Data Thursday: Google Analytics

Date published 21 September 2022
Date modified 7 March 2023

In the 'Data Thursday' blogs, we highlight a different aspect of data analysis every two weeks. This week, we'll delve deeper into your website's data, using Google Analytics as our tool of choice. As the name suggests, this tool from Google is ideal for measuring your website's traffic, goals, and reach.

Setting up a Google Analytics account

Before you can use Google Analytics, you need to claim your website, which you can do on the Google Analytics website. You'll need to log in with a Google account and then claim your website. For a detailed explanation of how to do this, please refer to this website.

Once you've claimed your account and added your tracking code, or had your web developer add it for you, you can start tracking and analyzing your website's data.

What data can you find in Google Analytics?

The possibilities within Analytics are endless, so it's challenging to give you a complete introduction to Google Analytics in a single blog post. Therefore, we'll stick to a basic analysis in Google Analytics that's suitable for measuring the most important data.

Google Analytics has a built-in weekly overview. When you log in, this data appears on the homepage. If it doesn't automatically appear, you'll need to select your website first. Go to accounts, choose properties, and click on view data.

You'll then see a page with several charts and tables. For the analysis we're covering, the first graph is important. Below this graph is a clickable link labeled 'Audience Overview'. Click on this link.

When you click the link, you'll see the audience overview for the past week. There are eight different statistics listed here. Below, we explain what each statistic means and what conclusions you can draw based on this data.

  1. Users This statistic shows how many people have visited your website. It's essential to keep track of this so you can take action promptly if this number declines.

  2. New users This is the number of people who are visiting your website for the first time. However, this statistic is not 100% reliable because tracking cookies are often automatically deleted by antivirus software. Additionally, Google cannot retain IP addresses due to privacy legislation.

  3. Sessions The number of sessions indicates how often your website is being viewed. If a person visits your website multiple times, this is also counted here. This data is interesting because it allows you to see whether visitors return to your website for more information.

  4. Sessions per user This is a built-in comparison of the previously mentioned statistics. It enables you to quickly see how often an average visitor views your website.

  5. Pageviews Here, you can see the average number of pages a user views on your website.

  6. Pages/session This is another built-in comparison that records how many pages a user views per session (visit). This helps you determine whether users can quickly find the information they're looking for.

  7. Average session duration This shows how long an average visitor spends on your website. To analyze this statistic properly, it's essential to clarify your website's purpose. Do you want people to quickly find what they're looking for? Then a short session duration is what you want. But if you want people to spend a long time on your website (such as with an online store or informative website), then striving for a longer session duration is better.

  8. Bounce rate This indicates how many people close your website without interacting with it when they land on your website. A high bounce rate may mean that you're being found by people who are looking for something entirely different. It may also indicate that certain pages aren't working correctly and, for example, giving an error message. If you see an increase in this percentage, it's wise to examine the pages individually to identify.

When you map out these statistics and look at them alongside statistics from platforms like Facebook, you can start making initial comparisons. For example, has your growth in reach on Facebook also led to more users on your website? In two weeks, we will continue analyzing a social media platform in the "Data Thursday" blog: LinkedIn. LinkedIn is described as the professional counterpart to Facebook and has a more formal status. Follow us on LinkedIn so you don't miss the next "Data Thursday" blog!

Do you find collecting, processing, and analyzing data too complicated? Or do you have too little knowledge and/or time for it? The students from the Online Student label of Recruit a Student are ready to help you. This group of specialized online marketing students not only enjoy helping you with data analysis, but can also help you with your entire (online) marketing. Would you like to learn more about Online Student? Visit the website or contact us.