Google Analytics – Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of Google Analytics!

First off, if you have been reading our articles on Google Analytics, I want to welcome you back for the final part of our multi-part article. However, if you are just joining us and came to this article via search, then I would suggest you go to Part 1 of Google Analytics and read thru all the articles to get the most benefit out of this discussion.

In our previous articles we covered the following topics;

  • Google Analytics Part 1
    • What is Google Analytics
    • How to Create your Google Analytics account
    • Adding your first Property (aka website) to your Google Analytics Account
    • Obtaining your Google Analytics Tracking Code
  • Google Analytics Part 2
    • Installing your Google Analytics Tracking Code on your WordPress website
    • Testing the installation of your Google Analytics Tracking Code to ensure Google is tracking statistics from your website

Today, we are going to go into depth of what Google Analytics provides you as a website owner. As well as, review some of the reports available in Google Analytics, along with how those reports can be used to help you improve your website’s performance and visitor engagement.

Let’s Get Started!

Google Analytics understanding the Essentials

By now, assuming you have been following along since this article started, you should have your Google Analytics account created and capturing statistics from your website.

Therefore, if you login to your Google Analytics account via http://analytics.google.com you should see some numbers and graphs similar to the following screen image (See Audience Overview Section below – your numbers and graphs will be different, as the results are based on your website traffic).

If you do not see any numbers or they are all showing zero “0”, then there are two possibilities;

  1. Your website is not getting any Traffic yet!
  2. You do not have your Google Analytics Tracking Code installed correctly and therefore it is not capturing any statistics about your website visitors.

If you are certain that your website is getting traffic, then go back to Part 2 of this article and test your tracking code using one of the methods outlined in that article. Otherwise, if you are not sure that you have received any traffic during the default Time Period displayed, then continue on with this article and we will show you how to change the displayed Time Period for this report.

Audience Overview

Google Analytics - Audience Overview

The Audience Overview provides you a quick snapshot of your websites visitors.

This initial view, that you are presented with, is your Audience Overview. This report shows you the visitors your website has seen during the selected Time Period. The Time Period is displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Before we get into the information that is Trended over the selected Time Period and how to change the Time Period displayed, let’s discuss the metrics (measures) that are available in this report;

  • Sessions – The daily Total Number of Sessions within the selected Time Period. A session, is the time a user is actively engaged with your website. Keep in mind that all usage data (like page views, events, eCommerce, etc…) are associated with a session.
  • Users – the number of unique users which have had at least one session during the selected time period. This number will include both new and returning visitors.
  • Pageviews – This number represents the Total Number of Pages viewed during the selected Time Period.
  • Pages / Session – is the average number of pages viewed during a session (also called page depth).
  • Avg. Session Duration – the average length that a session is recorded on your site.
  • Bounce Rate – is the percentage of single page visits for your site. Basically, if a user comes to your website, views one page, and then leaves without additional page views or interactions then that is considered a bounce. Bounce Rate provides you with a measure of “What % of Users” left your site without any interaction.
  • % of New Sessions – An estimated number of first time visitors to your site

Time Period Selection

By default the Audience Overview shows data for the last  30 days. You can change this time period selection by clicking on the Time Period in the top right-hand corner and changing the selector to display your desired Time Period.

Time Period for Analysis

Select the Time Period that you would like to analyze and view trends of your website visitors.

I suggest that you select a period of time that adequately allows you to analyze your websites traffic. If you select too short of a time period, then it will be harder to understand the growth or decline of your website’s traffic.

For now, just leave the Time Period selected to show the last 30 days.

Audience Overview – Analytics Education

One of the most helpful features for new users of Google Analytics is the Analytics Education section of each report. I strongly suggest that you take the time to review and watch the training videos that Google has provided.

Google Analytics Education

This section provides tutorials and overview videos on how to use the slated report.

The Analytics Education videos are jam-packed with great information about each report and provide great tips on how to use them to your benefit.

Keep in mind that not every report or report section will include an Analytics Education overview. However, an overview exists for each of the major reports within Google Analytics.

Overview Trend Line

The Google Analytics Overview Trend Line provides you with a line chart of how your website is performing for the selected metric (measure) through out the selected Time Period. By default, the selected Time Period (30 days) will be charted by each day during the period. You can change the chart to show hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly data point on the Trend Chart.

Within the Trend Line Chart you can select the metric that you want to chart, as well as, having the ability to perform Metric vs Metric charting;

Trend Line Charting

Plot Trends with Metric vs Metric charting.

Using the Trend Line Chart will allow you to see how your website statistics are performing over a period of time and will allow you to spot trends in your website visitor engagement. You can also measure if your website traffic is increasing or decreasing by utilizing the Trend Chart for longer periods of time.

Audience Overview Details Section

The Audience Overview Details Section provides you with the exact numbers, for the selected Time Period, that your website has achieved. These numbers are the aggregated values of the data points represented in the Trend Chart.

Detailed Statistics

These are the aggregated statistics for your website for the selected Time Period.

The definition of each of these numbers was provided above in the Audience Overview section of this article. You can refer back to them to help understand their meaning, if needed.

One very handy aspect of the Trend Line Chart, that works in conjunction with the Time Period selector is the ability to compare 2 different selected Periods of Time.

If you return to the Time Period selector you will notice the Compare To: check box. By selecting this box you can compare two different Time Periods. For instance, in the example below we are comparing the last 30 Days to the 30 Days prior;

Time Period Comparison

Selecting Compare To: allows you to compare two Time Periods for the selected metric.

Looking at the Trend Line Chart, you will notice, for each data point on the chart, we now get two different data point markers. Each marker represents a different date, with a comparison of the date with the same date 30 days prior.

In addition, the Detailed Statistics section, now provides the Variance between the two selected periods instead of the aggregated values for the Time Period.

Demographics, System, Mobile, Language

The bottom portion of the Audience Overview report provides a breakdown by Demographics, System, Mobile, Language, and other statistics for your website visitors.

Demographics and Other Info

This section of the Audience Overview report provides demographics, system, mobile, and other information for your visitors.

This section of the Audience Overview report also interacts with the Time Period Selector, in that the statistics shown will either be aggregated values for the selected time period or they will display the variance between time periods when the Compare To: option is utilized.

Summary

Google Analytics provides you with a tremendous amount of valuable information about your website, it’s visitors, and their engagement on your site.

With the proper installation of a Google Tracking Code for your website, Google will begin capturing statistics about your website and then provides this information back to you in the form of a host of different reports that you can utilize to track your website’s growth and visitor engagement.

In this article, Part 3 of Google Analytics, we have reviewed one of the many valuable reports that Google Analytics Provides, the Audience Overview.

The Audience Overview report is an important report to comprehend because it helps you to understand your visitors and how they are interacting with your website. Understanding this report will help you to better utilize the other reports available within the Google Analytics tool suite.

We hope to be able to provide you with additional Google Analytics Report reviews in future articles.

Please leave us some feedback on our review of Google Analytics.

The NetworkCEO

The NetworkCEO

 

 

 

 

Last updated: November 3, 2016 at 10:55 am

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