Now that we have tracking code added to our website Google Analytics will start collecting traffic data which we can access through our accounts.

Data can be accessed through various menus and some data appear by default on the dashboard. So we will start with data available on the dashboard and then dig deeper into other segments.

To access the website data, first you need to go through the home dashboard where all your accounts are listed. To access a particular website data you will have to open the account folder and then the website folder till you see “All Web Site Data”. Clicking on “All Web Site Data” will take you to the dashboard for specific website.

Google analytics site dashboard

This is how your site dashboard will look like.

Google anaalytics website dashboard

You can change the look of this dashboard and customize it and save it for a particular purpose if you want. We will discuss about how to customize dashboard in later chapters in this chapter, we will take a closer look at default dashboard and what data is present here and what does it mean.

Also, before we start off I would like to inform you that whatever we are  going to discuss here is only for the sake of you get the know the elements here so that at least you can make out what you are looking at. We will take a deeper look into same information and discuss the concept in details in coming chapters. So if you don’t understand anything here don’t worry, I would explain them in details in coming chapters.

Starting from the top the first thing which comes up is a graph. This graph by default represent session. You can switch the view of the graph between hour, day, week or month by clicking on tab present on top right hand side corner of the graph.

Google analytics dashboard graph

You can also change the graph to view other matrices in the graph by clicking on the drop down arrow as mentioned in the screenshot below. You can also compare two matrices on graph by added “Select a metric” link.

Google analytics graph options

You can also add another metric on the same graph  if you want to see more than one metric on the graph. To do this you can click on the “Add Segment” button on the top right of the Graph.

Google analytics adding site metric to graph

This will give you list of metric from which you can choose and click on apply.

Adding graph metric

Your graph will look something like this. To add another metric or remove the current one you need to click on same button and untick the metric an click apply to remove or choose another metric to add another metric on the graph.

Google analytics graph with additional metrics

Adding a new segment or new metric not only make changes in the graph, but also add a lot about this  new metric on the rest of the dashboard (see below). So I have given you a little bit of hint here how to customize your dashboard, but we will continue with in later chapters.

Google analytic dashboard with aditional metric

Now let us discuss the data present below the graph.

1. Session : A session is created when as the user connects to your website for any purpose. A session automatically end after 30 minutes of inactivity, it is the default time set by Google to expire a session. So if the same user revisit your website after 30 minutes of activity, it will be counted as a new session.

Google analytics session

2. Users: Users are counted on per device basis, so If you are using a desktop, a laptop and a mobile phone to access the same website it will be counted as three users. It happens so because when a website is accessed by a website a unique ID is generated which is associated with that device and is and is counted as a new user for that website. If the same device is accessing the same website then it is counted as a returning visitor. This could change in situations where the user of device deletes his cookies and unique id which was there gets deleted and in this case again new ID gets generated counting this as as a new user.

You can also see the data percentage of new user and returning user in pie chart of the dashboard.

Google analytics users

Google analytics users pie chart

To get more clarity lets watch a video about users and session from Google Analytics.

3. Pageviews: Pagesvies is count that tells how many pages were viewed on your website.

page session page views

4. Page /Session : This count tells what is the average number of page views which happened on per session basis.

page session

5. Avg. Session Duration : This simply gives us an average of entire session duration which has happened on our website.

Average session duration

6. Bounce Rate: It gives the percentage of how many people came to your website visited the page and went back or to another website without visiting other pages. It gives two indication one that your page had poor content which user did not like and hence they went away other reason could be that the person got what he wanted from the page and did not have a need to go on other pages so he went back.

bounce rate

So Bounce rate alone does not tell if a page is doing good or bad it has to be looked with other metric such as session duration to determine if a page is preforming good or bad.  To improve the bounce rate it is necessary to create engaging content so that customers stay on your website and visit different pages.

7. Percentage of new Session: It simply gives the percentage of new session out of all existing sessions.

new session

8. Demographic and other data: It tells you the traffic source in terms of demographic. You can click through the various links and find detailed data of that particular demographic. You can also find what operating system, browser and the service provider the traffic came from. It also gives these data separately for mobile and desktop.

demographics

This brings us to the end of this chapter. We will go into further details of analytics tool in next chapter.

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