up goals and tracking your conversions. What this exercise does, is give you a high level view of the nature of person visiting your site. It is also a very quick and handy way to create a meaningful top level view of a website for a client or a board meeting with your Directors or team, without drowning in data.