What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics software in the world. It allows site owners to see information on how site users find, interact, and navigate between site pages. Reports that people use frequently in Google Analytics include traffic acquisition, engagement, revenue generation, users, and more.
A Brief History of Google Analytics
Website data is not always beautiful and easy to read. Originally, if people wanted to know how much traffic their website was getting, they Latest Mailing Database had to read server logs. The server log lists an informative list of every action that takes place on the site. While this information is valuable, it is difficult to understand.
To make things easier, some companies have started compiling log files and creating reports based on this information. A company called Urchin made a log file report and it quickly became popular, getting a lot of attention. In 2005, Google acquired Urchin and began the process of building and branding Google Analytics.
Google Analytics History Graph
Universal Analytics became standard after it launched in beta in 2014. As the diversity of user devices expands, general-purpose analytics becomes a must. The rise of mobile devices and tablets has led to a greater need to track users across the internet and across devices.
As of 2021, Universal Analytics remains the primary tool used by many users. However, according to Google, from July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties . At that time, Google Analytics 4 will completely replace Unverversal Analytics. We also remind you to install the GA4 version of Google Analytics for your website in advance to avoid data loss after Universal Analytics is deactivated.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
The latest version of Google Analytics Platform was released in October 2020. Google Analytics 4 is a new version of App+Web properties that aggregates all data into one Stream. GA4 also relies more on machine learning, which is designed to help analysts make predictions through predictive analytics.
This iteration of Google Analytics is still very new and not yet widely adopted. However, we encourage building GA4 as soon as possible, as GA4 will not bring Universal Analytics historical data into GA4.
How Google Analytics Works
To get any data from your website into Google Analytics, you must first place tags on your website. Once the tabs are placed correctly (more on how to install Google Analytics later ), Google Analytics will start collecting data. The data is then put into reports consisting of measures and dimensions.
Metrics are the factors that generate the numbers you will find in the platform. Anything that can be measured with numbers is a metric. Such as number of users, number of purchases, conversion value, average dwell time , etc.
Dimensions are about how to divide metrics. For example: number of users by source. Average time on site by landing page. Conversions by device type.
Why Google Analytics is Recommended
Perhaps the most appealing thing about Google Analytics is that it's free. This makes the platform available to anyone with a website.
Another advantage of Google Analytics: Google Analytics is helpful for analysts of any skill level. With Google Analytics, you can perform basic and advanced analysis of site performance. Not only can you get information on which marketing channels are driving traffic to your website, but you can also see which websites users come from at different times of the day, which landing pages they arrive at, and how long it takes for a page to load.
Also, everyone wants to get the information on their website from the internet's largest search engine? Most of what people do as SEOs is to please Google. Having a platform that tells us some of the information Google is tracking on our site is very beneficial for strategic planning. Using numbers in Google Analytics, you can use a data-driven strategy to make changes to your website instead of just relying on intuition.
Finally, as marketers, we use a lot of Google tools: Search Console , Google Ads , Data Studio , Google Tag Manager , Google Optimize , and more. All of these tools can be seamlessly integrated with Google Analytics.