By Charlie Cummins –

The Google Breakfast Briefings continued today, with the 5th in the series taking a look at Google Analytics Basics. The presentation provided an understanding of analytics account setup, the main report features, the metrics they deliver and how to mine the data for insight.

Google Analytics Basics

Some very good, common sense ideas in relation to the use of Google Analytics data were highlighted in what was a very informative presentation. A sample of the key points among these were:

1. Use the Data to Optimise:

The purpose of Google Analytics is to measure, collect, analyse and report on website data. However, its true strength lies in the hands of the website owners to correctly interpret the metric presented. From there, they can use the insight gained to optimize their website’s performance (be it in terms of improving engagement scores, redesigning landing pages to reduce bounce rates etc.).

2. Look Beyond the Averages:

Don’t get too bogged down in looking at the “averages” contained in the data. While it may be gratifying to see that, for example, the average session duration was 2.50 minutes, a deeper dive into the results will find the most meaningful data. For example, the bulk the sessions may have been of less than 10 seconds, with very few sessions within the longer durations.

Analytics Session Duration

Why so many short sessions? Do I need to improve content? What pages are they viewing? Who are those who spend longer on site?

3. Set and Track Website Goals:

Is your website doing what it was intended to do? One way to measure this is to set up gaols in your analytics and track their performance. Goals don’t have to be grandiose: they can be as simple as setting a target of “visitors who viewed 4+ pages”, “spent 3 minutes or more on site”, “signed up for newsletter”, “used a contact us form” and so on.

The above are just some examples of the wealth of data to be found in Google Analytics. It is an extremely useful tool in understanding how your website is performing and where beneficial changes can be made. There is much more in-depth data which can be accessed, such as User Flows, Page Navigation, Frequency/ Recency and so on. Please contact us ([email protected]) if you’d like to discuss in-depth analytics on your website as part of an ongoing management programme.