What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a FREE service that provides comprehensive statistics regarding the visitors to a website. Data available through this service consists of site visits, page views, bounce rate, average time on site, pages per visit and percentage of new visits. In addition to the data mentioned above, Google Analytics can also track referral traffic including search engine, direct visits, website referrals and marketing campaigns (Pay Per Click, Banner advertising, e-mail marketing etc.)
How to set it up?
Moz has a very good guide on how to set it up and it’s worth looking at:
What does Google Analytics provide data on?
Analytics provides a truly staggering amount of data to website owners, because of this it can often be quite daunting for the new user to find their way with the service.
A brief summary of the key metrics it:
Visits – The number of visitors coming to your site
Unique Visitors – Unique Visitors is the number of unduplicated visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period.
Pageviews – Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.
Pages / Visit – the average number of pages viewed during a visit to your site. Repeated views of the same page are counted as well.
Avg. Visit Duration – The average time duration of a session.
Bounce Rate – Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).
% New Visits – An approximate percentage of first time visits to the site.
Also the language of the region were the site visitor was based, their county their city, their browser, their ISP and even their screen resolution.
The Analytics data will also tell you –
Traffic Sources – Where your traffic is coming from, either referral, direct or search traffic, plus any promotional links shared by you if you use UTMs.
Keywords – Analytics tells you the terms typed into a search engine that sent visitors to your site
Users Flow – a visual representation of the journey users took through your site, from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they left or exited your site. The Users Flow report lets you compare volumes of traffic from different sources, examine traffic patterns through your site – allowing you to identify which sources are bringing the more relevant and interested visitors.