Google Analytics is one of the most popular (and free!) tools to analyse website data and gain insight on your online performance. There are many benefits that this tool could provide to your organisation, but if you have little or no experience using Google Analytics knowing exactly where to start and trying to get the most out of it in one go can be a little bit overwhelming.
Surely, Google Analytics can be as simple or complex as you wish it to be, but if you’d like to take advantage of what this fantastic tool can offer, you might want to consider the following 12 tips:

Set up custom Dashboards

Step1 - Dashboards

Take advantage of seeing your most relevant pieces of data at once by creating customised dashboards. You can create up to 20 at once and add as many widgets as you like. Custom dashboards can be very useful for reporting purposes or having a high-level view of your stats and key metrics in one place. For this, go to Customization > Dashboards.

Create goals

Step2 - Goals

Does your site encourage people to perform a particular action such as create an account, download content or purchase a specific amount? Setting goals allow you to measure conversions or completion rates for each goal you set up. For this, go to Conversions > Goals > Overview and click on Set up goals.

Take advantage of the long-term view

Google analytics monthly preview

Although Google Analytics will display 30-day results by default, it is possible to adjust the graph view to observe monthly or yearly trends. This would allow you to get greater insights and find patterns that might not be evident with the short-term view, especially if your site has been active for a while! Reflect on all the campaigns you have run to promote your business with the dates they were active.

Determine where your visitors come from

Google analytics map

Google analytics metrics

Information about the geographic location of your visitors might help you better target your marketing campaigns. Audience > Geo > Location. You can view this information by city, country or even continent depending on your market.

Dig further

Step5 - Content Drilldown

Surprisingly, many people won’t dig past the basics like views per page or the total visitors over time. Is your content relevant for your visitors? What are your top performing sites? How many of new visitors leave your page instantly? Metrics such as Entrances, Bounce Rate and Exit Rate will help you give an answer to all these interesting questions. You can find them under Behaviour > Site Content > Content Drilldown.

Check web browser differences

Google Analytics will also allow you to check and compare the above metrics by the browser, operating system, screen resolution, and other related dimensions. Analysing browser statistics will enable you to determine whether a poor performing browser has a loading error or a formatting problem. For this, go to Audience > Technology > Browser. You can also check service provider information by going to Audience> Technology > Network.

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