An important and popular part of online statistics gathering, Google Analytics has many uses for companies looking to monitor their own website traffic, and to see where their shortcomings might lie.
But what exactly is Google Analytics, and what are the options for filtering the data therein?
What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a statistical tool supplied by Google, which allows users to track and report website traffic to sites under their control.
Used on the commercial and professional markets, Google Analytics is the one of the most popular online statistical tools in the world, and provides users a SDK (software development kit) that allows them to collect data on customer usage both on traditional computing devices, and through IOS and Android applications.
Why Is Google Analytics Used?
Google analytics can be a handy tool for several reasons, and can be helpful for professional, sizable businesses, and small startups alike.
One feature of Google Analytics allows users to view how long visitors remain on their page. This can be a great way for companies to gauge their interactivity, and the level of interest their page has to visitors on the whole.
Businesses can use this feature to make updates to their website, add more content, or use various tools (such as videos and images) to make their homepage more appealing – thus increasing duration time.
The longer the duration on the website, the more chance there is for visitors to interact with other features present, therefore potentially increasing the probability of purchases, sharing, likes, or whatever way the specific company might gauge success.
Pages Per Session
This feature allows companies to see how many specific pages a visitor checks out during any one session on their website.
This can also provide a lot of information as to how engaging the page is, and can allow companies to make any changes they feel would benefit (and up) their numbers.
Bounce rate is a common term within internet marketing, and refers to a visitor who arrives on the website, and then immediately leaves (or ‘bounces’) straight away.
Companies who are aware of this information can then take steps to make their homepage more engaging, provide immediate stimulation to keep visitors tuned in, or indeed hone their search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure they are attracting the right kind of visitors.
This could be done by being more clear in the SEO – such as using more applicable or specific keywords.
Are There Data Filtering Options?
When it comes to filtering your data within Google Analytics, there are really two main methods that can be used.
Creating Data Subsets
One of the main filtering methods is to create data subsets. This will allow you to personalize what data you want to see, and can be done very easily using Google Analytics’ filter creation tools.
When creating a filter, you can select what events, categories, and page views you would like to include in the filter, ensuring that you only receive the most relevant information to you and your business needs.
Building a custom report allows you to take this one step further, letting you pick the dimensions (for example the city and browser type), and then choose the metrics you would like to use.
These metrics could be anything from sessions, to pageviews, to bounce rate, and countless others.
For the custom report to work, at least one metric and one dimension needs to be chosen, and this is the best way to receive very specific pieces of data about certain places or demographics.
What Are The Benefits?
When using Google Analytics, filters can be really helpful for a number of reasons.
When collecting large amounts of data, it can be easy to become lost or overwhelmed in the figures. Using filters can be a great way of breaking some of this down, and making sure it is easier to understand and manage.
Similarly, not all of the information you collect will be relevant or applicable to the specific needs of your business.
As such, using a filter can be a great way of separating the wheat from the chaff, and ensuring that you can see the data you need to see, without any unwanted (or unnecessary) distractions.
Depending on your business, it might also be necessary to target and understand specific demographics to grow and develop.
This could be a specific region of your home country, a flailing foreign market, or specific age, gender, or cultural demographics that you are hoping to appeal to.
This can be helpful for growing an audience, as you can see who your current target market is, and see where you are less popular, allowing you to make changes where necessary.
Are There Any Problems?
Since the introduction of Google Analytics, there have been several complaints from internet privacy advocates, questioning the ethics of the software.
Main areas of concern are centered around customer privacy and customer free will, and whether or not companies should have the right to observe what customers are looking at with such a degree of detail.
They also question whether targeted marketing poses ethical questions, particularly when it comes to differences in business advertising campaigns when it comes to the class, race, or range of a specific region, audience, or group.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about Google Analytics, and what filtering options are available to users and businesses looking to specialize and hone the flow of data they receive.
Google Analytics has many different applications in the business world, from advertising, to data collection, and gauging the popularity of goods and services, and despite pretty widespread concern from critics, this seems to be a business tool that is here to stay.