This quick guide will go through the most important sections in Google Analytics and explain what the data in these sections reveal about your website’s performance.
Looking to set up Google Analytics for your own website? See the Google Analytics Setup Guide.
Google implement changes to the user interface of Google Analytics quite frequently, so whenever there is a significant update, this guide will be updated also.
Jump to Section:
Google Analytics Tips
The Realtime report shows you real-time data for Users on your website.
This overview section of the report will show you how many active Users are on your website, what device they are using and what page they are on. You can also see if Users came from referrals, and what location they are browsing your website from.
The Realtime report is great to see the performance of your marketing campaigns, especially if you have any sales events, or if you are pushing people to a certain page of your website, during a specific time or day.
The Audience report breaks down how Users are browsing your website, into data about how many pages have been viewed, and how long people browse your website on average.
The overview section displays a timeline and some key metrics for your website. The timeline shows how many Users your website has had over the last 7 days. This timeline can be changed to show a number of metrics – click on the ‘Users’ button near the top of the timeline and choose a metric from the list.
Google Analytics will show slightly different metrics on the Audience overview section, depending on what industry category you have chosen for your account. However, the main metrics displayed on this page are the following;
Users – A User is someone who has browsed your website.
New Users – A new User to your website who has not visited before.
Sessions – A Session is counted when a User interacts with your website, such as going to another page. A Session will time-out after 30 minutes of inactivity.
Number of Sessions per User – This is the average number of Sessions per User.
Pageviews – How many pages of your website have been viewed in total.
Pages / Session – The average of how many pages had been visited during a Session.
Avg Session Duration – This is how long on average people spend browsing your website.
Bounce Rate – This is the percent of Sessions where someone came to your website, but did not interact, and then left.
Below the timeline there are some snapshots for Demographics, System and Mobile. These sections give you more details on data from your Users.
Demographics – This section gives you a snapshot of where your Users came from, split into Language, Country and City.
System – This section details your Users Browser, Operating System and Service provider (if available).
Mobile – Here you can see Users’ Operating System and Service Provider (mobile only) and the Screen Resolution they are viewing your website with.
The Acquisition report details the top channel sources of traffic to your website, and how many Users completed a Goal (a conversion metric set for your website).
This report will show top channels, Users and conversions. A channel in Google Analytics can be one of several sources of traffic to your website. The list of channels are as follows;
Organic Search – traffic from Google search
Direct – traffic directly to your website, from a bookmark, for example
Paid Search – Google paid search advertising
Referral – a link from another website
Social – traffic from social media
Affiliates – affiliate links
Email – traffic from links within emails
Display – Google display adverts
Other Advertising – other forms of advertising not tracked directly
If you have several places you advertise your website, or post content on social media, this part of the report will tell you how much traffic you are getting from those areas. It will directly show you the attribution of each channel with the amount of Users who came through it.
This section will also show you some data found in the Audience Overview Report, and also show how many Users completed a Goal, and from which channel.
This report looks similar to the Audience overview. The Behaviour report details which pages of your website are the most visited, and looks at how Users browsed your website.
Along with the timeline, you will see some more metrics; Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Avg. Time on Page, Bounce Rate and % Exit.
Unique Pageviews – These are how many total pageviews where unique and not pageviews of the same page.
Avg Time on Page – This is the average time people are spending on one page on your website. This is the average across all pages of your website.
% Exit – This applies to when someone leaves your website after looking at more than 1 page. This is the percent of people who do this.
At the bottom of this report, you can see which pages of your website where the most popular during the date range. You can switch from the page URL or the page title you have set.
This will also show search terms and events categories. For search terms to be tracked, you will need to enable site search tracking.
I hope that this insight into the basics of Google Analytics has been useful for you – know someone else who could benefit from this? Share it with them ⬇