Google Analytics

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Google Analytics Platform Overview

Google Analytics is a powerful platform for data collection and analysis of user behaviors on a website. From the time of installation, Analytics records a wide scope of information about the way people interact with its web content on both individual and aggregate levels. It allows us to isolate and analyze the behavioral metrics of interest in order to answer specific questions and also to provide actionable insight on topics such as goal completion or purchasing behavior.

With these insights, web analysts can understand the factors that affect any user behaviors of interest including how, when and why they decide to visit the site, navigate it and complete a goal or make a purchase. These last two are referred to as conversions.

Custom Events, Goals & Conversions

While conversions are often monetary in nature, they can also include driving brand awareness by signing up for a mailing list, spending at least two minutes reading an article or visiting more than three pages. Many site owners label these behaviors as micro conversions because they move users along a path to completing a larger goal such as a purchase or membership. To monitor micro conversions Google Analytics allows analysts or developers to set any desired user behavior as a goal. To monitor each at a granular level for analysis, it also allows us to tag individual pieces of content on a page such as buttons, video players and images, using on-site JavaScript code that turns each into a custom event.

Demographics Reporting

A certain percentage of a site’s visitors will happen to have Google accounts and will be using a web browser such as Chrome, Mozilla, Droid or IOS which uniquely identifies them to Google. Since it has already collected a good deal of personal information about each one, Google passes some of that along to the Analytics platform. Without sharing any personally identifiable information, the basic demographic data on this segment of site visitors is made available in a demographics report. This is useful to site owners because it provides insights about the age range, interest categories and gender of visitors who complete goals or show behaviors of interest.

Traffic Source Analysis

Finally, Google Analytics reveals detailed information on the sources of a website’s traffic including the specific URLs, meaning addresses of other websites and social networks that link to it. This shows important patterns in its current inbound traffic and how they change over time. And because it operates the web’s most popular search engine, Google’s Analytics platform provides analysts with aggregate data for the analysis of organic search traffic, meaning the traffic from users who find the site by searching Google. It reveals the common keywords and terms users typed into Google search before finding the site, which in turn provide valuable insights for improving its search visibility with SEO or search engine optimization.

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