Home Google Analytics What's Google Analytics and the way is it measured?

What’s Google Analytics and the way is it measured?

Since the dawn of the Internet, publishers big and small have marveled at the mysterious virtual visitors to their websites. How many are there? What are you reading? How many pages are Canadians using Firefox per session?

The field of analytics addresses these questions, and the leading practitioner, not surprisingly, is the company that often leads the way in analyzing Internet data: Google.

What is Analytics

Depending on how exactly you measure it, about half to two thirds of the internet uses Google Analytics. Although the service is only about half the life of the World Wide Web, the concept of measuring and analyzing web traffic was established from the start.

In contrast to other less direct media such as television or newspapers, the Internet has always been about sending a large amount of information back and forth between producer and consumer. When you visit a website, your browser sends a lot of data to that website. Fortunately, this data relates more to the browser than to you as an individual!

There are several reasons why web publishers want to look at this data. First of all, it’s fun just having positive feedback on the content that you post there. Anyone who has taken some time out to see the behavior of their website visitors in real time can attest to this!

Analytics can also tell you how a website is used, from the time spent on pages to the performance of search results. Some companies, including Google itself, create a feedback loop that continuously measures changes. By observing the actual use, they react with optimizations to even the smallest construction or structural elements.

After all, advertising supports many online business models. Analytics can be a valuable tool for demonstrating value to businesses seeking audiences.

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What is Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an easy-to-use, mostly automated solution for collecting and analyzing web traffic data.

It is a third-party solution, which means that your data is sent to Google and then made available for later use. It uses JavaScript, which means that data is collected even when a page is fetched from a cache or proxy server.

An example of the Google Analytics homepage that shows users over seven days and in real time

This is in contrast to previous web monitoring tools which relied on data collected from the server. This approach still influences a lot of current considerations as websites collect largely the same data. However, client-side monitoring provides more information. You can see both approaches still in use today.

How to set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is freely available to anyone with a Google account. You can then measure every website usage, from the smallest blogging service to the largest internal architecture. If you can edit a page’s HTML or provide a custom JavaScript file, you can use Google Analytics.

Once you have one set up property (by and large a website) You have a unique identifier in your Google Analytics account (e.g. UA-1234567-1). You can also download one Tracking code, a small snippet of JavaScript to be embedded in any webpage you want to track.

You can go beyond this drop-in solution and use different navigation funnels to track different behaviors. However, the default setting is quick and easy, and provides a lot of useful data.

To share the workload, you can give other users access to your account with different permission levels. For example, you can allow members of a marketing team to see some reports and members of a sales team to see others.

A screenshot shows the Google Analytics user administrator

What is a metric in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics divides the data displayed into two different types: metrics and dimensions. Metrics are quantifiable measurements, e.g. B. Pages per session, which counts the average number of pages viewed in a session. They are usually expressed as numbers, including percentages or durations.

Metrics are often the key data: how many people visit your website, how many pages they read, how much time they spend reading.

Examples of some common metrics

The user The metric indicates the number of users for a requested period. This metric aims to count individual visitors to your website with the highest possible accuracy.

A related metric, MeetingsKeeps track of the number of visits to your website. Note that several different pages can be displayed in each session. If a user visits your site again on Monday and then the next day, this behavior will likely result in a total of two sessions.

A screenshot showing the Google Analytics session metric

Pageviews is a metric that indicates the number of times a user loads a page. Unique page views is often more useful as it discounts repeat views. If a user updates a single page 100 times, that equates to 100 pageviews and 1 unique pageview.

Time on hand, which you should handle with caution, records the number of seconds a user spent reading a page.

What is a dimension in Google Analytics?

Dimensions are attributes of your data; City, Represent the city from which a session originated. They usually contain non-numeric values ​​such as names, languages, or campaign IDs.

In dimensions, metrics are often refined and broken down into smaller groups based on certain demographics. For example, you can take a total of Pageviews and see how many were from Europe and how many were from Africa.

Examples of some common dimensions

User type groups users into New or Previous, depending on whether they have previously visited your website.

A screenshot with the dimension

continent, country, and city are some examples of geographic data. They identify the locations of your users, albeit with a low error rate.

Screen resolution is an example of the type of dimension that you can use to inform the design of your site. However, as with any data you collect, understand it in context.

Advance website traffic analysis with Google Analytics

Google Analytics offers more than the basics. Secondary dimensions Offer more detailed breakdowns of your data. Custom dimensions and metrics can track other types of data that are specific to your site.

Thanks to customizable reports and ongoing improvements to the service, you can analyze it in just about any way you can once you start collecting data. However, the default settings make Google Analytics useful immediately.

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About the author

Bobby Jack
(15 articles published)

Bobby is a technology enthusiast who has worked as a professional software developer for nearly two decades. He loves video games, works as a staff writer at Switch Player Magazine, and is immersed in all aspects of online publishing and web development.

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