A beginner’s guide of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a widely used, simple, and accessible tool for tracking and analyzing your website's visitors. Why is it useful? Because most likely, your website will have many visitors, but it won't be significant if you know nothing about them.

Article by


Christoph Kappler

Marketing Manager & Product Owner
4 min read12 Oct 2022

In addition, Google Analytics is handy because it provides vital information about the performance of your website and, thus, indirectly essential information for achieving your goals. Imagine you have a store; in a normal situation, it wouldn't be possible to track all your customers, understand their needs, and know at what decision stage of the purchase funnel they are. Are they ready to buy? Or do they prefer to gather more information about it and then decide later? On the other hand, all this is possible online, thanks to Google Analytics.  

Which are the most important KPIs that can be monitored? 

  • Session and Users: How much traffic does the website develop? 

  • New and Returning Visitors: How many users visit your website? Where do they come from? Do they come back? 

  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who viewed only a single page. These visitors only triggered a single request to the Google Analytics server.

  • Goal Conversion Rate: Do visitors perform desired target actions?

  • Time on Page: How much time do visitors spend on a page?

  • Average Page Load Time: How important is the page speed, actually?

  • Bounce Rate by Browser: Are there issues with specific browsers?

  • Average Session Duration: What is the quality of the generated traffic?

  • Top 5 Search Queries: What are the most common search queries?

  • Users by Gender: What is the gender and age distribution?

  • Pages per Session: How many pages are being visited on average?

  • Best Pages: What content has the most page views?

Top 10 Landing Pages: Which landing pages are most relevant?

In addition to the KPIs mentioned above, it is possible to monitor social media activities, track mobile app traffic, identify trends and integrate other data sources to make well-considered decisions. 

How does Google Analytics work? First, you need to set up Google Analytics on our website. To do this, you need to follow this procedure: 

  1. Log in to Google Analytics with your Google account

  2. Click the Admin button in the bottom left sidebar of your dashboard

  3. Select an account or create an account

  4. Click on the drop-down menu to create a property

  5. Click on the website and add the name and URL of your site

  6. Choose your industry

  7. Choose your time zone

  8. Click on Get Tracking ID

  9. Install the Tracking ID on each page of your website

Once the tracking ID is installed on every page of your site, every visitor who interacts with it will be tracked, and their information collected and analyzed by Google Analytics. 

The information collected also will be grouped into a period called "Sessions." Each session begins when the user starts browsing the website and ends after 30 minutes of inactivity. The collected data will then be divided and organized according to the device used (mobile or desktop) and the operating system. The exciting aspect is that I can decide what data I want to receive as a website owner and then apply a filter. This way, I will only get the information I need for my business. However, it is important to select all required data because once Google Analytics analyzes and stores the data, those will be shown as reports. Therefore it is not possible to modify them anymore. 

Main functionalities 

Google Analytics, as mentioned above, includes functions that can help users identify trends and patterns in the use of websites by visitors. The procedures allow collection, analysis, monitoring, visualization, reporting, and integration with other applications. These functionsinclude: 

  • Data visualization and monitoring tools, including dashboards, scorecards, and motion charts that visualize data changes over time;

  • data filtering, manipulation, and analysis; predictive analysis, intelligence, and anomaly detection;

  • segmentation for subset analysis, such as conversions; customized reports for advertising, acquisition, audience behavior, and conversion;

  • integration with other products, including Google Ads, Google Data Studio, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Google AdSense, Google Optimize 360, Google Search Ads 360, Google Display & Video 360, Google Ad Manager, and Google Search Console (Weslei Chai, Techtarget, April 2021).

Benefits and drawbacks 

There is no doubt that there are many benefits to using Google Analytics, as it is an easy-to-use and free tool that enables accurate forecasting. But let's see in detail what the main benefits are: 

  • Service is free, user and beginner friendly

  • It offers a variety of metrics that can be customized, to let you capture significant insights.

  • GA contains other tools like for example; data visualization, monitoring, reporting and predictive analytics.

As for drawbacks, however, imposing limitations are cookies and privacy settings. Since if the individual user blocks them, it is impossible to track their visits.

What do companies use Google Analytics for? 

Google Analytics is a handy tool for companies because it can provide them with various useful decision-making metrics. What use do companies make of this data? 

  • Benchmark: Companies use the data to compare it with other data or benchmark with other players in the same industry. This then allows them to measure business performance and identify different trends.

  • Visitor data: As GA allows the analysis of website traffic, it is a valuable resource for a company. It allows them to understand where the traffic is coming from, which pages are the most visited, and where visits end instead. These are all valuable elements for making technical and marketing decisions. 

  • Compatibility: On the other hand, an essential element relates to GA's compatibility, as it can provide information about the type of device, browser, and screen used by visitors and whether they are accessing via mobile or computer. This allows companies to understand how their users navigate and create content that can be enjoyed by different devices. 

  • Marketing and website optimization: GA is very useful in this area, as it provides essential information related to the performance of individual marketing campaigns and the entire website. 

  • Content optimization: All kinds of online content are used for various purposes. In addition to written words and images, there are videos, infographics, podcasts, and visual stories (such as Snapchat content). Whether you pay to promote this content or hope it performs well organically, you can monitor and test its performance. With tools like Analytics A/B testing, you can produce multiple variations of the same content and see which one responds best to your audience.

Setting goals: Finally, Google Analytics is a handy tool for setting goals and guiding decision-making. Whether you are trying to reach a certain number of visitors, a percentage of users making a purchase, or the number of newsletter sign-ups, you can track your goals. In addition, you can use this data to make future decisions.

Why is it important for us at mindnow? 

We at mindnow also regularly use Google Analytics to track visits and monitor the growth of our company website. 

Thanks to these parameters, we can act accordingly and create better content as well as enhancing the customer experience.

If you want to read more about how we have increased the number of sales for one of our partners thanks to continuous monitoring and content adaptation, feel free to read our case study on dermalogica.

Do you want to know more about it? Or do you think something is missing? Then write to us we look forward to hearing from you!