Understanding How Google Analytics Works: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Understanding How Google Analytics Works: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Building a website is just the first step to starting an online business.

You have to have really detailed metrics and analysis points to precisely target your audience.

Google Analytics is one of the best ways to find this information and make it work for you.

Use the tips in our easy to follow guide to learn how Google Analytics works and the best ways to use it for your site.

How Google Analytics Works

Google Analytics is a tool provided by Google that helps you process your websites information. It goes beyond the basic visitor information and allows you to get really in depth and useful data.

In order to use Google Analytics, you have to sign up for the service and register your website. You can have multiple websites under a single account so there’s no need to create more than one.

It allows you to quickly discover specific data on important metrics. A few of the most useful are bounce rate, conversion rates, and landing page information.


Getting Started

So you’re probably wondering how to access Google Analytics. You’ve completed the first step in creating an account, now you need to add a tracking code to your website.

This allows Google to actually track user data and directly monitor how your website is functioning. Once this data starts to roll in you’ll have to figure out what you want to do with it.

You can start by looking at the default metrics and analytics. These provide you with the most commonly needed data points such as acquisition, search information, lifetime value, and active user data.

Once you’ve gotten the hand of these metrics you can try your hand at creating custom reports. These allow you to really laser focus your data. You can include parameters such as SKU’s, product sizing, and even integrate external data sources such as your CRM software.

Benefits of Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to turn the raw visitor data for your website into actionable information. You can see information such as:

  • Number of Visitors
  • Time on Site
  • Visitor Activity
  • Social Media Information

This type of information is highly valuable from a digital marketing standpoint. It allows you to see what works and what doesn’t. You can also find out how visitors use your site and the kind of content they find most appealing.

Some of the most important information involves how visitors arrive at your site. This shows you what your most valuable search terms are and can suggest terms you should create content for. This data will also help you discover what other interests visitors have based on their previous search history.

If you know what they’re interested in you can more effectively target your content to match their needs. Consumers love sites that provide them with value. They’re much more likely to purchase your services or use your affiliate link if you’ve brought them real value.

Refine, Refine, Refine

Creating awesome content isn’t enough to succeed anymore. You have to know exactly where your visitors are coming from and what turns them into customers. By learning how Google Analytics works you make it much easier to target your content.

Click here to get a free SEO audit and to learn more about the benefits of top to bottom SEO design.

Startup NV

Google Analytics Workshop coming up in January 2019. RSVP for this Lunch & Learn event with StartupNV & 1Million Cups here:


A Beginner’s Guide: How Does Google Analytics Work?

A Beginner’s Guide: How Does Google Analytics Work?

Class is scheduled for May 8th 2019 at The Innovation Center on 450 Sinclair Street Reno Nv. Hosted by StartupNV a startup community. MUST RSVP TO HOLD YOUR SEAT AND ORDER LUNCH: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/startupnv/250545

Startup NV Reno

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.

MUST RSVP TO HOLD YOUR SEAT AND ORDER LUNCH: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/startupnv/250545

startup reno

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 StartupNv.org

Did you miss the Google Analytics SEO Workship? Download all marketing resources and watch the recording on Youtube. Search Google Analytics Sandy Rowley.

Digital Marketing Workshop with Sandy Rowley & StartupNV.org