Understanding Google Analytics: Learning Your Audience

Every website we build here at Southern Web includes a unique bit of code, provided by Google, which gives our clients access to Google’s Analytics website statistics service. Google Analytics allows website owners to track the number of visitors to their site, where they came from and what they do once there. Very handy!

There are five main sections currently featured in the Google Analytics platform. I write “currently” because Google has a habit of drastically changing their services, like Analytics, without much warning to the end-user.

Let’s take a look at the break down of the Analytics main menu structure before Google messes about and moves everything around:

Real-Time displays a minute-by-minute look at your website’s visitors. Audience shows information about your visitor. Acquisition provides details about how your visitor arrived to your website. Behavior focuses on what a visitor does while on your website, and Conversions allows users to create and track goals.

While all of this information is important in determining how best to present your website, at the forefront stands Audience. Audience is broken down into nine subsections: Overview, Demographics, Interests, Geo, Behavior, Technology, Mobile, Custom and Visitors Flow. Here you’ll find out everything you ever wanted to know and more about who visits your website.

Overview

Yep, you guessed it. This tab displays a summary of some of the most important analytics figures featured throughout the Audience subsections. Here you’ll see information on visits, unique visitors, pageviews, pages per visit, average visit duration, bounce rate and the total number of new visits compared to total visits, which language your visitor reads and much more.

Demographics

The Demographics subsection is broken down even further into three additional tabs: Overview, Age and Gender. Google claims to know this information about you based on the websites that you visit throughout the Google Ad Display Network and by cross-checking your Google profiles.

Interests

Google keeps track of your browsing habits and shares that information with website owners. Here you’ll see what kinds of websites your visitors view broken down by category.

Geo

Here you can view a breakdown of your visitor’s language and location. This can be broken down all the way to city, which can be particularly helpful if you’re creating campaigns to target local audiences.

Behavior

This section tells you the percentage of visitors that are visiting your website for the first time. It also holds information about visit duration (or how long someone stays on your website).

Technology

Here you can find out what browser, operating system and internet service provider your visitors use.

Mobile

A breakdown of desktop, mobile and tablet users can be found here.

Custom

Here website owners can specify their own unique variables that they want to track. Some examples could include tracking authors, tags and social sharing habits.

Visitors Flow

This neat little flow chart gives a visual representation of how visitors interact with your website’s architecture and how they go from point A to point B.

When knowing who visits your website, you can begin to craft a content strategy to most effectively reach him or her. Next, we’ll look at site content and how to determine best practices for your website.



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