What do I need to know about ‘GA’?

You want to know why people saying GA, well they’re likely to be talking about Google Analytics. These days, it’s very much taken for granted that most businesses can be found online. With the Internet offering so many opportunities to attract potential customers, it’s extremely rare that a successful business won’t have any kind of online presence.

Naturally, if your business has its own website, it will be crucial for you to invest an appropriate amount of time in monitoring and analyzing your web traffic. Google Analytics (GA) is one of the world’s most popular tools for web analytics, one that provides free insight into the online performance of over 50 million websites. 

In a nutshell, Google Analytics focuses on your website as the hub of your online marketing activities. This is simply because, regardless of whether you invest in social media advertising, SEO, paid searches or anything else, your potential customers will more than likely end up on your website at some point. The performance of your website can thus serve as an excellent indicator of how successful your marketing initiatives have been.

So, how does GA work, and how can you get it set up on your website? In order for GA to monitor a site, the webmaster must insert tracking code. Not only will this code record the number of visitors to the website, but it can also track valuable demographics, such as gender and age. Google Analytics can also be connected to other tools, such as SEO Monitor.

Naturally, users can take a number of actions once they reach a website. These are also recorded by GA and sorted into groups such as:

  • User (what actions has an individual user taken?)
  • Session (what has occurred in each individual visit?)
  • Pageview (what has happened on each page users have visited?)
  • Event (how many video views, button clicks and so on?)

Google Analytics can also help users to interpret their data. In addition to listing metrics collected from a website, GA can also present ‘dimensions’ which are specifically geared towards providing contextualized statistics for business users. 

For example, you could set dimensions for the number of users who visited your site and group them based on specific demographics, such as gender and location. 

Ultimately, your chosen dimension will depend on what questions you are trying to answer. It may be that you want to know more about your audience, check that your marketing is resonating with your target market, and so on.

The data created by users can also be divided into two broad groups: demographic information from before they visit your website, and the actions they take once they arrive. 

The former can indicate the general characteristics of your audience, such as age and location. It can also let you know how users are finding your site, such as via search engines or social media. All of this can be vital for shaping your marketing initiatives in order to target specific groups.

The latter can indicate how well your website is designed. Statistics such as time spent on a website or what pages users typically end up on can all be altered and maximized with a well-built site. All you need to do is make sure that the needs of your users are met as conveniently as possible. This will make it much easier to prompt users to take actions such as making purchases or signing up to email alerts.

Regardless of what an organization does, marketing and analytical tools are absolutely essential for efficient and well-informed management. A huge proportion of marketers currently make use of Google Analytics, and being able to demonstrate competent experience in managing GA accounts can serve an excellent boost to a marketer or webmaster’s CV.

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