iNoobs: What is Google Analytics?

Categories Articles, iNoobs, Web Design

What is Google AnalyticsLooking for information on Google Analytics? You’ve come to the right place! First, a quick introduction on the iNoobs series here at Inspired Magazine – iNoobs is a running column teaching you everything you need to know about the business of web design and Internet marketing.

For me Google Analytics is all about helping my business, and the businesses of my clients determine:

  1. Are my advertising efforts working?
  2. How much is my website costing me – or better yet – how much is my website making me?

What is Google Analytics

Google Analytics is simply a service provided by Google (free of charge) to track the performance of your website. Most Google Analytics tracks visitors on your site – how they got there, what they do on your site, the amount of time they spend, and a host of information. It’s highly customize able meaning the possibilities are endless as far as the type of information/reports it can generate.

For a more complete explanation on Google Analytics you can also take a look at the “what is Google Analytics” topic over on Google’s own site.

Why You Must Track Your Site Using Google Analytics

The message that we all need to be tracking and measuring every part of our online businesses and marketing is one that seems to be getting thrust on us everywhere these days. Obviously Google Analytics is the most common name being thrown around when metrics and online stats are being talked about but as a business owner or manager do you really need to be monitoring it yourself?

Google Analytics Features

Even if you are already slammed with a multitude of tasks on your to-do list to get a new business or brand off the ground or just to get a new marketing campaign up and running you are going to want to have Google Analytics for your website. If you are just getting going and this is your first site, at least recognize the need for it now and make sure it gets installed on your site.

If you like doing things yourself and you are really overly concerned about privacy you can set up your Google Analytics account and easily install it on your own. You will need to set up a Google Account if you don’t have one, but this can be done in a few seconds and there is no need to have a gmail account. With a couple of clicks you can quickly generate your personalized code which should then be inserted on each of your web pages right before the final body tag. Though of course unless you know HTML and have extra time on your hands this is best handed off to your web developer to handle for you.

You can also have your web design firm monitor your Google Analytics for you and make recommendations for you, if like many entrepreneurs it simply isn’t your thing. However, just ignoring your analytics really isn’t an option if you want your business to be successful.

If you don’t know what is working and what isn’t how can you do more of the right stuff and avoid wasting your resources on the bad?

Your Google Analytics really are the key to streamlining your business, maximizing your returns and getting the most out of your website and all of your online marketing. If you aren’t paying attention, quite obviously you will eventually lose market share to a competitor who is.

Your Google Analytics are easy to read and once you take a look you will probably even find that you are hooked. You will instantly be able to see what is attracting traffic to your website, where they are landing, how they are navigating through your website and what actions they take. By looking at the times spent on your individual web pages and the resulting action you will be able to tell where you can improve on your content, offer or functionality and increase your conversion rates which is really what it is all about.

If you aim to make money online you really must be watching your Google Analytics, there is no question about it.

In future iNoobs posts we’ll discuss how to install and get the most of Analytics with step-by-step guides.

Zach Katkin - Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Designer and Writer - is the co-founder of Florida Web Design Company Atilus. In business for nearly a decade, Atilus has more than 600 clients worldwide.