Web analytics is a way of collecting and analysing what is happening on your website, from what your visitors are doing and where they come from to what content they like.

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There are different ways to track data using web analytics. The most common is through Google Analytics, which is a free tool.

There are a couple of Web Analytics Tools, but Google Analytics is the most popular by far. More than 50 Million websites are tracking data with Google Analytics.

By using a web analytics tool to collect data, you’ll be able to know what is and what isn’t working – and then take action!

How data is tracked:

There are two pieces of information that are required. Firstly, you have to have a JavaScript tracking code installed on every page of your website. This code is provided by your Google Analytics account (Here you can find instructions on how to install it). Secondly, users have to allow cookies. A cookie is a small file that a website stores on your computer, or any other device that browses the web such as a phone or tablet.

The same goes for Ad Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You need to install the Tracking Pixel that you can obtain from each platform. The tracking pixel needs to be installed on your website, or at least on the landing page for a particular campaign. In order to gather data, cookies help to identify users as they browse the web.

What can we do with this information?

One of our main goals when having a website and running campaigns, is to generate traffic. The main questions we are interested in answering with the data gathered, are:

  1. What is happening on our website?
  2. Why does it happen?
  3. How can we take action?

And that is when we take a look at the building blocks of GA: dimensions and metrics.

Dimensions tell us a story, they describe the characteristics of the user who visits your website. For example, their source of traffic: organic search, paid search, social, or direct.

Metrics accompany the dimensions to help us understand segments of users. These are the quantitative measurements: number of users, sessions, bounce rate, etc.

Now, let’s look at three valuable reports GA has to offer. With these reports, we will be able to start answering the following questions: where do visitors come from, what did they do, and was it worth it?

Using Google Analytics to find the Acquisition Report, we can answer the first question above. For example, we can find out how many visits came from Facebook, how many from other platforms. Or if we are running a campaign, how many website visits did we have from the LinkedIn campaign, and from which ad in particular?

With the Behaviour Report, we can answer what happened when the visitor came from Facebook, for example. Which page did they visit first and for how long? On which page did he abandon the website? Here we could also check if our landing page had a low or a high bounce rate compared to the average bounce rate of the website, for example.

web analytics imageThe Conversion Report lets us answer the question was it worth it? This is critical for measuring success. For this last report, you would need to install goals on Google Analytics (this will be the subject of a future blog). Conversions are not only sales, but also other actions that lead to sales, such as a sign up form, a specific download, clicking a phone number or anything else that can generate a lead.

Key Takeaways:

– make sure the tracking is properly installed before starting any campaign

– data might not be 100% accurate, but it is still better to measure than not to

– measurement is like optimisation, it is always ongoing

There is a lot more we can analyse with Web Analytics. But it is important to always look at the context, as numbers without context are just that: numbers.