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How Does Google Analytics Help Your SEO Strategy?

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a platform that collects data from your websites and apps to create reports that provide insights into your business. It is the main data collection resource that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes. The service is part of the Google Marketing Platform and is available for free to anyone with a Google account.

How Google Analytics works

Measuring a website

To measure a website, you first have to create a Google Analytics account. Then you need to add a small piece of JavaScript measurement code to each page on your site. Every time a user visits a webpage, the tracking code will collect anonymous information about how that user interacted with the page.

For the Google Store, the measurement code could show how many users visited a page that sells drinkware versus a page that sells houseware. Or it could tell us how many users bought an item like an Android doll by tracking whether they made it to the purchase confirmation page.

How Google Analytics works

The measurement code will also collect information from the browser like the language setting, the type of browser (such as Chrome or Safari), and the device and operating system on which the browser is running. It can even collect the “traffic source,” which is what brought users to the site in the first place. This might be a search engine, an advertisement they clicked on, or an email marketing campaign.

Processing and reporting

When the measurement code collects data, it packages that information up and sends it to Google Analytics to be processed into reports. When Analytics processes data, it aggregates and organizes the data based on particular criteria like whether a user’s device is mobile or desktop, or which browser they’re using.

But there are also configuration settings that allow you to customize how that data is processed. For example, you might want to apply a filter to make sure your data doesn’t include any internal company traffic or developer traffic.

Once Analytics processes the data, it’s stored in a database where it can’t be changed.

So remember, when you set up your configuration, don’t exclude any data you think you might want to analyze later. Once the data has been processed and stored in the database, it will appear in Google Analytics as reports.

Important Google Analytics Metrics

A metric is a standard of quantitative measurement. Google Analytics enables users to track up to 200 different metrics to measure how their websites are performing. While some metrics may be more valuable to certain businesses than others, these are some of the most popular metrics:

  1. Users. A user is a unique or new visitor to the website.

  2. Bounce rate. The percentage of visitors who viewed only a single page. These visitors only triggered a single request to the Google Analytics server.

  3. Sessions. The group of visitor interactions happens in a 30-minute window of activity.

  4. Average session duration. How long on average each visitor stays on the site.

  5. Percentage of new sessions. The percentage of website visits that are first-time visits.

  6. Pages per session. The average number of page views per session.

  7. Goal completions. The number of times visitors complete a specified, desirable action. This is also known as a conversion.

  8. Page views. The total number of pages viewed.

How Google Analytics Benefit Your SEO Strategy?

Google Analytics has distinct benefits and limitations. Pros generally relate to the platform being powerful, free, and user-friendly. Google Analytics also provides the following benefits:

  • The service is free, easy to use, and beginner friendly.

  • Google Analytics offers a variety of metrics and customizable dimensions. Many different types of useful insights can be captured using this platform.

  • Google Analytics also contains many other tools, such as data visualization, monitoring, reporting, predictive analysis, etc.

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4, or GA4 is the most recent iteration of this service and was released in October 2020. GA4 is somewhat of an overhaul of previous versions of Google Analytics. It offers a completely new user interface and shifts from reliance on third-party cookies toward the use of machine learning for better data accuracy.

Features that are new in Google Analytics 4 include:

  • machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) tools;

  • deeper integration with Google Ads;

  • customer-centric reporting designed around lifecycle data;

  • additional codeless tracking features that can provide data with less latency; and

  • enhanced data control features for regulatory compliance and data management.

For more information on Google Analytics 4, click here.

Why Google Analytics Is Important For Your Business

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you analyze your website traffic.

Even though “web analytics” sounds like a very small area of your digital presence, the implications of Google Analytics are in fact huge.

This is because, for most companies, your website serves as a hub for all of your digital traffic. If you are running any marketing activities such as search ads or social media ads, your users are most likely going to visit your website somewhere along their user journey.

Given that your website is the central hub of your digital presence, your website is the best way to give you a holistic view of the effectiveness of all the campaigns you are running to promote your product/services online. Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you track your digital marketing effectiveness.

That’s why over 50 million websites around the world use Google Analytics. If you are not using it, you should set it up right now.

If you need help setting up your Google Analytics account, please contact our SEO experts here:

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