What Is Google Analytics And How Does It Work?

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder at Pedestal Search

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder

March 4, 2016 | 5 Min Read

Article updated on August 25, 2022

Google Analytics is a powerful measurement tool that can help to grow a local business online in 2018.
In 2012, there were only 10 million websites leveraging the Google Analytics tool. That equated to 54% of all existing websites and 60% of those were among the top ranking 100,000 websites.
The number of websites leveraging the Google Analytics platform has since quadrupled. Growing to an estimated 43 million sites worldwide in 2016</span

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool offered by Google. Primarily, it measures a sites Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and traffic. Local business owners in Toronto leverage this service to measure a number of variables.

Here’s how a local business in Toronto can use Google Analytics for their Local SEO or Adwords Management.

1. View website visitors and data in real time.

Google’s Analytics platform makes it possible to track user engagement in real time. It displays how many visitors are currently navigating through the website. As well as which pages they are landing on.
The Analytics tool provides insights that highlight geographical location, sources and navigation channels visitors used to land on the site.

Navigation Channels

  • Social
  • Direct Search
  • Organic Search
  • Paid Search
Another real-time feature the platform offers is conversion tracking. It’s particularly useful to observe and audit the desired responses and actions from website users.

2. Define the target audience.

Analytics categorizes the user base into sub-categories. These can include demographics, interests, geographical location, behaviour, whether they are a new or returning user, and how long they stay engaged on the site.
Furthermore, the analytics tool has the ability to identify browsers. As well as devices users prefer when visiting the website. Devices data is important for SEO and Adwords management efforts. In 2015 alone, mobile data traffic grew 74%.

3. Examine user acquisition channels.

The Analytics platform can track how the user discovered or navigated to the website. In 2014, social media drove 31.24% of overall traffic to websites.

4. Audit site performance to improve user behaviour.

The Analytics interface can measure page performance by analyzing the user behaviour. For example, slow page load speed creates a negative user experience for visitors. It generally leads to a high bounce rate. Google Analytics offers solutions to resolve the issue and improve user experience.
If a website has a search bar, the tool can provide information about the keywords visitors search within the site.

5. Determine Conversion rates so you stretch your dollars further with Adwords Management.

Customize conversion objectives for actionable data. Track the frequency and quantity of visitors completing specific goals and targets. This feature can help small businesses stretch their advertising dollars further.
If a website page fails to convert high volumes of visitors, you can identify the drop off point. It reports “which stage” of the engagement funnel the consumer lost interest. Then business owners can adjust that stage accordingly.
This feature offers a great benefit for Adwords Campaign optimization. The tool analyzes optimal dates and times for landing page performance. Adapting to this info serves to produce more conversions.
Evaluating data will quantifies which elements on the site are driving conversions. As well as which elements are stalling the overall engagement goals.

Here are 3 key ways Google Analytics can help grow a local business online in 2018.

How To Use Analytics

1. Targeting.

Google Analytics helps to extract demographic information of visitors on a specific site. The data informs Adwords targeting and robust content strategies that will engage the users at all stages of the user engagement or purchase cycles.
For example, Google says, “you can use demographic targeting in combination with other targeting options like affinity audiences or in-market audiences to reach a more narrow customer base.”
Targeting the demographics with the highest value can result in higher engagement, conversions, and organic search ranking.

2. Measurement.

Different businesses have different objectives. The analytics platform tracks the KPIs that are most relevant to specific verticals. These can include user engagement, website traffic and traffic sources, goal achievements, conversions, and many other variables. This data can be compiled to produce a snapshot of the overall performance of the digital property.

3. Engagement.

Google Analytics measures engagement data. This includes metrics like bounce rate, page visits, and session duration. Page engagement is one of the core Google ranking signals. So these metrics are especially important.
Check reports frequently to determine the content that customers engage with the most. As well as any content that is driving them away.
Analyze this data and revise any questionable content so that it is relevant and engaging to the target.


SEO, SEO Tools

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder at Pedestal Search

Aaron Levenstadt

CEO & Founder

Aaron Levenstadt completed his degree in Statistical & Data Science at Stanford University. That focus has given him an unparalleled data-driven approach to search engine digital marketing. Prior to founding Pedestal Search, Aaron worked at Google at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View California. At Google he worked on the Organic Search, Paid Search and Google Analytics products, which equipped him with extensive knowledge of the mechanisms driving Google’s algorithm and other internet search engines.