Google Analytics for Beginners: Analyzing Your Data

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Okay, you did the groundwork!  You set up your Google Analytics account and created a clear measurement plan. By now you already collected a bunch of data and you can start analyzing. However, it could be that you still are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start in the analyzing procedure. This is totally understandable, but we’ll make it very easy for you to get started. Read on to learn our 5 best tips for Google Analytics for beginners!

1.     Google Analytics for Beginners: Take an hour or two to navigate through the Dashboard

To not feel overwhelmed by everything you see, we suggest browsing through the Google Analytics Dashboard without any other intention than to just explore it. Click around and get familiar with the UI and the terms. Do you see a term you don’t understand, such as “Bounce Rate”? Write it down and look up the meaning later.

In addition, play around with the date range to see your data from the past day, week, month, or customized period. By taking your time and browsing through the entire application, you will soon get familiar with all the possibilities and your stress level will decrease.

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2.     Google Analytics for Beginners: Play around with segments

Like previously suggested: just click around and get familiar with the UI. Don’t try to absorb all the information at once at this point because you will likely end up stressed out. Segments are a great way to understand your audience – you can utilize this information later to create targeted campaigns and get higher revenue streams. As you can see in the image below, you can compare up to four segmented audiences against each other.

This function exists to show you how certain parts of your websites are performing, taking different audience characteristics into consideration – tablet users, mobile phone users, converters, organic traffic, and paid traffic, to name a few.

There are many segments to choose from – you can even create custom segments. However, we suggest to only play around with already provided segments at this point. In the future, when you feel more secure using Analytics, you can look at your measurement plan and pick which segments would be interesting for your business, to get to most out of your analysis.

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3.     Google Analytics for Beginners: Write down the dates of your campaigns

Did you have Google Analytics installed for a while, and do you have data from the past year? Start utilizing this data immediately! If you kept track of your campaign dates, it could be interesting to check what happened with your website traffic during these campaigns. Did the website traffic increase significantly during a specific campaign in February, or did sales grow tremendously during a campaign in August? You probably did something right!

Look at the campaign you created and try to understand what was unique about the campaign – you can utilize this information for future campaigns. If, for example, you want to see if there were any campaigns that influenced your website traffic, go to audience overview and set your date-range according to the period you want to track.

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4.     Google Analytics for Beginners: Download handy dashboards

We may have went a bit too quick here; what are dashboards? Dashboards are there to make your life a lot easier. You can create a dashboard and choose which data you want to track, to quickly see on one page how your website is performing.

You can also download pre-coded dashboard from the Solutions Gallery HERE provided by Google themselves. This way you don’t have to put any effort in creating your own dashboards and you can just quickly start analyzing. Perhaps in the future you’d like to create personalized dashboards adapted to your business, but this will do for now.

Related: Creating a Measurement Plan

We suggest you also download the Google Analytics Starter Bundle – A bundle of great Google Analytics Dashboards that you can use right away.

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5.     Plan your visits to Google Analytics.

It is easy to quickly have a look in Analytics every day to see how your website is performing, but you probably won’t get a clear idea of how your business is performing. Plan your analytics moments wisely.

If you use a to-do app to keep track of your daily tasks, add in “analyzing your data in Google Analytics” into your schedule once a week. If you have a small and simple site, start out with spending 30 to 60 minutes per week looking at your data. Yes, I said looking. Don’t get overwhelmed in the beginning. Just look at your data and take it step by step.

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