Tracking is a vital step in any operation whether online or offline. From my trust in its effectiveness and necessity, I had mentioned it among the main pillars that assure the success of any digital marketing operation in my new marketing concept.


In this blog post, I will go in-depth in one of the most powerful tracking tools for brands, bloggers & businesses: “Google Analytics” which helps you uncover a tremendous amount of data about your website that can be used to enhance your marketing and business development strategies.


If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, it can be a little overwhelming at first. With so much data available to dig through, it’s hard to know where to look to find the most important metrics, therefore, I cut the road for you and provided you below how-to guide to use the free tool “Google Analytics” and mentioned the main metrics and how to get them.


This blog post is divided into three parts:


• Google Analytics Account Set Up

• Google Analytics Search Box

• Google Analytics Main Metrics


Google Analytics Account Set Up


A. To create your ‘Google Analytics” account:


• Log into www.google.com/analytics and click on “Start for Free” on the top right side.

• Fill in your Account Name, Website Name, Website URL, and select an Industry Category and Reporting Time Zone.

• Under Data Sharing Options, check the boxes next to the options that you want. The click “Get Tracking ID”

• Copy the tracking code and paste it in all your website pages.


Now your website is linked by “Google Analytics”.


B. If you have a team and what to give other users the permission to check your account and extract the data, you shall give them access by following the below simple steps:


• Go to your account “Admin” at the bottom left side then click on “User Management”.

• Then click “Add”, write the user’s email address and set the permissions then click “Add”


Now you gave permission to other users to access your “Google Analytics”.



C. While you wait for Google Analytics to start collecting data from your website or app, you can configure some settings in the Admin interface to get the most out of your reports. To access this interface hover over the left sidebar menu and click “Admin”


Goals


Conversion reports in Google Analytics can reveal the most profitable users on your website or app. To use them, you will need to define one or more Goals for your website or app users to complete, such as visiting a specific page, filling a specific form, completing a purchase through your website,…
To add goals simply go to Admin>Goals


Ecommerce


If you have an Ecommerce website you toggle this option in order to view all of your website data in one application, instead of trying to match your Google Analytics data with your eCommerce platform’s data.
You can do so by simply going to: Admin> View Settings> Ecommerce Settings


Site Search


If your website has a search box, you can track the queries made by your users by configuring your Site Search setting. This option will tell you what some users search on your website, so you can use these keywords to create faster navigation to the pages users want the most, thus improving the user experience.
You can do so by simply going to: Admin>View Settings>Site Search Settings*

Note: You are requested to add a query parameter, to do this, search for something on your website and look at the letter preceding the query in the search results URL, that is what you will need to enter.


Google Analytics Search Box


Google analytics give you the chance to ask some questions about your website or app users in the search box at the top of the Google Analytics interface.

Here are some questions you can ask:


• How many users did I have this week/month/quarter/year?

• Show me a breakdown of users by device type/location/age.

• What are my top pages in terms of pageviews?

• What are my landing pages in terms of sessions?

• How long do users stay on my site/use my app?

• New vs. Returning Visitors last month?

• What countries do my users come from?

• What’s my goal conversion rate?

• What’s my average page load time?


The answer to these questions can help you measure the results of your website marketing and advertising campaigns.


Google Analytics Main Metrics


If you have one website under your account, Google Analytics will take you straight to the Audience Overview report under the reporting tab every time you log into your account. If you have more than one website, you should go to the top header of your account (besides the Google Analytics logo), so that you can choose the website for which you want to see the reports.


Each account has 5 tabs:


• Real-Time

• Audience

• Acquisition

• Behavior

• Conversions





I will highlight below on the main metrics to track in each tab:


Real Time:


In the Real-Time Overview, you can see the exact number of active users on your website, how many of your website pages are being viewed per minute and per second, the top keywords your active users are using, and a list of your top active pages, along with the number of active users per each of those pages.


Audience:


In the Audience Overview tab, you can see how many sessions there are on your website over a particular time period. You can choose to see the hourly, daily, weekly and monthly reports. As for the main metrics you should keep your eyes on in this tab are:


1. Traffic:

Know how many users are visiting your website and how many pages they are checking. You can access this data by simply going to: Audience>Overview


2. Device Mix:

Check how do different devices are performing.

You can access this data by simply going to: Audience>Mobile> Overview


3. User Type:

Know what the difference in behavior between New & Returning users is.

You can access this data by simply going to: Audience > Behavior > New vs. Returning


4. Geo:

Discover how are our users from different countries/regions behaving.

You can access this data by simply going to:Audience >Behavior> GEO > Location


5. Gender:

Find out how are users from different genders behaving.

You can access this data by simply going to:Audience > Demographics > Genders


6. Age:

Check from which age ranges the website visitors are.

You can access this data by simply going to:Audience > Demographic > Age


7. Users Flow:

Know the paths users took through your site, from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they exited your site.

You can access this data by simply going to:Audience > Users Flow ​





Acquisition:


The Acquisition reports will show you how your website visitors actually came to your site. It will provide you with an overview of your direct, organic, referral and social (coming from social media) traffic, as well as traffic coming from email. As for the main metric you should keep your eyes on in this tab is:


• Default Channel Grouping:

Know how the different channels are performing.

You can access this data by simply going to: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels


Behavior:


The Behavior reports will show you how your website visitors are interacting with your website, so that you can know how your content is actually performing. As for the main metrics you should keep your eyes on in this tab are:


1. Pages:

Know the top pages visited on your website.

You can access this data by simply going to:Behavior > Site Content > All pages


2. Exit Pages:

Check out on which pages your website visitors are leaving the site.

You can access this data by simply going to: Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages


Conversions:


The Conversions reports will show you the actions your website visitors have taken before they converted. These reports will show you their entire path towards conversion, as well as how many conversions have taken place on your website. As for the main metric you should keep your eyes on in this tab is:


• Conversion completion location: Track specific user interactions on your site.

You can access this data by simply going to: Conversion> Goals>Overview


Let’s Start Tracking!