How to Use Google Analytics: A Complete Guide

Peter Drucker as soon as mentioned, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

Without knowledge, it’s not possible to present what impact your search engine marketing methods are having.

Tracking efficiency and progress makes analytics invaluable to entrepreneurs.

According to HubSpot, 61% of respondents say producing site visitors and leads is their most vital advertising and marketing problem.

When the C-suite isn’t getting the leads they count on, they begin questioning in case your work is efficacious. That is the place knowledge turns into essential to digital entrepreneurs.

This information is an summary of Google Analytics, probably the most strong free analytics platform out there, and the way search engine marketing professionals and entrepreneurs can use it to their benefit.

How Can Google Analytics Help My search engine marketing?

Google Analytics gives entry to a large quantity of information associated to how customers discover and work together along with your web site.

For instance, you may see how many individuals visited a selected web page, how lengthy they remained there, the place your customers dwell, how sure key phrases carry out, and so forth.


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Google Analytics may be built-in in your web site by way of code or by way of their WordPress plugin, Site Kit.

This data is significant in figuring out how efficient your superior search engine marketing methods are – and to uncover areas you can also make enhancements.


What You’ll Learn About Google Analytics

Now that you recognize why Google Analytics is important to search engine marketing, let’s discuss what you’ll be taught on this information.


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This article is damaged up into 5 sections based mostly on the studies in Google Analytics.


Then, we’ll cowl how to arrange your Google Analytics dashboard and the way to do a primary audit of your Google Analytics to see in case your account is up to par.


google analytics real time reports

This report provides real-time knowledge about who’s in your web site and what they’re doing.

Did you publish an superior put up and wish to see how many individuals are studying it? Or would you like to discover out if customers are watching the video you simply uploaded?

With real-time, you may.

To entry knowledge because it occurs, click on “Real-Time” within the left sidebar of your Google Analytics dashboard.

In most circumstances, real-time reveals actions which have occurred in your web site within the final 5 minutes. A few real-time studies will permit you to view knowledge within the final 30 minutes.

Let’s have a look at the totally different real-time studies.


Do they dwell in a distinct time zone and even converse a distinct language than you?

In this report, you may see the place your present customers are positioned, what web page they’re on, and the way lengthy they’ve been there.

Traffic Sources

Traffic Sources tells you the way customers discovered your web site.

Did they click on a hyperlink on Facebook? Type your URL in immediately?

This part may be extraordinarily helpful in real-time if you need to see how a lot site visitors a brand new social put up is producing or see how a brand-spanking-new touchdown web page is performing.


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This part gives perception into the place customers are touchdown in your web site and the way lengthy they’re staying there.

You can see the web page title, URL, and the p.c of lively customers on a selected web page.


In real-time, occasions permit you to observe customizable interactions customers have along with your web site.

This would possibly embrace advert clicks, white paper downloads, or video views.

You can additional customise knowledge by viewing “Events (Last 30 min)” to see occasions previously half hour or click on an occasion class to see exercise particular to that class.


For each technique you implement, somebody goes to need to know “But did it increase conversions?”

This report provides you that knowledge in actual time.

View the highest objectives, what number of customers accomplished that aim, and the share of customers who accomplished that aim – all in real-time or within the final 30 minutes.


google analytics audience report

Audience studies group customers collectively based mostly on set parameters.


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Want to know the way many individuals carried out a web site search? Or how many individuals made a purchase order within the final 12 months, however haven’t made a purchase order within the final two weeks?

All this data may be yours.

You can use this data to higher goal particular sections of your viewers.

There are two essential options to have in mind:

  • You have to outline the audiences you need to observe.
  • Google rolled out an Audience report that permits you to see how your audiences are responding to remarketing campaigns.

Active Users

This part of the viewers report helps you to observe customers who’ve visited your web site within the final 1, 7, 14, or 30 days.

This data helps you measure viewers curiosity.

For instance, when you’ve got a excessive variety of 1-day lively customers however see a drastic lower at 7, 14, and 30, this would possibly point out a disconnect along with your viewers.

Lifetime Value

Are you questioning if the leads you gained by way of an e mail marketing campaign are invaluable? Trying to determine whether it is value it to spend extra sources on social media?


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The Lifetime Value report calculates the long-term worth of customers acquired by way of quite a lot of strategies together with social, direct, natural, and referrals.

You can then kind every acquisition viewers and see common aim completions, pageviews, income, and so forth.

Cohort Analysis

A cohort is a bunch of customers sure by a shared attribute, for instance, customers acquired on a selected day.

This report permits you to analyze quite a lot of knowledge about cohorts.

For instance, you may outline a cohort because the day you launched a brand new course. You might then view knowledge about customers who responded to your launch – the place they dwell, in the event that they used a pill, in the event that they made a purchase order, and so forth.


An viewers report inside an viewers report? Yes, you learn that proper!

This part permits you to create extra granular audiences and apply them to different sections of your analytics report.

You can create and apply up to 20 audiences at a time.

User Explorer

This report analyzes the habits of particular customers, fairly than offering a broad overview of person habits, the best way you do within the cohort evaluation, for instance.


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How can you employ this knowledge?

Aggregated knowledge is necessary if, for instance, you need to perceive how customers in Denver responded to a current initiative.

User-specific knowledge gives perception into what led a selected person to make a a lot bigger than common buy or what actions a person took earlier than abandoning their cart.

For every person, view knowledge corresponding to common session length, bounce price, income, and aim conversion price.


This part permits you to view detailed details about the age and gender of your customers.

For instance, you may see the common session time of ladies between the ages of 25-34 throughout a selected interval.

You can use this data to higher tailor content material, adverts, and different advertising and marketing efforts.

You may create segments based mostly on these classes and create remarketing audiences.


Want to goal customers who love expertise? Or who love East Asian cooking?

This part of Google Analytics makes it potential.

To get began, you’ll need to allow remarketing and promoting reporting options.


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Once enabled, you may view knowledge on customers based mostly on:

  • Affinity classes: Broad life-style classes, corresponding to “Food and Dining Enthusiasts” or “Value Shoppers.”
  • In-Market Segments: Product-related pursuits corresponding to “Travel/Hotel Accommodations” or “Baby & Children’s Products.”
  • Other Categories: More particular classes corresponding to “Hair Care” or “Pets/Dogs.”

This data is especially helpful for remarketing campaigns.


The Geo report gives details about the situation and language of your customers.

You can use this data to higher inform new initiatives or search for new alternatives.


This report will help you establish if new customers are returning to your web site to interact along with your content material.

View knowledge based mostly on three sub-categories: New vs Returning, Frequency & Recency, and Engagement.

You can leverage this knowledge to report whether or not, for instance, a brand new purchaser’s information is encouraging customers to return, indicating they’re transferring by way of the shopping for cycle.


This report helps you to be taught extra about how customers are viewing your web site, together with which browser and OS they use and what community they use to join to the web.


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This report permits you to view whether or not customers view your web site with a pill, desktop, or cellular machine, in addition to what particular units, corresponding to an Apple iPad, Samsung SM-G950 Galaxy S8, or Samsung SM-T800 Galaxy Tab S 10.5.

You can use this data to decide if their web site is optimized for the particular units they customers are utilizing – and make modifications accordingly.

This is especially necessary as Google has began the swap to mobile-first indexing.


This space of Google Analytics helps you to higher outline and evaluate person segments.

For instance, evaluate the bounce price of cellular customers to those that make a purchase order, or see how a lot of your natural site visitors are new customers.

Sort knowledge by Custom Variables or User Defined.

This knowledge permits you to view extraordinarily detailed, customizable details about how your viewers interacts along with your web site.


This part permits you to evaluate your knowledge to aggregated knowledge from others in your business.


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Compare your self to the remainder of your business based mostly on subcategories, corresponding to Channels, Location, and Devices.

You can use this knowledge to discover missed alternatives.

Users Flow

What do your customers do as soon as they get to your web site?

This report gives a visible illustration of how customers transfer by way of your web site and may be sorted by person kind.

For instance, you may see the place customers from New York begin and the place they drop off in your purchaser’s cycle.

This granular knowledge can present the place particular customers depart your web site so you can also make changes.


google analytics acquisition report

The Acquisition Report gives detailed knowledge on how your viewers finds your web site, what they do as soon as they get there, and in the event that they accomplished particular actions, corresponding to filling out a type.


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Spoiler alert: Google introduced that Image Search studies will quickly be added to the acquisition studies in Google Analytics.

All Traffic

The All Traffic part reveals which internet sites ship you probably the most site visitors.

You can then view knowledge in regards to the actions these customers take, together with Bounce Rate, Pages per Visit, Goal Completions, and so forth.

The knowledge may be damaged down into subcategories together with Channels and Source/Medium.

If you retain digging into the Source/Medium, Google Analytics will inform you how a lot site visitors you’re driving from picture search as nicely.

Tip: You can use this data to assign a greenback worth to your natural site visitors by evaluating how a lot a key phrase you rank for organically would value in a Google Ads Campaign.

Google Ads

If you’re investing in Google Ads, this knowledge is significant to understanding how you’re performing.

First, hyperlink your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts.

Then, you may view knowledge about:

  • Campaigns.
  • Keywords.
  • Search queries
  • The hour of the day.
  • Final URLs.


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Search Console

This report is a powerhouse if you need to perceive how your web site performs in natural search.

First, although, you want to join Google Search Console with Google Analytics. This article walks you thru the method.

Once linked, you’ll have entry to a ton of information and the power to kind based mostly on subcategories corresponding to Landing Pages, Countries, Devices, and Queries.

You can use this to prioritize your work.

For instance, discover items of content material that rank nicely however have a low click-through price.

With a couple of tweaks, that content material might drive a ton of site visitors. This article provides some nice examples of how to use the info.


The Social tab reveals how individuals are interacting along with your content material on social media.

Sort by:

  • Network Referrals.
  • Landing Pages.
  • Conversions.
  • Plugins.
  • Users Flow.

Use this data to establish platforms the place your viewers is already interacting along with your content material, measure how social is impacting web site habits, and extra.


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The Campaigns report reveals how paid campaigns are performing and the way they evaluate to different initiatives.

Sort knowledge by:

  • All Campaigns.
  • Paid Keywords.
  • Organic Keywords.
  • Cost Analysis.

You may even evaluate metrics for non-Google campaigns when you add the fee knowledge.


google analytics behavior report

The Behavior Reports gives knowledge in regards to the actions customers take in your web site, together with utilizing web site search, the content material they view, how briskly pages load, and so forth.

This data will help uncover areas the place your web site just isn’t performing as supposed.


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Behavior Flow

This report reveals the trail customers take in your web site.

For instance, did individuals who learn your in-depth put up about winterizing their swimming pool then make a purchase order?

To use this report, you have to arrange and observe Events.

Site Content

Site Content provides in-depth knowledge together with if customers have been on cellular, in the event that they made a purchase order, if the site visitors was natural, and so forth.

This knowledge helps you establish if a selected piece of content material is performing nicely.

If you’re a content material marketer, this Google Analytics report is the motherlode. I take advantage of this report to uncover what weblog titles are performing the perfect.

To discover the perfect performing titles, observe these steps:

  1. Go to Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
  2. Click Page Title as your Primary Dimension.
  3. Voila! You have your prime performing web page titles.

If you need to be taught extra, I created this step-by-step video on how to discover the highest performing pages in Google Analytics.


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The similar factor goes when you’re wanting to refresh your content material, I stroll you thru how to discover that content material worthy of refreshing in Google Analytics right here.

Site Speed

The Site Speed report reveals how briskly content material masses and may be sorted by site visitors supply, displaying, for instance, if cellular prospects expertise the next load time.

To get probably the most out of this report, I extremely recommend constructing customized studies, like this one from LunaMetrics that reveals which browsers sluggish obtain time.

Site Search

This report reveals how web site guests use the search operate in your web site.

With this data, you may find key phrases try to be optimizing for or discover holes in your content material.

This is one other space the place customized studies are useful.

This report, created by John Ekman, reveals conversion charges for customers who use web site search.


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Google Analytics defines an occasion as “user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from web page or a screen load.”

Events embrace downloads of a PDF, views of a video, type submissions, and so forth.

Sort this report by:

  • Top occasions.
  • Pages.
  • Events stream.


The Publisher Report provides you entry to knowledge about how your web site is monetized, together with impressions and clicks.

This report requires a reference to AdSense or Ad Exchange.

Then, you may view data on Publisher Pages and Publisher Referrers.


The Experiments operate helps you to check variations of your web site – for instance does your new welcome message convert higher than your outdated one?

This function is being changed by Google Optimize, which seems to be a extra strong platform.


google analytics conversion report

This part of Google Analytics is all about accomplished actions.


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How many individuals registered to your e mail record? How many customers made a purchase order?

The solutions to these questions present tons of details about the well being of your enterprise and the success of your search engine marketing efforts.


Goals are actions you need to observe.

This report provides granular data about person actions based mostly on the objectives you create.

You can set each micro and macro objectives to perceive what actions contribute to bigger actions.

For instance, did studying a information article in your web site contribute to buying a brand new pc chair?

First, create a Goal, then you may view the info based mostly on:

  • The Goal URL.
  • Reverse Goal Path.
  • Funnel Visualization.
  • Goal Flow.

If you’re nonetheless unsure about how to set-up a aim in Google Analytics, I created this video tutorial for you:

Josh McCoy shares extra superior tips about establishing objectives in Google Analytics on this article.


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The Ecommerce report may be sorted by:

  • Product.
  • Sales.
  • Transaction.
  • Times to Purchase.

You should add the ecommerce code snippet to your web site so as to entry this knowledge.

Multi-Channel Funnels

With so some ways to talk along with your viewers, it may be exhausting to inform what is definitely working.

This report digs into how totally different channels feed into your funnel.

First, add the ecommerce snippet to your web site. Then you may observe:

  • Assisted Conversions.
  • Top Conversion Paths.
  • Path Length.


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I like to use the multi-channel funnels assisted conversions report is beneficial for ecommerce manufacturers monitoring social media conversions.

Corey Morris dives deeper into how to observe social media conversions in Google Analytics.



Attribution refers to the foundations used to assign credit score to factors on the conversion path.

For instance, did a purchaser learn your e mail, then obtain a whitepaper, then make a purchase order?

The attribution mannequin you select determines how the credit score for the conversion is break up between the e-mail and white paper.


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The Model Comparison Tool permits you to evaluate how totally different fashions assign credit score.

How to Set Up Your Google Analytics Admin Dashboard

Several studies above require you to join totally different platforms or including snippets.

Many of the customizations will depend upon the kind of enterprise you run, however I extremely suggest these settings for many web site homeowners.

1. Property Settings

First, ensure you’ve enabled these specialty studies.

Sign into Google Analytics, then navigate to Admin > Property Settings. Then verify the next:

  • Is the URL right?
  • Enable Demographics and Interest Reports > ON
  • Use enhanced hyperlink attribution > ON
  • Enable Users Metric in Reporting > ON
  • Is Google Ads linked and is PPC knowledge populating?
  • Is Google Search Console linked accurately?


2. View Settings

Now, let’s verify a few of the primary settings.


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Navigate to Admin > View Settings.

Now, verify the next:


To filter out a lot of the referral spam, scroll down to “Bot Filtering” and verify the field.

You can take a deeper dive into how the bot filters out the site visitors right here.

three. Add Filters

Filters assist make sure you get probably the most correct knowledge by filtering spam site visitors and site visitors out of your and your shopper’s IP addresses. This manner you aren’t losing time determining why you may’t convert your self. 🙂


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How to set a filter to your personal IP handle in Google Analytics:

  • Sign into Google Analytics
  • Navigate to Admin > View Settings > Filters > Add Filter
  • Name the filter
  • Choose “exclude”
  • Choose “traffic from the IP addresses” and add the IP handle
  • Choose “equal to”


Annie Cushing of Annielytics additionally recommends creating an ‘include filter’ and including your personal area. This will stop most referral spam however isn’t proper for all websites.

To create the embrace filter, observe the steps above by way of #three, then select “Include Only” > “traffic from the ISP domain” and add your area title.


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four. Goals

Site site visitors isn’t the one knowledge that issues. There is a lot extra you may observe, and objectives allow you to do it.

Goals inform Google what actions you suppose are most necessary for your enterprise.

To arrange objectives, go to Admin > Goals (below Create View) > New Goal.

This put up provides an in-depth break down of various kinds of objectives you may create. I recommend creating at the very least two objectives, you may add later.

5. Dashboards

Part of what makes Google Analytics so highly effective is the power to customise.

Dashboards present a high-level view of the stats and knowledge that matter most to your enterprise. They may be primary or extraordinarily in-depth, relying in your wants.

Here are a couple of examples of dashboards to contemplate:

6. Alerts

An alert will ship you a notification if sure parameters are met in your account.


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For anybody who may not be in Google Analytics each day, this can be a important step.

To begin, I recommend setting an alert for when natural site visitors decreases by 20% on the identical day and one other when natural site visitors will increase by 20% on the identical day.

This will warn you to main modifications.

Here’s how:

  • Sign into Google Analytics
  • Navigate to the Admin management panel
  • Click on Custom Alert > New Alert

Now, add a reputation and set the parameters to your alerts.

7. Google Analytics Health Checklist

The greatest manner to perceive how Google Analytics works is to dive in and do a well being verify.

Start off with this 10 level guidelines:

  • Are extra platforms linked? (Google Ads, and so forth.)
  • Is web site search enabled?
  • Have you set alerts for any metric modifications that will require instant motion?
  • Did you add filters to block your personal IP handle plus any spam websites at the moment sending site visitors to your web site?
  • Did you allow the Demographics and Interest Reports?
  • Are folks discovering what they want in your web site search?
  • What is your bounce price?
  • Has site visitors elevated or decreased drastically previously week? If so, from what supply – natural, paid, referral?
  • What key phrases are you rating for?
  • What is the preferred piece of content material in your web site? Why?


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If you’re simply beginning out with Google Analytics, I extremely suggest following Annie Cushing of Annielytics. She’s one of many smartest analytics consultants on the market and publishes tons of in-depth content material. She provides a full Google Analytics audit spreadsheet right here. For extra superior assist, she additionally has a self-guided web site audit template you should buy.

Wrapping It All Up

For an search engine marketing skilled, understanding and getting probably the most out of Google Analytics is important.

Google Analytics will help you perceive not simply what is working however why. (Or why not.)

In some circumstances, you would possibly discover a technique was profitable, you have been simply wanting on the knowledge from the fallacious angle.

All of this knowledge is out there without spending a dime – you simply have to know the way to leverage it.

More Resources:


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Image Credits

Featured Image & In-Post Photos: Created by writer
All screenshots taken by writer

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