Health IS Technology Blog

The Many Benefits of Google Analytics


Google Analytics on the iPad

What Are the Benefits of Google Analytics?

Google Analytics can be incredibly valuable for your business in many different ways. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the many benefits of Google Analytics.

It’s Free and Easy to Sign Up

With a tool so helpful, you’d expect it to cost something. Thankfully, Google Analytics is completely free. It is very easy and quick to set up, too. With other Google programs like AdSense, the signup process can be very taxing – especially when you have to wait for Google to approve your application in the first place. With Google Analytics, all you need to do to create an account and sign up. 

Even though it is reasonably easy to set up, there are many facets to Google Analytics. If you’re planning on utilizing this tool, I highly recommend investing some time into Google Analytics Academy. The free courses are a great way to begin learning about how to get the most out of your analytics toolkit.

It’s Google

One of the things that many of us dislike the most about Google is what website owners like the most about Google Analytics. That is, the constant and unwavering collection of data. There isn’t much about your site visitors that Google Analytics can’t tell you. For example, just take a look at the “interests” of some of our visitors from the last year:

Google Analytics Interests

Not surprisingly, a lot of our site visitors are technophiles, or technology lovers. While this doesn’t necessarily help us narrow down what to post next on our blog, since most of what we write concerns technology, it does help reaffirm that our visitors come to our blog because they are interested in that topic area. As a business owner, you can look to the interest section of your Google Analytics resource to learn more about your users.

Keywords

Another of the benefits of Google Analytics is its ability to reveal the keywords users search with to find your site. This is incredibly important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Under the “Acquisitions” section of Google Analytics, you can find the keywords that were used in searches, how many users searched with it, the landing page it led to, and much more. Here is an example of some of the keywords used to find our blog:

Google Analytics Keywords

You can also expand this to see what page users landed on from the keyword.

Google Analytics Keywords Landing Page

In this example, the keywords are very specific and relate to articles we already have posted on this blog. But there may be keywords you find in through your Google Analytics account that have led users to pages in your website that don’t completely satisfy their wants and needs. To determine this you could look at something called your bounce rate. That is, “The percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which a person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page)” Google. If a keyword has a high bounce rate, you might consider expanding your site’s content to include an article or page that focuses on that topic.

 

Real-Time Reporting

If you want to know how well your advertising practices are working for you, then the real-time reporting feature is going to seriously benefit you. Here is how Google describes this feature:Google Analytics Real-Time

“Real-Time allows you to monitor activity as it happens on your site or app. The reports are updated continuously and each hit is reported seconds after it occurs. For example, you can see how many people are on your site right now, which pages or events they’re interacting with, and which goal conversions have occurred.”

So, even if you don’t have a campaign to track, real-time reporting is going to be valuable in knowing who’s on your site and when. Perhaps if you need to do maintenance on your site you can take a look at the real-time reporting to decide if it’s the right time to make any changes.

 

The KPIs of Google Analytics

There are multiple KPI’s, or key performance indicators, that Google Analytics monitors. KPI’s are vital in analyzing data for your business. Here is a brief list of some KPI’s included with Google Analytics:

Google Analytics KPI's

What are some of Google Analytics’ KPIs?

  • UX
  • Users
  • Sessions
  • Pageviews
  • Bounce Rate
  • Organic Search
  • Referral Traffic

UX

UX stands for user experience. Your user experience is one of the most important things to keep in mind when considering any part of your website. The Creative Bloq helped to explain how Google Analytics can help improve your user experience in their article “Improve your UX with Google Analytics”. They write,

“With web analytics, user researchers can look at much larger sample sizes than is possible with more resource-intensive methods, such as usability testing. This can be useful if you need to establish a high degree of certainty that a particular design change will be effective before you implement it.”

Users

Analytics helps you evaluate your UX by showing you who your users are. Not only can you see their interests and location, you can see if they are new or returning, what browser they’re using, what device they’re using, and much more. Quite simply, if you know who your users are, you can know how to better serve them.

Sessions

Google defines a sessions as “a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame.” Customarily a session will expire after thirty minutes of inactivity, though you can change this time frame if you choose. Sessions are important in knowing how many unique users are coming to your site and for how long.

Pageviews

Pageviews are different from sessions in that one user is tied to one session, but one user does not necessarily equal one pageview. If a user is looking at multiple pages within one session, then you know that user was interested in your site, and not just the landing page. Pageviews are vital in knowing what of your content is the most popular for visitors.

Bounce Rate

A bounce is a session in which a user views only one page on your site. So a bounce rate is the the amount of your sessions that result in only one hit, and that is the first click onto the page. Google says, “these single-page sessions have a session duration of 0 seconds since there are no subsequent hits after the first one that would let Analytics calculate the length of the session.”

While a high bounce rate may seem like something you want to avoid, that’s not always the case. If users are bouncing away from your homepage, then that might be something you want to look into. However, if users are bouncing away from articles on your blog, that isn’t a bad thing in and of itself.

Organic Search

This goes back to the very valuable keywords we discussed earlier. The organic search KPI in Google Analytics helps to tell you how many users are arriving at your website from a search engine, as opposed to an email newsletter or social media link, and what terms they used in those search engines. This is often where the majority of your traffic will come from and an important area to focus on when marketing your website. Again, this KPI is invaluable for your SEO efforts.

Referral Traffic

Maybe not as quite beneficial for SEO as organic traffic, Google Analytics’ ability to show you the referral path of your users is imperative. So, if a blogger links to your business, Google Analytics will be able to show you that referral. This is especially beneficial for advertising purposes. For example, if you see a lot of referrals coming from Facebook, it may be in your best interest to invest in some well placed Facebook ads. You can also see things like the specific tweets that have referred users to your site.

 

All in all, if you haven’t invested your time into signing up and learning about Google Analytics yet, you might consider doing so. There are a wide variety of benefits in this toolkit that you can use to improve your business’ online presence. Have you seen any improvements in your site after implementing Google Analytics? Let us know on our Facebook page!