It’s important for businesses to have a website, with the majority of consumers already shopping, interacting, and even working online.

The good thing about consumers having an active online presence is it is easier for businesses to track their behavior. From there, you can make decisions based on the observed spending habits of your target audience.

As a business, you need an effective tool to help you monitor the online habits of your market. Luckily, help is at hand with Google Analytics, a freemium service that lets you track the traffic of your website.

GA’s comprehensive reports allow you to gauge the behavior of your visitors and monitor how much traffic your site gets.

But just like any good tool, you need to get to understand Google Analytics first before you can figure out how it could work for you.

Getting started

After you sign up or log in, the next step is to indicate which websites or apps you want to track. You can do this by following these steps:

Step 1 Click the Admin tab.
Step 2 Go to the dropdown Account menu and select which account you want to add.
Step 3 Click on the “Create new property” then select “Website”.
Step 4 Input your site’s domain name and URL on the corresponding fields.
Step 5 Pick the appropriate industry, category, and time zone.
Step 6 Lastly, click “Get tracking ID”.

Once your site is registered, the next step is to install its tracking code. If you run a WordPress site, click here for a tutorial on how to get started and install Analytics on your site.

Indicating your goals

After the code is installed and GA starts tracking your site, it is time to set your goals.

This is an important step because it helps you track macro and micro conversions. It also helps you connect the data to your key performance indicators. Once you enable Goals, you can study metrics, such as the number of conversions and conversion rates.

GA has four types of Goals, namely:

refers to the pages that only appear after users accomplish a specific task. (e.g. a Thank You page that shows up after users sign up or purchase).

details how long the user stayed on your site or a particular page.

Pages/screens per visit
reveals how many pages the user accessed.

monitors when users do a specific activity (e.g. watched a video from one of the pages).

Each of these goals could be customised based on your metrics and could provide you with comprehensive reports.

Using Site Search

There are several benefits of having a search bar, especially if your site has lots of pages.

Benefit #1: visitors can find specific content much faster.

Benefit #2: you can determine their search habits on your site.

With Google Analytics, you can monitor the search patterns of your visitors by turning on Site Search.

This setting is found under the Admin tab.

Step 1 Click on that then highlight View Settings.
Step 2 Scroll to Site Search and switch on Site Search Tracking.
Step 3 Below that is the Query Parameter Field, where you can designate internal query parameters. Simply separate each one with a comma.

Aside from analysing your visitors’ search patterns, Site Search also helps you determine what keywords they are using and how frequently people use them. You can definitely use this knowledge to boost your site’s traffic.

At first glance, Google Analytics can seem overwhelming. But as soon as you figure out how your site should perform, it gets easier to figure which GA tools and features you need. From there, you can see comprehensive reports to help you to build your site’s presence.