Get started with google analytics
Google Analytics has become a source of truth in a world dominated by data. For small, local, and large businesses, it's an incredibly useful tool for measuring and analyzing the performance of websites and applications. Our guide demystifies the setup process to get you up and running smoothly.
Smart use of data drives business performance. Google Analytics (GA) is a free analytics tool that gives you essential information on how your business' website or app performs. It integrates with Google marketing tools — such as Google Ads, Search Console, and Data Studio — and helps you better understand your customers. You’ll be empowered with the right data to measure and increase your traffic and conversions.
Don’t worry if GA appears complicated at first — you're not alone. Once you're familiar with it, GA reveals your strongest and weakest performing pages and in-depth information about your visitors. Knowing who uses your site, where they originate from, which pages they visit, the actions they take, and how much time they spend on your site helps you to fine-tune your strategies. Soon, you’ll start attracting more visitors and converting them to customers.
In this short guide, you’ll learn how to set up your business' GA account and familiarize yourself with the metrics and terms you need to know to take advantage of this remarkable resource.
Set up your Google Analytics account
On the Google Analytics homepage, sign in using an existing Google account login, such as Gmail or YouTube, or create a new account.
Once logged in, you'll need to add the property (your website or app) to the chosen account. Next, enter your website name, URL (website address), industry, and reporting time zone. Google will create a unique tracking code for you to copy and paste into your website.
Most web platforms have a dedicated place for you to enter your Google Analytics code. It's often in the SEO (search engine optimization) or Settings section of your dashboard.
To give your web developer or SEO manager access to your Google Analytics account, add them in the 'User Management' section.
Important terms to know
As you navigate your homepage and dashboard, you may come across some of these essential Google Analytics terms.
Sessions: A group of hits or active engagements recorded for a user in a given time period. A session ends after 30 minutes of inactivity.
Users: Unique visitors who have initiated at least one session during the defined date range.
New users: The number of first-time users who visit your website or app during a set date range.
Pageviews: The total number of times users view or refresh a page.
Bounce rate: The percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with a page, i.e., users left quickly and did not engage.
Audience: A group of users with factors in common. GA has several pre-defined audience, allowing you to create a custom audience that targets a specific audience, for example, Singaporean Gen Zers.
Users Flow: The pathway customers take through your website, from the landing page to the end of their visit. Set up as a report, it lets you compare volumes of traffic from different sources, examine traffic patterns through your site’s pages, and troubleshoot their efficacy.
Segments: A subset of your analytics data, this feature compares results between customer segments. For example, you can isolate results for new or returning customers or by traffic source. GA provides pre-determined segments, but you can create your own based on your business needs. For example, users who viewed a specific page but didn't take any action.
What to watch
Metrics provide useful answers to questions about your business, such as:
Is my website growing?
How much new traffic do I have, and where does it originate from?
What percentage of unique visitors make a purchase?
What pain points can I relieve during my customers’ journey?
What path do visitors commonly take through my website, and where am I losing them?
Google Analytics metrics used by small businesses include:
Percentage of new sessions
Sessions by channel
Average session duration
Pages per session
Pageviews by page
Reporting with Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides 78 standard reports in five different categories (you'll find these in the left-hand bar).
Here are the six crucial reports to get familiar with:
(Audience) Mobile > overview report
Allows you to discover pain points on your mobile site.
(Acquisition) All traffic > channels report
Identifies how much traffic is coming from organic, direct, social, (other), referral, display, and Paid Search.
(Audience) Cohort analysis
Allows you to examine the behavior and performance of specific groups of users related by common attributes (instead of all users).
(Acquisition) Search console > landing pages report
Shows which page users land on most often – and which traffic source brings users to it.
(Behaviour)Events > pages
Presents the pages that generate the most actions. You can see which posts generate the most CTA clicks, for example.
(Conversions) Goals > overview report
Analyzes what pages drive conversions and where traffic originates by timeframe.
These reports help you see if you're meeting your business goals and what areas can be improved.
Leverage the power of data
Ideal for all businesses from small and local to large, Google Analytics has become a source of truth in a world dominated by data. Leverage this dynamic tool to measure and analyze the performance of your website and applications so you can take your services to the next level.