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  • Writer's pictureSamradni

Understanding Google Analytics as a beginner

Updated: May 28, 2021

If reading a 5 min blog is too much to ask for, I have an alternative for you!

You can now listen to this blog post through my podcast,here

Analytics is tough, but well your work is incomplete without knowing the actual number behind it.

When I started The Marketing Empress, I kid you not- I had no idea about Google Analytics.

Yes, being a part of the marketing field, I did have a faint idea, but when you actually need to work on things yourself, is when you learn.

In my initial days, I had a really tough time finding that one article/video (besides the google course) to understand Google Analytics as a beginner.

It felt as though everyone everywhere is just assuming that we know it all.

It's after months of studying, analyzing, and actually working on things myself that I can put forth this blog post.

This blog post could be re-named as ‘Google Analytics for Dummies’ because my entire focus throughout is going to be to keep it simple and easy to understand.

So without further ado, let’s see what this blog post comprises:

1. What is Google Analytics?

2. Must-know terms for Google Analytics

3. How does Google Analytics work?

4. Understanding the actual usage of Google analytics

5. Importance of Google Analytics?

Let’s begin!

Watch the YouTube video

1. What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a software or a medium through which marketers can track and gain data about visitors to their website.

I think before even talking about google analytics in-depth, let’s understand the term ‘analytics’.

I recently completed a course on Marketing Analytics and my understanding deepened thanks to that.

In simple words, analytics is anything that refers to analyzing raw data and making inferences out of the same.

I am not trying to give you a dictionary definition here, but we just need to know the very basic meaning.

So Google Analytics is a medium by Google, that lets you track and draw inferences based on the data collected around your website.

Well, for example, you keep a tracker on your website and you know that yesterday your website had 1000 views.

But is this data enough?

Definitely not, we need to know more about the visitors, in a way that we can further use Behavioral Targeting to our benefit.

We get this information through the use of Google Analytics!

2. Must-know terms for Google Analytics

As I mentioned at the start of the blog, I want to keep this post extremely simple and easy to understand, so here is the list of must-know terms for Google analytics, before we dive into details.

a. Account

Whenever you sign up for your website with google analytics, you get something known as an ‘account’.

Within this account, you can set up multiple properties/sites for analysis.

b. Property

This is just another name for the website or the mobile app that you are tracking.

c. Tracking Id

This one is the most important term to know, every time you create an account, Google Analytics assigns a unique tracking code/id to track the performance of a specific website.

d. Conversion

Conversion refers to the number of times, visitors completed the task that you have assigned on your website.

Maybe in the form of a subscription or payment.

To read more about conversions, you can check out our blog on Conversion Rate.

e. Traffic Source

Traffic is a general term, used for visitors.

So as the name suggests traffic source gives you information about the sources through which your visitors found out about your website and then visited it.

f. Acquisition

Now do not get confused between acquisition and traffic sources, they are different.

The acquisition more so caters to direct marketing being used- like acquisition through your email marketing, social media, search engines, etc.

g. Active users

This refers to the number of visitors who are active on your website during a specific time, like the past week, 14 days, 90 days, etc.

3. How does Google Analytics work?

Now that you know the basic terms of Google Analytics, let’s dive in a little more to understand how Google Analytics actually works.

And this is not a step by step tutorial, so we won’t be getting into the technical know-how.

The first thing that you need to do is register your website with Google Analytics, yes it's absolutely free.

What this does is that it generates your unique tracking id, which is then responsible for generating a report on how your site performs.

This report will include all the above terms and much more.

You also need to add the code of Google Analytics on your website to make the tracking process work better.

4. Understanding the actual usage of Google Analytics

Let me explain this with the help of an example.

Now The Marketing Empress is already using Google Analytics to track the data, but what exactly is happening here.

Let’s understand!

Now there are multiple ways through which a blog gets traffic (visitors).

Specifically, for The Marketing Empress, we have organic search and social media.

So whenever a new blog is published, it gets uploaded on our social media handles.

And this is usually the first set of visitors, since SEO takes some time to work, so organic traffic at this point is limited.

Now google analytics will tell me various sources through which traffic is pooled into my website.

So if I see that maximum conversions happened through my communication on Facebook, I know that my marketing worked well there.

Not just that, it also gives me information about the countries that these visitors belong to!

Pretty awesome, eh?

Information around audience demographics, interests are also provided.

And this works really well if I were to tailor my communication to suit my audiences.

5. Importance of Google Analytics

1. Helps in Customer Engagement

Google Analytics gives you all the necessary data that helps you analyze your customer journey.

Right from providing the information on how your customer got to your site.

To understand the page views and session duration.

Session duration is the amount of time a visitor spends on your website.

It also helps you understand your bounce rate, that is the percentage of visitors who left your website without interacting.

2. Overview of device usage

We consume data through various devices like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc.

Google Analytics provides you with this information in regards to the number of visitors consuming your content through a specific device.

Now, you might wonder that the content is the same- why do I need to care about the device?

Well, it's important to understand that not all websites are ‘mobile responsive’ and because of which there is a big possibility that your data might not be consumed in the way you expect it to.

3. It helps you re-define your business goals

We might start our website with a specific goal in mind, but this may differ based on the information we get through Google analytics.

And this can prove to be extremely helpful because then you are changing your content based on actual numbers instead of assumptions


Google Analytics is a great tool to track your website performance and bring in the much-needed data to alter your business requirements.


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