Simple tips to Use Google Analytics for newbies

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a web analytics tool from Google that lets you track and measure user traffic and behavior on your website for free. It’s used by an estimated 28.8 million websites, giving it an estimated 85.9% share of the web analytics market.

So Google analytics help us see website traffics and check the latest keyword in update

Why use Google Analytics?

You started your website to inform potential customers of your products or services and convert them into loyal customers. To do this effectively, you need to know where visitors come from, what they’re most interested in, and which touchpoints help turn them into customers.

Recording and analyzing your data with GA4 will help you build digital marketing strategies to attract more visitors and make more money.

Is Google Analytics free?

Google Analytics is completely free but does have collection and configuration limits. Most SMEs will never exceed these limits. If you’re worried, look for the green checkmark next to each report title; this confirms that you’re not looking at sampled data in the report

SIDENOTE. Google Analytics 360 is the paid version of Google Analytics, which costs on average $150,000 per year. This service supports enterprise-level hit volumes of up to 500 million hits per month, plus implementation and technical support. 

Google
Google

How to set up Google Analytics

Just as you can’t catch any fish without first casting your net, Google Analytics can’t collect data without being installed. So the sooner you get things set up, the better.

Follow these three steps to install and test Google Analytics:

1. Create and set up your Google Analytics account

Follow these instructions to create your account correctly:

  1. Go to analytics.google.com.
  2. Click Start measuring.
  3. Enter an account name (This is for internal purposes. We recommend using your company name.)
  4. Edit data sharing settings (optional).
  5. Click Next.
  6. Enter a property name(This is for internal use only and your website domain works well, especially if working with multiple websites under one company.)
  7. Check the reporting time zone and currency (This should be accurate for the business’s location).
  8. Click Show advanced options.
  9. Toggle the option to ‘Create a University Analytics property’ on (This is considered best practice to keep GA4 enhanced measures enabled.)
  10. Enter Website URL.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Enter industry and business size information (optional).
  13. Click Create.
  14. Accept the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement (Be sure to familiarize yourself with this before agreeing, as there may be specific privacy rules and regulations for your location.)
  15. Check web stream details (Ensure everything is correct, including things like HTTP vs. HTTPS and www vs. non-www. These may skew data accuracy.)

2. Add the GA tag to your website

You need to install the GA tag on your website before Google Analytics can collect any data. The simplest way to do this depends on your website setup.

If you’re using WordPress…

  1. Install the GA Google Analytics plugin.
  2. Go to the plugin settings.
  3. Copy your Measurement ID from Google Analytics.
  4. Paste the Measurement ID into the GA tracking ID box in the plugin settings.
  5. Select Global Side Tag from the Tracking Method options.
  6. Click Save Changes.

If you’re using Wix…

  1. Go to Marketing Integrations.
  2. Under Google Analytics, click Connect.
  3. Click Connect Google Analytics.
  4. Paste your Measurement ID from Google Analytics in the pop-up.
  5. Tick the IP Anonymization checkbox if you wish to hide visitors’ IP addresses from Google.
  6. Click Save.

If you’re using another CMS/platform…

Google has links to instructions for most CMS’ here. However, you’ll notice that not all platforms provide native support for the new “G-” ID in GA4. So in some cases, you’ll need to install manually by copying the full gtag.js code into the <head> section of your website.

Alternatively, you can use Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM is a somewhat advanced option for a beginner. Still, it’s my preferred method for adding on-page tags because I usually need to add multiple marketing performance tags (Facebook, HubSpot, etc.)

3. Test your setup

Google Analytics tracking mistakes are common, so it’s crucial to test your setup before calling it a day.

There are a few ways to do this, but the most straightforward way by far is using Google’s Tag Assistant Chrome extension. It’s a legacy product, but it still works and is still available for download.

Here’s how to test your setup with the extension:

  1. Install the extension.
  2. Open your website.
  3. Click on the extension’s icon in your browser bar.
  4. Click Enable and refresh your webpage.

An incorrectly installed tag will be sad and red:

A correctly installed tag will be happy and green:

How to set up goal tracking

Google Analytics automatically begins measuring traffic to your website and user interactions such as page scrolls, outbound clicks, site searches, video engagement, and file downloads.

All of these auto-tracked events have the option to be marked as goals. Any additional goals, like form completions or phone calls, will need to be set up as an event using GTM. 

In your GA4 property, click “configure” in the left-hand navigation (it looks like a table icon).

You simply slide the toggle named “mark as conversion” for the events you’d like to trigger conversions from this screen.

How to use Google Analytics

With everything correctly set up, you’re probably wondering how to use this thing. This question is a difficult one to answer because there’s no single way to use Google Analytics. It can tell you hundreds of things about your website, so the way you use it will depend on the data you need to know.

For that reason, instead of trying to explain every single report here, I’m just going to cover the basics of how you can use GA4 to understand how users get to your site, what they do there, and the multichannel journey customers take to conversion.

Acquisition

Acquisition reports tell you how users get to your site. In GA4, this is separated into two categories: User Acquisition and Traffic Acquisition.

User acquisition reports are based on user engagement, while traffic acquisition is based on session engagement. This distinction is important because one user can have multiple sessions. For this reason, we will be explaining the User acquisition report.

To get to the User acquisition report:

  1. Log in to Google Analytics.
  2. Click to expand Life Cycle reports.
  3. View to expand Acquisition reports.
  4. Click User acquisition.

You can segment your report by adding a comparison for User demographics, Device, or Custom Event like a specific coupon code.

For now, let’s stick to a high-level view and keep this as “All Users”:

The bar graph and scatter chart will automatically populate using the metrics you set in the table below.

In the example above, we chose “First user medium” for the dimension in the first column of the table. This shows us the source by which users were first acquired. For example, “organic” combines traffic from all organic sources: Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Engagement

These reports tell you what users do on your site. Engagement is measured by the average length of time your site was the focus in the browser, the number of unique users who scrolled at least 90% of the webpage, event count, and conversion count.

Let’s take a look at just one of the reports of Pages and screens.

To get to this report:

  1. Log in to Google Analytics.
  2. Expand Life Cycle reports.
  3. Select to expand Engagement reports.
  4. Select Pages and screens.

Segment your report by adding a comparison for the marketing channel you’re looking to analyze. For example, include dimension “First user medium” with a value of “organic.”

The bar graph and scatter chart will automatically populate using the metrics you set in the table below.

You can edit the dimension that will change the descriptive attribute or characteristic of data in column 1. For example, choosing “Page title and screen class” will show the page title, while “Page path + query string and screen class” will show the URL.

Remaining columns in the table show “metrics.” A metric is a specific element of the dimension. For example, the dimension for “Page title” can be associated with a metric like new users, unique user scrolls, event counts, and other engagement metrics.

Conversions

The conversions report tells you which user activities are contributing to the success of your business. For an eCommerce store, this might be making a purchase. For a lead generation website, it might be submitting a contact form.

In GA4, “goals” are measured as conversion events. The events data you see in your GA4 reports are triggered as users interact with your website.

To get to the Conversions report:

  1. Log in to Google Analytics.
  2. Choose to expand Life Cycle reports.
  3. Select to expand Engagement reports.
  4. Click Conversions.

SIDENOTE. The Conversions report is technically a type of Engagement report, but I wanted to point it out because it’s one of the most important reports in GA4. 

The bar graph and scatter chart will automatically populate using the metrics you set in the table below.

Within the table, you will find events listed by name, number of associated conversions, total users, and event revenue. Click on the name of an event to open a report about that specific event.

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