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Google Analytics 101

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Analytics, Marketing

Just transitioning from a brick and mortar to online and having trouble analyzing your new business? Once you’re online, tracking and analyzing your traffic is no longer as simple as looking at your door to see who will walk through. In a physical store, you can easily talk to your customers, learn about them, and provide a personalized shopping experience. But online, it’s impossible to just look at your homepage and see who’s visiting your store, or if your store is being visited at all.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get any insight on your customers. The evolution and advancement of eCommerce is making online merchants smarter and more able to provide high levels of customer experience. With the utilization of online analytic services, such as Google Analytics, you don’t need to blindly operate your online business.

Want to start tracking your online efforts? We are breaking it down to the basics to help merchants understand how to get started with Google Analytics 101!

#1: Google Analytics – an Overview

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google and it is the most commonly used website statistics service out there. The tool is extremely useful and effective in helping you improve your site as it can show details on your site’s traffic, sales, conversion rates, user activity, and more! A key advantage that you get when using Google Analytics is the level of accuracy in measuring your marketing efforts. With traditional advertising, such as billboards and tv commercials, your impressions are merely an estimate. You will never truly know how many people see your ad and more importantly, how many people it convinces to check out your store. The beauty of going digital is that everything is trackable; you can track how many people click your link, which link has the highest click through rate, and which channels on the web seems to be providing the best return. Google Analytics provides merchants with the necessary insight to run and grow a successful online business. By showcasing exactly how your site is performing, merchants can even understand the areas on which they can improve.

Related: Search Trends: Online Search Behaviour


To get started, you will need to:

1. Create a Google Analytics account
2. Set up your account properties
3. Install your tracking code

In order to set up your tracking code, you need to have access to your website’s source code and have a basic knowledge of HTML. If you are unfamiliar with HTML, grab your developer! This is the step that allows Google Analytics to interpret information about the visits on your site. Here are guides for setting up your web tracking, mobile tracking and eCommerce tracking.


You can also set up advanced tracking features. This developers guide from Google is a great resource to learn more about advanced configuration.


Once your account is all set up, you can start monitoring your site’s activity! Here are a couple of the basic pages to know in Google Analytics.



Your account Home page lists all the properties in your account. From here, you can easily navigate between all your properties and see a quick overview of how they are performing within a specified date range.



Under your Reporting tab, you can access your dashboard, which gives you a nice overview of how your individual properties are performing. The dashboard is a great overall as this one page summarizes all of your most important reports in the form of widgets. This page can even be customized by adding/editing/deleting widgets. This gives merchants the ability to monitor several reports at once and see how they correlate.

Related: Getting False Data? How Google Analytics Reports Adwords Data

5 Key Metrics You Should Start Measuring Immediately

Conversion Rate:

The conversion rate is the successful completion of an activity that is important to your business. For example, this can include a successful email sign up or the completion of an online transaction. The conversion metric measures success in a percentage and allows merchants to gauge how much of a specific activity was successful. For online retailers, the eCommerce Conversion metric is an incredibly important statistic to follow because it represents the fraction of online activities successfully translated into an actual sale.

Average Order Value:

As the name suggests, this metric lets merchants see how much online shoppers are spending, on average, per transaction. Google Analytics tallies and then averages the values of all transactions completed on your site within a selected time frame. This statistic is helpful for merchants to learn how much shoppers are spending each time they visit your online store.

Number of Transactions:

It’s important for online merchants to track the number of transactions their eCommerce site generates. This metric lets you know just how many online sales you have completed in a given time period.

Average Session Duration:

This metric measures the length of time users spend on your site. The goal of any merchant is to keep their shoppers shopping. The more time a shopper stays in your store, the more likely they are to increase their spending! Having a short average session duration means shoppers are not staying long enough on your site to convert, potentially indicating your product offerings, content are not a good match for what your customers are looking for, or your overall user experience needs some work. Which leads us to our next metric…

Bounce Rate:

This metric measures the rate at which a user has left your site without interacting with the page. This is measured from the entrance page. Bounce rates can occur for a number of reasons, but it can usually be attributed to the design, navigation and overall user experience, forcing a shopper to simply leave the site.
Related: Top eCommerce Metrics: Turn Customer Data Into Actionable Insight

Happy Analyzing!

These metrics area a great starting point for merchants to begin to understand their digital footprint within the eCommerce world. From these metrics, you can begin to easily gain consumer insight as well as a look at what resonates or makes an impact with your audience. Good luck and happy analyzing!

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