Google Analytics is a wonderful web analytical tool developed by Google as a service to track the performance of a websites traffic, users and its visitors. This service which is currently under the Google Marketing Platform can be used by businesses as an analytical tool that can provide insights on how best they can improve their sales and marketing strategy.

The Web analytical platform is the most popular web analytics tool that has been widely used for close to almost 15 years since its launch in 2005. A recent survey shows that the service is used by 66.6 % of the world's most popular top 10,000 websites according to research done by Alexa in 2013.

The website activity of your company website can be tracked in different ways by Google analytics which tracks user sessions,  bounce rate, and session durations.

Bounce rate refers to the rate at which users return to your website after the first visit.

Session duration refers to the amount of time your users spend on your website.

Google Analytics can also be used to track the user location and user segmentation of the customer. These are insights a company can use to run Google targeted adverts to potential clients that have shown an interest in the companies website.

The analytics provided by Google can also show webpages that are currently performing poorly on your website, which is data that your marketing team can analyze to find out ways to improve marketing and the results the webpage yields in terms of visitor retention.

The goal of Google analytics for your marketing team is to generate leads according to the data generated from your website analytics to target potential clients that can eventually be converted to customers that can purchase your business products or services in order to increase business sales.

Google Analytics can also help you customize your adverts according to the customer segmentation, age, and gender of the users that visit your website.

How to implemented Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be integrated into your website with the use of snippets of javascript code in form of "page tags", which are used to track viewer and visitor activity on a business or client's website. This visitor data is collected and sent to Google servers. The snippets of JavaScript code that is placed on every page of the client's website is called the Google Analytics tracking code.

In order to fully utilize Google Analytics, we need to understand how the analytics platform works.

User interaction with a website is recorded in the form of a hit. Each time a user interacts with your website a hit is recorded which includes information like a generated user identifiers which identify the IP address, browser, and device a visitor has used to access the website. This information allows Google to differentiate between new viewers and returning viewers of your website.

Types of hits recorded by Google analytics.

There are mainly three types of hits that are recorded by Google analytics.

  • Pageview hit: This is recorded when a user loads a webpage on your website. It should be noted that a hit is only recorded on a webpage that has google tracking code on it.
  • An Event Hit: This tracks and records each time a user interacts with a specific feature or element on your site. An example is when a user clicks on a download button or play button on a video on your website.
  • A Transaction hit/ e-commerce hit: This is recorded each time a transaction is made on your e-commerce website. It also tracks each time the purchase button is clicked and each time an add to cart or confirmed payment is made.

The transaction hit feature can be accessed if you have set up Enhanced e-commerce Service with Google Analytics.

Additional hits for example “social hits” which records the number of times your social media buttons have been hit or accessed from your website, the page likes and social shares have been used from your company or personal website.

All this data is at your disposal the moment you set up a google analytics account with your Gmail account.

Other Services

Apart from Analytics and Reports Google analytics also offers a variety of services.

Google Analytics e-commerce

This analytical service tracks the activity and performance of sales on your e-commerce website which sells the goods and services a business offers online. This service tracks the e-commerce transactions and revenue made from the website. It also offers a number of e-commerce metrics.

Real-Time Analytics. 

This is an analytics service Google launched in 2011. It enables businesses or individuals to track and gain analytics on the viewers currently visiting the company's website. This feature is however limited to sites that have traffic of fewer than 5 million views per month.

Multi website profiles and dashboards

The other good news about Google Analytics for your business is if your business is running more than one website. You can still get Google analytics for a good number of them. Google analytics provides multi-website profiles for up to 100 websites for each analytics account. So there won't be any reason to worry about analytics and how to manage the bulk of the website you have.

Google Website Optimizer

Google Analytics also tracks the behavior or pattern a user uses when interacting with the webpages on your website. This data can be very beneficial to your marketing department and will aid the development of a marketing strategy using your website.

Google Analytics 360

It is a software package or suite that tracks and provides analytics on return on investment. It also provides analytics on market indicators.

Analytics 360 is comprised of five products which include Analytics, Tag Manager, Optimize, Data Studio, Surveys, Attribution, and Audience Center.