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  • Written by Diana Smith

Doing online marketing in 2020 without understanding how the audience interacts with the narratives you are pushing is virtually impossible. And considering its dominance in the online playing field, it was only expected for Google to be your entry point in the world of analytics. The problem is that, as frequent and efficient as it might be, Google Analytics is a complicated tool not at all designed around the needs of beginners.

So, let us quickly cover some of the basics that will help you to make the most of this admittedly powerful asset.

Install Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics is not that complicated so we won't waste too much time here – if you have ever set up an account to an online service you will feel at home here. However, you will need to consider a couple of important things:

If you have only one website you need only one account

If you own several businesses every business website should have a separate account

If you own multiple businesses with multiple websites, every business should have a separate account.

At the end of the setup process, you will be presented with the Get Tracking IDbutton. This code must be installed on every page of your website. You can find a detailed explanation on how to set up the tracking code.

Set up clear objectives

Once you are finished with these chores, your user experience will be largely driven by your intentions. So, if you, for instance, want to develop a comprehensive content campaign (a marketing approach that features more complicated distribution strategies compared to paid ads) you will need to inquire about your end goals with a skilled vendor.

If we take a look at the current state of the industry we can notice that Hong Kong and East Asia have managed to position themselves as a surprisingly potent and cost-efficient marketing playground. Therefore, reaching out to an experienced SEO company from Hong Kong seems like a very viable move. What’s most important is that, at the end of this process, you have clear and precise numbers you can track and work towards.

Important metrics

So, now that you have set up your account and know what you want to achieve, it is time to take a look at some of the important metrics Google Analytics can track:

Sessions – Translated to common language, sessions are visits to your website. A single session can contain multiple interactions, events and page views.

Users – This metric describes the number of unique visitors that have interacted with your website. Keep in mind, one user can have multiple sessions.

Avg. session duration – This number describes the average time people spend on your website during one session.

Pageviews – As the name suggests this metric describes the total number of pages visited by all of your users. Repeat views are included in the number. Also, you have the option to inspect the pageviews for all of the individual pages.

Exit rate – Essentially, the exit rate is the number of sessions that ended on some page divided by the total number of views for that same page.

Bounce rate – The percentage of sessions that end after a visit to only one page.

Getting to know all these metrics and how they interact with each other can give you a powerful insight into the performance of your pages.

Important reports

Of course, metrics are only a part, albeit a very powerful one, of Google Analytics' overall package. The other essential toolkit we would like to point out is the reports that give you a more in-depth look at some of these numbers. Here are the most important mentions:

Real-time report – How much traffic you're getting from blog and social media posts (an excellent way to assess the efficiency of your day-to-day marketing moves).

Audience report – A detailed, high-level overview of users in a specific period (hour, day, week, month)

Active users – The number of users that have visited the website in the last day, week, two weeks, and a month.

Lifetime value – An excellent report that gives you a sense of just how valuable users are to your business based on various criteria like marketing channels and average transactions per user.

Cohort analysis – Often called the most powerful report in GA, cohort analysis allows you to select a cohort (a distinct user group), as well as a number of important factors like time-frame, retention, per user (count of the metric divided by cohort size) and total number of sessions, and generates a report that indicates the goal completion for the mentioned cohort.

By now, you should get a clear picture of what your marketing goals are and where you should look to assess how far you have moved on the road towards these goals. All you have to do now is to spend some time exploring the more nuanced features of this platform. Google Analytics is a very robust tool you can spend months using before cracking all of its capabilities. But now, you at least know where to start.

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