Google Analytics Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

10th April 2018 by Roger Martin

Google Analytics Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

10th April 2018 by Roger Martin

Google Analytics

So you’ve just launched a new website, but how can you ensure that people visit your site? By using simple tracking software such as Google Analytics will help you to measure the amount of people visiting or interacting with your site. We have created a simple guide to help you utilise Google Analytics effectively for your organisation.

Setting up an Account

Although Google Analytics might seem overwhelming at first, setting up an account is a simple two-step process. Firstly, make sure you have a gmail email address set up as you will need one to create your Analytics account. Next, sign up using basic information including the name of your organisation, the website you wish to track and it’s URL.

Install a tracking code

Google will automatically generate a Global Site Tag tracking code for users to place in the <head> of the every webpage that wants to be tracked. Tracking codes are created for each property linking to the account. This can be found by clicking Admin>Tracking Info>Tracking Code.

Google Analytics

Depending on your cms platform, you might not use the Global Site Tag and can use the short Tracking ID provided. It’s best to find out how you will activate your Analytics account before choosing your cms platform.


Key metrics


After you’ve successfully set up your Google Analytics account, you can now start to measure relevant data from your site.

Viewing sessions on your site


Google Analytics allows you to view your audience’s demographics and even what browser or device they are using. This is useful to determine your type of audience and new and returning visitors to your site. Here you can see which devices are most successful for users and how mobile responsive your website is.


Traffic Google Analytics


Measuring traffic via Source


It is essential to know who is visiting your site and when, but it is also equally as important to know where your traffic is coming from for example, organic searches, direct, social or referrals.

This can be viewed in Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels in which it will show the amount of sessions, new sessions, new users from each source as well as the bounce rate and average session duration. All goals that have been set up are also shown here including the goal conversion rate, the amount of goal completions and the goal value.

Google analytics


Viewing conversions and completed goals


To track conversions effectively, it is vital to create goals for your website. Goals represent a completed activity on all pages of your website. You can set up around 20 goals including different types depending on your business objectives. These include:

Destinations – this is where you can set for a particular location to be loaded on a users page for example a ‘Thanks for your order’ web page

Session Durations – you can set a specific amount of time and select a condition, either greater than or less than, and track visitors that meet the criteria.

Pages/Screens per session – you can track users who view a certain number of pages

Event – you can track a user’s action on a video play or advert click


Conversions in Google Analytics


Identifying slow loading pages


You need to understand what pages on your website are performing well and what pages aren’t. In Google Analytics you can break down the pages and view the average page load time for each page. This can help you to see which pages need optimising, if any.

You can also view the exit percentage, bounce rate, page views an page value of each web page. By clicking on Behaviour>Site Speed>Page Timings, you can view this data for all of the pages on your site.

Google Analytics

Create custom reports


By creating custom reports, you can view more accurate and useful data from your website. You can choose the dimensions and the metrics and decide how they are displayed. You have to specify at least one dimension and one metric.

Reports can be created to monitor different types of activity on your website such as monitoring the day and time people are on your site, tracking daily ecommerce traffic, performance of social media activity, PPC campaign performance, conversion tracking and more.

Custom reports can be saved and managed and shared if required. When a custom report is shared, only the configuration information is available, your data remains private.

google analytics

At Star Digital, our Google certified team can help your set up your Analytics account successfully and ensure you are analysing your website data correctly. Call our friendly team on 01604 696385 or email at