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Google Analytics is the premiere tool for understanding how people get to your site and what pages they visit. It tracks traffic, page popularity, and so much more. The question you might be asking yourself is, “How does Google Analytics Work?”

You’ll hear experts talk about Google bots and crawling spiders, but there’s nothing arachnid or science fiction-esque about this valuable program. It may be overwhelming at first glance, but once you’ve learned to navigate the Google Analytics basics, you’ll never live without it.

There’s no other free tool available that gives you this level of information about your site.


How Does Google Analytics Work?

First, you set up a Google Analytics account. It starts by creating a tracking code in the program that you place on every page of your site. Google uses the code to track information.

Without it, the program won’t gather the information. If you only put it on some pages, then it won’t gather information correctly. That’s why it must be programmed into every page on your site.

These following are just some of the data points Google Analytics and track for you. When you first create your account, there won’t be any data. Let it process and work on your site for a few weeks to soak up a good amount of information.


GA tracks how many people visit your site and what source they came from, which is invaluable for SEO data and information. This includes Google Organic, Google CPC, Yahoo Organic, Bing Organic and CPC, Social Media such as Facebook, and referral traffic from other websites.

Standard Metrics

GA traffic info includes many different stats including bounce rate. The “bounce rate” indicates how many people visited one page on your site and left i.e. they bounced. It also shows how long users were on your site. If you have advanced e-commerce features, it can show how many transactions were made and how much revenue you earned.

Page Information

This info helps you find out the most visited pages on your site. There’s a way to find what pages people went to first and the pages they exited off of. There’s no better way to determine the customer journey than through GA tracking.

Application Integration

Using Google Analytics is a must for anyone interested in their website information, but it also integrates with other applications. Google Ads is a popular Pay Per Click advertising platform. You can connect it to GA and combine the data power.

The same goes for Google Search Console and many other apps not owned by Google. This allows you to increase the coverage of Google Analytics and learn more information.

Be Wary of Referral Traffic

You’ll be tempted to look at the overall statistics on Google Analytics, but it might not 100 percent correct. There are spam referrals and ghost traffic that has nothing to do with customers. The spam inflates your overall traffic but isn’t real.

It’s best to examine the traffic sources individually such as Google Organic, etc. That way you know the information is pure. Not all referral traffic is spam, but spam can inflate your overall numbers by thousands.

If there is a specific site that keeps coming up as spam, you can go into your settings and exclude that site from GA. Google will no longer count traffic from it.

A Valuable Tool When Used Correctly

How does Google Analytics work? You install it, read up on guides like this, and learn through trial by fire. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll have more knowledge than you’ll ever need.

If you’re interested in learning more about Google Analytics or web design, then explore our site.


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Join Sandy Rowley, leading digital marketing expert located in Reno Nv, for a workshop on How to use Google Analytics to grow your business. Hosted at The Innovation Center on 450 Sinclair Street. Sponsored by

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