How to Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics is another amazing Google product which can be used to analyse the traffic of your web site in with large set of comprehensive tools and techniques. Same as all the other Google Products Google Analytics is also free and unrestricted for all users. Web masters can get detailed information about the web traffic of their web site without having much technical knowledge with this tool. Furthermore it generates professional looking report which can be export as a various formats including XML and PDF. The information gathered from Google Analytics will be important to make strategic decision for you web site and its future development. This article explain how to integrate Google Analytics with you web site and get the maximum advantage out of it.



The Technology behind Google Analytics is simple yet powerful. It gives the webmaster to a JavaScript code to place it in the every page of the web site. Once it place it loads with every page. It can gather user information and many other parameters and send them to Google analytics. Then it will generate complete analytical report out of the raw data gathered from your web site. In order to send web page and user data it is using various technologies including UTM tags. However this process will consume some amount of data and processing power of your web server than normal load of web page since it has to do some extra work behind the screen.

Getting Started


The First step of using Google analytics is registering your Google account with it. If you don’t have Google account you have to create one first. Visit Google analytics while you logged in to Google Account. There will be a noticeable blue button with text ‘Access Analytics’. If you are using Google analytics for the first time it will ask you further information about you and your web site including web site URL and Account name. You can proceed after you fill the information in those forms and it will take you to the section ‘tracking code’.

Tracking Code

Tracking code is a JavaScript which is used to send the page and visitor details to Google Analytics. When you proceed after filling your data Google Analytics will give you the tracking code as a part of registration process. It has to be place in every page of your web site. When you are placing it most preferred way it to place just above you close the Body tag. If you place it at the top of body tag it might slow down the loading and rendering of your web page. After you place the code at the end of every page you are done with configuration and your site will be tracked by Google Analytics. You can always access Google Analytics and it will show the list of your web site. You can access a specific report from the drop down menu at the top or by clicking view report in the table displayed in the body of page.



Once you access the report of a registered web site it will take you to the Dashboard. Its giving basic details of your web site including visits, unique visits, countries visitors came from, traffic sources and most visited pages. At the top there is a graph and the content of the graph can be changed by the drop down menu at the top left corner by selecting various details you want to analyse including visits, page views and average time on site. At the right side corner you can choose the time duration for the Graph. In addition there is a important feature which is Grouping. Most of the cases the traffic graphs are full of spikes etc. Using that you won’t be able to get a clear idea about the traffic trends. But if you group them by ‘weekly traffic’ or ‘Monthly traffic’ you might be able to get better idea and for that you can use this ‘Group By’ feature provided. Map overlay displays a heat map of the visiting countries while traffic sources display a pie chart. Each section has a link to ‘View report’ which will take you to the sub section with details information about specific area. Furthermore you can drag and reorganize the sections in the dashboard as you want.


This is relatively new feature introduced to Google Analytics which creates automatic alerts whenever something important happen in your web sites traffic. Due to that you don’t have to do all the analysis by yourself manually. Furthermore you can group Alerts by week or Month as you want. When an automated alert is created it will give you some information about what is special about that incident. By clicking on the alert you can go to the specific traffic details and see it yourself. You can select the alert sensitivity to filter out them according to significance. Other than Automatic alerts you can create your own custom alerts based on your own requirement. In that case you will be able to get an E mail notification once it occurs so you don’t have to visit Google Analytics Frequently. This feature has made the web masters life even easy by doing large part of work by itself, and those alerts could be used to strategic decision making process very effectively.


From the left side menu you can access visitors section which will display information about the visitors of your website. This will be important information to measure the quality of your website and take decision for future content. In provides map overlay to identify visitors originating country, new vs. returning visitors and visitor’s languages. Most importantly it give you details about visitor trending and loyalty based on the factors time spent on the website, depth of visit and length of visit. In addition to that it give you details about visitors browser capabilities and network properties which might be able to further optimize your web pages to give the user a better browsing experience.

Traffic Source

Next section in the left menu is Traffic sources which is really important. It gives you details about where the traffic came from including referrals, search engines and direct traffic. In each section it displays a graph for related information. Furthermore you can breakdown the higher-level traffic sources to specific sources. This might be useful to identify the most active traffic sources and stimulate that trend while you improve the less active traffic sources. In addition there is a section to display information about your AdWords campaigns and other traffic generated from promotional campaigns.


The next section is Content which gives you information about each and individual page in your web site and its traffic trends. Using this section you will be able to identify Top content, landing pages and exit pages. Site overlay is one of the interesting features in here which shows you the click on your web site using its own web interface. In navigation summery section you can analyse the patterns of visits and how did they navigate through the site structure. Furthermore it gives you information about top landing pages, top exit pages and entrance keywords. This information can be used to further optimize your web site and its structure. Most importantly you can measure the AdSense performance in here as long as you have connected your AdSense account to Google Analytics. Unlike in Google AdSense report here you can see clicks generated from each page of your web site along with the revenue generated.


Though Google Analytics provides highly advance set of features to web masters to analyse web traffic there are significant disadvantages too. Most significant factor is accuracy. Sometimes visitor leaves the page before the JavaScript loads. If that be the case that page view won’t be counted. If you compare your server log it will show you greater number of visits than in Google Analytics. And as long as there is a JavaScript loading in every page it can be performance hit at the same time resource consuming. This will resulting in increased page load time and increased server resource consuming including processing power and bandwidth. Due to above reasons you have to use it very carefully. If you feel like the effect is significant you can always use the server log to measure your web traffic, but it won’t be user-friendly as Google Analytics.

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