Google Web Analytics Tutorial: A Comprehensive Guide

on Data Analytics, Data Integration, ETL, Google Analytics, Google Analytics 4, Tutorials • September 8th, 2020 • Write for Hevo

Google Web Analytics - Featured Image

Do you want to set up Google Web Analytics? Are you interested in understanding the performance of your website/application? If yes? You’ve landed on the right page! Follow our easy step-by-step guide to conveniently set up Google Web Analytics and start tracking traffic and various performance metrics of your website/application.

Upon a complete walkthrough of the content, you will be able to easily integrate Google Analytics with your desired property and perform an insightful analysis for your business.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Google Analytics

google web analytics - Google Analytics Logo.

Google Analytics is an analytics service for websites and mobile apps that is available as a part of the Google Marketing Platform. It helps organizations track traffic across their applications and provides a platform for reporting based on traffic metrics. Analyzing traffic is a crucial part of formulating the marketing and sales strategy in the modern internet-based business world. Google Analytics provides essential data about the source of traffic, demography, geography, and marketing metrics like bounce rate, session count, session duration, etc.

It simplifies Data Collection from various Ads sources and helps visualize all the data in one place. It operates on Javascript code embedded in your site code and delivers all the customer’s activities data to you. Along with this, you also get access to valuable, meaningful, and actionable insights.

Google Analytics works in terms of dimensions and metrics. Most of the capabilities provided by Google Analytics come for free. To use advanced capabilities like raw data capturing, organizations must subscribe to the GA360 service.

The numbers you find on the GA platform such as number of users, number of purchases, the value of conversions, average time on site, etc are produced by Metrics. Simply put, anything that is measurable in terms of number is a Metric. A Dimension is used to separate or segment the metrics.

Check out the complete list of Power Features of Google Analytics that sets it apart and helps you to optimize your Marketing Campaigns. For further information on Google Analytics, you can check the official website here.

How Google Analytics Works?

Let’s have a look at how Google Analytics works, how it collects data, and how it implements the reports.

The first step is Data Collection. Before you can start working on your reports, you need to collect the data, and Google Analytics can collect data in a number of different ways including HTML, Tracking Code, Accelerated Mobile Pages, and Mobile Apps. But the most common way of collecting data is using the Google Analytics Tracking Code and it can be implemented using Google Tag Manager.

The next step is Data Processing where all the configurations you have made inside of Google Analytics are applied to the data as it’s processed.

The last step is Data Reporting. This is where you can visualize the data that was processed in the last step. You can access this data through the web interface, Google Analytics APIs, or other tools that use APIs such as Google Data Studio and Google Sheets.

What’s New in Google Analytics 4?

Google launched the newest revision of its analytics platform in October 2020. It’s called Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and it leverages the power of Machine Learning at its core to provide insights to customers that will prove useful in setting up their Marketing Strategy. 

The latest Google Analytics 4 is capable of offering smarter insights and help you identify Marketing Trends in your data. It is capable of calculating complicated trends and insights on its own, such as Churn Probability and various other predictive metrics. Simply put, Google Analytics 4 makes it easy for Data Analysts to predict through its Machine Learning Forecasting Models.

Google Web Analytics
Image: www.bounteous.com/insights

More importantly, Google Analytics 4 also offers a more holistic view of your online presence, allowing users to measure interactions between the web and other apps together. So, you can compare views from other platforms like YouTube together with other organic channels.

They have also overhauled the reporting structure, offering a much better view of how customers interact with your business online. You can view the entire customer journey, starting from acquisition to conversion and retention. GA4 is also built for the long-term, as it utilizes future-proof technologies like Machine Learning and enhanced privacy. 

Check out our detailed blog on Google Analytics 4, its use cases, and the setup process. It also discusses the Google Analytics 4 Property benefits and setup.

Simplify your data analysis with Hevo’s No-code Data Pipelines

Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline helps to transfer data from Google Analytics (among 100+ sources) to a data warehouse of your choice to visualize it in your desired BI tool. Hevo is fully-managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.

It provides a consistent & reliable solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination. It allows you to focus on key business activities and perform insightful analysis using a BI tool of your choice.

Get Started with Hevo for Free

Check out what makes Hevo amazing:

  • Secure: Hevo has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
  • Schema Management: Hevo takes away the tedious task of schema management & automatically detects schema of incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Minimal Learning: Hevo with its simple and interactive UI, is extremely simple for new customers to work on and perform operations.
  • Hevo Is Built To Scale: As the number of sources and the volume of your data grows, Hevo scales horizontally, handling millions of records per minute with very little latency.
  • Incremental Data Load: Hevo allows the transfer of data that has been modified in real-time. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.
  • Live Support: The Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.
  • Live Monitoring: Hevo allows you to monitor the data flow and check where your data is at a particular point in time.
Sign up here for a 14-Day Free Trial!

Prerequisites

To set up Google Web Analytics, you’ll need to have:

  • A Google account.
  • An application/website to integrate with Google Analytics.

Setting up Google Web Analytics

To set up the Google Web Analytics service, you first need to create a Google Analytics account, you then need to add the application/website, that you want to track. Such a website/application is called a property, and you can use a single dashboard to analyze various user properties. Google Analytics associates an Id with every property you create and allows you to integrate with your website, using a script.

In case, you’ve developed your website using any website builder application, such as Wix, WordPress, etc. you can integrate Google Analytics, by adding the Id. For a custom made website, you must use the script, generated by Google Analytics to set up the integration.

You can use the following steps to set up Google Web Analytics for your website/application:

Step 1: Signing up for Google Analytics

To start setting up Google Web Analytics, go to the official Google Analytics site, once you’ve reached the website, click on the start for free button.

google web analytics - Google Analytics Sign up page.

You now need to provide details for your Google Analytics account.

Step 2: Configuring your Google Web Analytics account

Once you’ve clicked on the start for free button, a new dialogue box will now open up, where you need to add information such as your account name, configuration settings for your account, etc.

google web analytics - Creating Google Web Analytics account.

Click on next and select the type of property you want to track. Choose between the Web option, where you can track your website or the Apps option, that allows you to track traffic and other metrics on your Android/iOS applications.

google web analytics - Selecting the desired property type.

Once you’ve selected the desired property type, you now need to provide details about your website/application. For example, if you want to track your website, you must provide information such as website name, URL, category, time zone, etc.

google web analytics - Adding details for your property.

Click on create, to step up the property you want to track with Google Analytics.

Step 3: Installing the Tracking Code

Once you’ve selected the property you want to track, Google Analytics will now provide you with a tracking code and Analytics Id.

google web analytics - Selecting Google Analytics Tracking Code.

You now need to install the tracking code. If you’re using a content management system, such as WordPress, you can directly add the tracking code to your Google Analytics plugin. For others, you need to copy the Global Site Tag and add it to the head tag of your website’s custom code.

google web analytics - Google Analytics Dashboard.

Click on the home button, once you’ve modified your website. You can now start using the Google Analytics dashboards to track traffic and various other metrics of your property.

The default dashboard provides you with details such as the source of your visitors, their geography, time of visits, the average time, a user spends on your property etc. Google Analytics also, allows you to add custom dimensions and metrics to perform a more meaningful analysis. 

With some intelligent programming, you can even get the raw hit data from your Google Analytics integration. Click here and check out our easy step-by-step tutorial, that will help you export raw data from Google Analytics.

This is how you can set up Google Web Analytics to track your property.

Google Analytics Reports

Google Analytics is used to track visitors, traffic sources, goals, conversion, and other metrics. It generates reports on the following:

  • Audience Analysis
  • Acquisition Analysis
  • Behavior Analysis
  • Conversion Analysis

Audience Analysis

The Audience Report in Google Analytics will give you information about the people who come to your website. The Audience Reports give you information about your users’ characteristics. Statistics on the Demographics (Age, Gender), the way visitors act (New vs. Returning, Frequency & Recency, Engagement), Total number of visits in a certain month, Average Page Toper Session Users visit on your website, Average Time Duration a User spends on your website, Visitors Bounce Rate, Audience Exit Pages, and so on are some of the details collected in an Audience Report.

Channel Analytics - audience report
Image Source

Acquisition Analysis

With Acquisition Reports, you can learn where your visitors are coming from, which websites are referring traffic to your website, which Channel/Medium converts the most consumers, Sponsored vs Organic results, Social Campaigns Statistics, Organic Keywords people search to reach your website, and so on.

Channel Analytics - acquisition report
Image Source

Behavior Analysis

In the navigation panel on the left, under Acquisition Reports, you’ll find Behavior Reports. User Interaction in a website is tracked using Behavior Reports. You can analyze user behavior on your website and track actions such as Link Clicks, Button Clicks, Form Submissions, and so on. Some of the useful reports obtained from Google Analytics Behavior Report are Site Content Reports, Search Query Reports, Site Speed Reports, and Top Event Reports.

Channel Analytics - behavior report
Image Source

Conversion Analysis

Conversion reports contain all the conversion details which include goal completion and user’s traction on your website. The conversion is tracked in this conversion analysis by defining a goal first. Once this goal is completed, conversion data is added to your data. You can track the e-commerce activity of your users on your website. This is used to analyze the product performance, sale performance, transactions, and purchase time. Multi-channel funnels and  Attribution modeling credits sales and conversions are also covered in conversion analysis.

Conclusion

This article teaches you how to set up Google Web Analytics with ease and answers all your queries about it. It provides in-depth knowledge of various concepts associated with it and helps users understand and implement them better. Tracking different metrics for your website/applications, using Google Analytics, often requires extracting data using Google’s REST APIs and combining it with data from various other sources. Google Analytics is easier to use and is the most recommended tool for growing businesses but still needs some effort to understand its few advanced tools.

Visit our Website to Explore Hevo

These methods, however, can be challenging especially for a beginner & this is where Hevo saves the day. Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline helps you transfer data from a source of your choice in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code repeatedly. Hevo with its strong integration with 100+ sources & BI tools, allows you to not only export & load data but also transform & enrich your data & make it analysis-ready in a jiffy.

Want to give Hevo a spin? Sign Up for a 14-day free trial and experience the feature-rich Hevo suite first hand. Check out our unbeatably affordable pricing, and choose the right plan for your business needs.

Tell us about your experience of setting up Google Web Analytics! Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

No-code Data Pipeline For Google Analytics