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Guide to Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a widely used web analytics application that can give you a wealth of information about the performance of your site. Google Analytics can generate 85 different reports that will help analyze every possible piece of data related to your website’s traffic. The best part, it’s all free!

With the wealth of information that Google Analytics provides, all the reports and graphs can be a bit confusing. Below is a basic guide to understanding what all those charts and terms mean so you can get the most out of this great application.

Setting up
If you haven’t started using Google Analytics, it is easy to set up. Just go to google.com/analytics and sign up for a free account. Analytics will take you step by step through setting up your analytics account. You will need to place the code Analytics provides on the web pages of your site that you want to track. Once the code is on your site, Google Analytics will begin tracking. For help with this step, contact us.

Terms and Definitions
There are several terms and definitions you may not be familiar with. Below are some definitions.
  • Page view- a request to load a single page of website

  • Visit-period of interaction between browser and site

  • Visitor-a visitor to your site is uniquely identified by a Google Analytics cookie

  • Absolute Unique Visitors-how many visitors (people) came to your site, counting each person only once

  • Bounce Rate-represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who "bounce" away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.
As said above, Analytics can generate up to 85 different tracking reports. Below explains some of the main Google Analytics reports.

Page views, Visits and Visitors
This report shows how many page views, visitors and visits your site has had. The charts are broken down into absolute unique visitors and new and returning visitors. It also gives information on the browser and connection speed of your users.

Traffic Sources
This report shows where your traffic is coming from, whether it is from referring sites, search engines, or people directly typing your URL in a browser. It also gives the keywords people are searching for that lands them at your website.

This report shows the most popular pages on your website. It breaks down the page views, unique views, and bounce rate of each page.

These are just a few of the reports Google Analytics offers. Having a good understanding of these Google Analytics reports will help you better optimize your site in the future. The information given in this article is a great start to learning more about what Google Analytics can do for you.

For more information about search engine optimization, contact ACF Consulting.


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