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Beginners Guide to Google Analytics
Duel Marketing Marketing Agency - Beginners Guide to Google Analytics

Beginners Guide to Google Analytics

  • April 13, 2021
  • 10:45 am
  • Duel Marketing Editorial Team

Do you have a blog? Do you have an online website? Do you want to have a solid online presence? Whether your business is small, medium-sized, or big, your Google Analytics is crucial to measure your performance. Considered one of the most powerful tools in the market, more than 50 million websites use Google Analytics today. And, it is easy to see why! Google Analytics gives you a better understanding of your website and visitors, helping you improve your overall online performance. It is a free tool that collects crucial data, and provides reports, explaining complex information. If you’ve just established your online website, here is a Google Analytics guide that takes you through the important steps until you install it on your website.

But first, what is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a freemium web tool, meaning that it offers free services with advanced features that you need to pay for. It was first introduced by Google in 2005 and has been every marketer’s best friend since then. Offering a wide range of features and tools, Google Analytics is essential to measure your website’s performance and track your efforts. With so much data, reports, and analytics, it can be hard to grasp all the needed information. However, all these resources offer a deep and precise insight into your site, shedding some light on your strength and weaknesses points.

Why use Google Analytics?

Marketing Analytics

The data collected by Google Analytics can help you improve your marketing efforts as it answers the following:

  • Which channels drive traffic into your website?

  • The location of your visitors

  • Which sites refer most of the visitors?

  • The conversion rate from the different platforms and channels

  • Analytics to improve site performance

The data collected gives an insight into your website and visitors as it answers the following:

  • Which pages interest your audience the most?

  • Which are the last pages the visitors visit before leaving?

  • The loading speed of your website

  • The loading time for the audience who visits your website on mobile phones

  • Analytics to help your SEO

Google Analytics also helps greatly with SEO practices when answering the following:

  • How much search traffic does your site get?

  • Which landing page gets the most traffic?

  • Which keywords the audience uses to search for your website

  • What is the bounce rate for users visiting from different platforms?

Do you know the main elements of Google Analytics?

Data Collection

As a marketer, it is important to gather as much information as you can about your site to understand the whole picture. The answer to the upcoming questions will help you understand your audience better.  And, Google Analytics will help you in this aspect, improving your performance in the future.

  • How many people visit your audience daily?

  • What is the location of your visitors?

  • How does your audience interact with your content?

  • What interests your audience the most?

  • How long does a user spend on your pages?

  • At what point does a user leave your site?

  • What is the progress of the users on your site?

So, how does Google Analytics do all of this? It is simple! Google Analytics adds a JavaScript code to each website page, which puts a cookie in the browser. This cookie sends a report to Google Analytics, showcasing each user’s activity on your website.

What are the different types of Hits that Google Analytics tracks?

Pageview Hit

It is that hit sent whenever a user visits your website. It offers a report that shows valuable information such as:

  • Device type that the user uses

  • The browser type that the user uses

  • What pages interests your visitors the most

Event Hit

It is the hit sent reporting any implemented activity on your website such as:

  • If a user fills a report

  • If a user plays a certain video

  • If a user clicks any link

Ecommerce or Transaction Hit

It is the hit sent whenever a user buys something or completes a transaction on your website. It includes information such as:

  • What products did the user buy?

  • How much the user spent?

  • What were the pages he visited before completing the transaction?

Data Processing

When Google Analytics starts gathering information, it undergoes the Data Processing stage before generating reports. What occurs during this stage? Data separation by users and sessions.

User Data

When a user visits your website for the first time, Google Analytics sets a unique If for them. If the same user revisits your website, Google Analytics identifies the user ID. The visitor will be recognised as a “returning visitor”. However, this doesn’t work unless he visits the website from the same device as the first time.

Session Data

A session is the time spent by the user on your website, showing the overall performance of your site. It includes the following information:

  • Which pages interest the visitor

  • Which pages he navigates during the visit

  • Where the visitor ends the session

  • Time spent on the website

  • The actions taken on the website

Report Generation

This is the last step carried out by Google Analytics, presenting the information in the form of reports. The reports are visual representations of certain dimensions and metrics that make it easier to understand and track your performance.

  • Dimensions

    A dimension provides certain user data. For example, the “country” dimension states the countries that the users come from.

  • Metrics

    The metrics tell the number of certain things. For example, metrics identify how many sessions occurred during a specific period.

How to start using Google Analytics?

  1. Click “sign up for free,” set up your account, and provide the “property name”

  2. Provide information about your business, including:

    Industry category
    Business size
    How you intend to incorporate Google Analytics in your business
  3. Click “create”

    Once you click create, you have to agree to Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement, as well as Google Measurement Controller-Controller Data Protection Terms to continue to the next step.
  4. Finally, choose what you want to measure

    Now, you created your Google Analytics. You will be able to track up to 50 websites. Just enter the URL you want to track and you’re good to go.

So, how can you add the site’s tracking code?

The tracking code is the code you provide that allows Google Analytics to collect data from your website. It must be added to each page of the website. If you add the code to the header or footer, it is basically added to the entire website.

  • If you built your site using HTML, add the tracking code right after the <head> tag of your header file

  • If you’re using a WordPress template or similar, you can install Google Analytics via a plugin

Set up site search

Site Search Tracking is one of the powerful features introduced by Google Analytics, collecting, and analyzing data. This feature showcases valuable information including:

  • What your users search for

  • Which pages are visited the most

  • How often visitors leave your site after a certain search

  • Which pages the visitors start their search with

Visit the “Site Search Settings” and change the “Site Search Tracking” to the “on” position. Then, fill in the “Query Parameter” field with the generated search URL, and click “done”. Now, the Analytics Site Search is all set up.

Set up your goals

It is time to identify the objective of your website. From the “Admin” panel, select the “Goals” option. You have the option to choose an existing goal template or create a custom goal.

Google Analytics allows four different types of goals that record the occurring conversions when a user performs a specific action. The action depends on the chosen goal:

  • Destination

    A conversion is recorded when a user visits a specific URL

  • Duration

    A conversion is recorded when a user spends specific time on your website

  • Pages or screens per session

    A conversion is recorded when a user visits a specific number of pages on your website

  • Event

    A conversion is recorded when a user performs a specific action like playing a video or pressing a certain link

Once you’ve set up all the features, you will be able to view the first report through the Google Analytics dashboard after 24 hours.

Use the Left-hand menu and find the Reports

Google Analytics Reports can be displayed in various ways according to your preference. Just click on the “advanced” button and choose the way they can be presented (Pie chart, performance graph for comparing segments, pivot table to compare different dimensions & their values, and comparison graph view). These reports can be saved in the form of PDF to your desktop or sent within an email inbox.

Real-time Reports

They offer information about the active users on your site, along with the pages that directed them to your site and the pages they visit

Audience Reports

They provide information about the visitors’ demographics, along with the location, gender, interests, and language. They also identify if they are new visitors or returning ones, along with their behavior towards your content

Acquisition Reports

They offer detailed information concerning the platforms from which the visitors arrived whether it is:

  1. Organic (unpaid reach)

  2. Paid research or CPC (cost per click)

  3. Referral traffic (traffic directed from another website)

  4. Social media network

  5. Email marketing traffic

  6. Affiliate traffic

  7. Any other traffic

  8. Behaviour Reports

They identify the behavior of your users, what pages they landed on, and what content interests them. They include the pages that they last visited before leaving the site. They also state the keywords and phrases that your audience uses while searching your website.

Conversion Reports

They include data regarding the overall performance of your website, depending on the goals you set previously. These reports measure your efforts and confirm the success of the implemented marketing efforts.

Useful Metrics to check

The Audience Overview Report showcases some powerful metrics that will definitely help you.

  • Sessions

    The total number of sessions that occurred on the website on a given date

  • Users

    The total number of users that landed on the website on a given date

  • New Users

    The total number of new users that visited the website (identified by the user ID)

  • Pageviews

    The total number that the website pages are viewed by users, including the repeated viewing by the same user (identified by the tracking code)

  • Pages per session

    The average number of website pages visited during a session

  • Average session duration

    The average session length of a visitor on a given date

  • Bounce rate

    The users’ percentage that left your website immediately after visiting one page, with no further action

  • New Vs returning

    The percentage between the new and returning visitors represented in a pie chart

Campaign and Conversion Tracking

Through “Campaign Tagging”, Google Analytics allows you to track the performance of your online marketing efforts. These efforts include social media advertising, paid campaigns, and email marketing activity.

5 different campaign tags will provide information about your campaigns which are:

  1. Medium

    Identifies how your marketing messages are communicated to your audience in emails or social media.

  2. Source

    Identifies the sources that drive traffic to your website. If you’re running a paid campaign on Facebook and the source is social, then the source is “Facebook advertising”.

  3. Campaign

    Identifies the name of the marketing campaign that drives traffic into your website.

  4. Content

    Tests the different promotions using different content for the same campaign

  5. Term

    Identifies different keywords and phrases used in paid search campaigns outside of Google.

What is the hierarchy of Google Analytics?


This level allows you to organize the different data obtained from several websites. Accounts also are the place where user permission levels are set.


Each account has a unique tracking code within the tracking code of JavaScript. And, each account may include various properties, which is useful if you want to collect data from a website and another platform (mobile application for example).


Each account has various views, which determine how the data are represented using filters. They also collect information regarding the site performance, and leads number, giving an indication of your marketing efforts.

Are you ready to install Google Analytics?

Have you ever used Google Analytics? Every business must take advantage of Google Analytics and its useful reports to optimise the performance of their website. From marketing campaigns to optimising your site’s content, Google Analytics can help in different fields, with so many advanced features.

Now that you’ve started to track your site with Google Analytics, all the reports and data are at your fingertips. And, if you need help, we can establish a powerful online website, create SEO-friendly content, and track your performance on Google Analytics. Don’t hesitate, contact us, and let our experts guide you in the next marketing effort!

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