If you have ever wondered how you can find out what visitors are doing when they come to your website, Google Analytics is the tool to help you find out.  
It allows you to track and study data that is key to your business finding out how customers are behaving when they visit your website, which areas of your website are working, and which are not pulling their weight. 
It’s a free tool that provides a huge amount of information, making it an essential asset for any business looking to improve their website. But how does it work and how can you use it to its full potential? It’s all covered in the information below. Keep reading to find out more. 

What is Google Analytics? 

Google Analytics is the premier platform for website analysis, helping to track what happens on your website or app. It is provided for free by Google to give you a clear picture of how your website is working for you. It collects huge amounts of data and displays them to you in a clear, visual way, giving you key insights into who visits your website, what they are looking at and how long they stay around. 

How does it work? 

The main function performed by Google Analytics is to collect data. There are many ways you can analyse the data that is gathered, but the key metrics are how many visitors your pages are getting, where your visitors are coming from, how they move through your website and what they do on the various pages of your website. 
You can also find out key information about how visitors are interacting with parts of your website, how long they spend on your website and at what point they are leaving. It uses a code to gather all this data together, with the code being added to every page of your website. This then implants a cookie in the browser of each visitor who agrees to the cookie notice on your website (which is required by law) which sends the relevant information to Google Analytics about how your website is performing. 

How is the data presented? 

Of course, Google doesn’t just present you with the raw data and leave you to it. It processes all the information and generates reports which gives you a clear visual guide to what is happening to your website. In general, it separates the information into user data and session data. 
User data is about the different visitors to your website. By creating a unique user ID for each visitor, it will keep track if people return to your website more than once – providing they log in on the same device. 
The session data is the information about how long the user spends on your website. There are various types of session data collected. This includes the pages viewed and any actions that they have taken. This data is key for understanding user behaviour and using this to make alterations to the way you present your information on your website. 
The reports that are generated are visual representations of the various data points, and as such are more effective at giving you a clear understanding of the behaviour patterns being demonstrated on your website. 
These graphs and charts aim to show more than one metric at a time, giving you a further picture about how the various dimensions of your website interact with each other. So, for example, you can get information about the countries people are visiting your website from, and how long the people in specific countries are remaining on your website. 
However, as well as these default reports, you can also create custom charts to target specific areas of your website where you want to find out more data. 

Why Google Analytics is so important 

There are multiple reasons why this is such a useful tool. The main area where it can provide invaluable insight is in marketing. Having access to this kind of data about the people who are visiting your website is incredibly useful and almost impossible to come by in other ways. 
For example, you can find out how much traffic is driven to your website through certain marketing channels – thus finding out if your marketing campaigns have been successful or not. You can find out where most of your visitors come from, and then target future campaigns in these areas. You can also learn valuable lessons about how to improve your conversion rate. 
Another key area where Google Analytics is so important is in website performance. Without any kind of data about how your website is working, you have no idea if it is being viewed at all. Using Google Analytics, you can establish which of your pages are getting the most views, where visitors are leaving your website, how long they are staying and more. 
All of this can be incredibly useful for determining how to make your website better in the long run. 
Google Analytics can also help you to boost your search engine optimisation (SEO) which is essentially the likelihood of ranking highly on search engine results pages when people search for a certain term - i.e. ‘web design Twickenham’. Google Analytics gives you data about how users are finding your website, which pages are the most popular and what kind of searches bring people in. 

Now might be the right time to get Google Analytics 

As you can see, there are lots of good reasons why Google Analytics is so important for your business. To get started, you will need to set up a Google Account, log in and set up your Google Analytics function. Of course, it may all be very confusing and difficult to get to grips with straight away. If you would like help and support with your Google Analytics, and to get the most of its potential, our team will be more than happy to help you. 
We are experts in working with Google Analytics and using its functions to maximise the data you get. To discuss your options and find out more about how you could improve your website, get in touch with a member of our team. As always, we look forward to hearing from you. 
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