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Understanding Google Analytics

Ameravant Web Studios offers our clients a Google Analytics setup and integration to the websites we’ve developed. This powerful tool is a great way to effectively gage the wide-spread nature of the movement your impact is having on the world, and your audience. In order to utilize this properly we’ve setup a way to engage your time by finding the right tools to help you understand how to use this powerful tool.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics

As you go down the list of resources, you will find that each article focuses on a different specification and that allows you to get a sense of the depth that Analytics is capable of. Whether you are going to use this a little or a lot, we suggest having a good look at what you can do with Analytics.

Basic Things to Know:

1) The default view is a 30-day time period from the day you are looking.
Ex: You open your analytics to view on February 6th; you will see data back to January 6th.

2) In the left menu "Behavior/Overview" gives the most popular pages. Click ‘View Full Report’, and we suggest selecting 100 rows for a more in depth view.

3) Give yourself a description for each data column, with an example of what it is actually displaying.
Ex: A Bounce Rate of 50% is good. Over 50% you need to research to know why people are not staying on the site.

4) Go to Main Menu "Acquisition/Keywords/Organic" to see all the different keywords associated with your domain and website.


Google Analytics Help Center

The place to go when you want the biggest overview from Google themselves.

A great third party resource for different levels of engagement with Analytics






Do you need a deeper understanding of Google Analytics?

Do you know what data each section of Google Analytics offers?

A few important details and settings can improve your Google Analytics reporting.

In this article I’ll share the basics of navigating Google Analytics and what you need to set up now to make the most of its data.

Note: This post assumes that Google Analytics is already set up for at least one of your websites. If you have not set up Google Analytics, you can find a thorough walk-through of the setup process in the Google Analytics Help Center.

get started with google analytics

Find out how to get started with Google Analytics right now.

Google Analytics Quick Glossary

Before we begin, there a few terms you should know. You’ll see them often in your Google Analytics data, and I’ll use them throughout this post.

Dimensions—A dimension is a descriptive attribute or characteristic of an object that can be given different values. Browser, Exit Page, Screens and Session Duration are all examples of dimensions that appear by default in Google Analytics.

Metrics—Metrics are individual elements of a dimension that can be measured as a sum or a ratio. Screenviews, Pages/Session and Average Session Duration are examples of metrics in Google Analytics.

Sessions—A session is the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc., within a date range. All usage data (Screenviews, Events, Ecommerce, etc.) is associated with a session.

Users—Users who have had at least one session within the selected date range. Includes both new and returning users.

Pageviews—Pageviews means the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Pages/Session—Pages/session (Average Page Depth) is the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Avg. Session Duration—The average length of a session.

Bounce Rate—Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e., visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

New Sessions—An estimate of the percentage of first-time visits.

Goals—Goals let you measure how often users take or complete specific actions on your website.

Conversions—Conversions are the number of times goals have been completed on your website.

Campaigns—Campaigns (also known as custom campaigns) allow you to add parameters to any URL from your website to collect more information about your referral traffic.

Acquisition—Acquisition is how you acquire users.

Behavior—Behavior data helps you improve your content.

Google Analytics Home

When you log into Google Analytics, you end up on the Home page where you cansee a list of all of the websites you have set up in your account. This list shows you some basic data right off the bat such as your number of sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate.

google analytics home screen

The Google Analytics home screen.

If you have a lot of websites like I do, you can use the search box under the date range to search for a particular domain. If you only want to view the domains that are most critical to your business, you can mark them with a star and change the Show settings to list only the starred websites.

You can use the date range to see your data over any specified time period. You can also use it to compare the current time period to a previous time period to see the change in sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate.

google analytics date range menu

The Google Analytics date range selector lets you compare data.

Since the data for each website changes to reflect the compared timeframes, it’s easy to see which of your websites are getting more or less traffic and conversions.

google analytics date range data comparison

Comparing basic data across your top websites.

To view more data about a particular website, just click on the corresponding link and you’ll see the Google Analytics Reporting page.

Google Analytics Reporting

The Google Analytics Reporting page shows your Audience Overview data.

At the top of the screen, you’ll see the basic Google Analytics menu bar that allows you to go back and forth between the Home page, Reporting, Customization (reports) and Admin section. Further to the right, you can switch to another website within your Google Analytics account.

google analytics top menu bar

Google Analytics top menu bar options.

On the left sidebar, there is a search box to help you find specific reports and a list of links to important areas of your Google Analytics.

Google Analytics left menu options.

I discuss each option below.


Dashboards allow you to create customized views of your Google Analytics datausing widgets. It’s a great way to see specific subsets of data without having to navigate through your standard reports.

google analytics custom dashboard

Sample Google Analytics customized dashboard.

You can add widgets to your dashboards using the +Add Widget button or by adding widgets as you browse your standard reports using the Add to Dashboard link. You can also download ready-to-go dashboards in the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.

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