There is a reason why Google Analytics is so popular (and not just because it’s free.) Google Analytics is a tool that helps you learn how users find and use your website. But how does Google Analytics work? In this article, we’ll discuss how Google Analytics works, what Google Analytics offers, and how it collects information from your website’s visitors.
What is Google Analytics?
First, let’s discuss what Google Analytics is. Google Analytics is a free tool offered by the search engine that helps you analyze your website and users to help you monitor the performance of your marketing, content, products, and more. It provides analytics reports that show you data like your traffic sources. You can use Google Analytics to set goals, like destination goals, duration goals, page/screens per session goals, and event goals. If you want to learn more about your site’s user behavior or bounce rate in real time, you can use its analytics data to help you.
How Does Google Analytics Work?
The first step is to sign up for a Google Analytics account. Then, you’ll need to add some code to each web page in order to track your metrics. However, despite what some believe, Google Analytics does not track every single visitor to your site. (More on that later.)
How Does Google Analytics Gather Data?
The way Google Analytics works is by gathering data about visitors to your website. It provides you with information about the people who visit your website and collects this data quickly. For example, it can tell you where your site traffic is coming from and how many hits you are receiving in a given period of time.
When you look at a site, the content you are seeing is saved in HTML, which is the standard language for documents meant to be displayed in a web browser. If this is too technical, imagine the HTML as a Google Doc you might use to write a paper. The HTML file, like a Google Doc, tells the computer what text to show, where to include images, and how to format it.
As many as 30 to 50 million websites use Google Analytics. Chances are, any time you are looking at a given website, your data is being sent to Google. While this might be disturbing news to you, don’t worry: Google makes sure that the data collected is anonymous. So, anyone checking Google Analytics won’t see your name specifically. They will simply see that someone, using a certain keyword found their site and visited it six times.
Drawbacks to Google Analytics
So, why does this information matter? If you are just starting out with Google Analytics, it is helpful to know how it works for two reasons.
Additionally, because Google Analytics uses anonymous tracking, you can’t track user-level interaction that deeply. There are other tools available that can help you track users on your site between devices.
Luckily, for most sites, these drawbacks of Google Analytics do not matter much. There is a reason why Google Analytics is such a popular tool for tracking website users. For help setting up and understanding your own Google Analytics account, contact SEO Design Chicago today. We offer Google Analytics services to help make sure your business is meeting your goals and getting your desired results.