Beginner’s guide to Google Analytics

Naveen Jujaray
10 min readAug 17, 2021

Real-Time Reports

Monitor user activity as it happens

The Real-Time report has Information about who’s on your website right now, where they came from, what they searched for, where they are, what pages they are on.

Audience Reports

Get to know your users

The Audience reports give you a sense of the users that engage with your content. Specific reports are used to break down visitors by age, gender, geographical location, device type, browser, operating system, and much more.

  • Demographics of your audience (e.g., age and gender)
  • Interests of your audience
  • Geographic location (language and location) of your audience
  • A mix of new and returning users and engagement levels of users
  • Browsers and networks being used to access your site
  • Devices being used to access your site

Acquisition Reports

to discover how users arrive at your web site

Acquisition reports help to learn more about your traffic if they arrive directly to your site or use a search engine, and how successful certain marketing campaigns attract users.

  • What channels drive the most users to your website
  • The default engagement metrics for each channel (e.g., Bounce Rate, Pages per Session, and Average Session Duration
  • The number of conversions per channel and conversion rates per channel (if Goals or E-Commerce tracking have been enabled)

Behavior Reports

discover how users interact with your site or app

Behavior reports help understand the number of screens seen per session, how long a typical session lasts, or other metrics. The overview report shows you a high-level overview of key behavior related metrics in a visual format, including:

  • Total Pageviews
  • Unique Pageviews
  • Average Time on Page
  • Bounce Rate
  • Exit Pages
  • Pageviews for the top 10 most viewed pages
  • Search Terms data from Site Search
  • Event categories from the top five Unique Events

Conversion Reports

how well your site performs in encouraging users to meet predefined goals

Conversion reports can tell you how each goal that you are tracking on your website is performing. They allow you to:

  • Track user actions on your site that indicate that a business objective is being met (e.g., purchase, newsletter sign up, contact form submission, etc.)
  • Analyze conversion rates (# of conversion / # of users) of overall traffic or different segments of your audience (e.g., traffic via social vs. traffic via SEO)
  • Analyze goal funnels to identify at what stage users give up on completing a conversion

There are 3 categories of reports within the Conversion Reports section in Google Analytics:

  • Goals: These reports offer you an overview of how your site is performing against specific goals that you have set up, showing you the number of goal completions along with the conversion rate of each goal. Note: Goals are not set up in an out-of-the-box Google Analytics configuration. You should set goals based on the specific objectives of your particular organization using a Google Analytics Measurement Plan.
  • Ecommerce: When enabled on e-commerce sites, these reports offer information on your product sales and checkout flow.
  • Multi-Channel Funnels: Give you information on conversions based on channel attribution models, e.g., first touch, last touch, etc.

Conversion Metrics

1. Macro Conversion

typically a completed purchase transaction

Macro conversions (or macro goals) are the actions a user can take that represent the primary objective of your website. For example, in an e-commerce website, the macro conversion is likely to be making a purchase.

2. Micro Conversion

completed activity, such as email signup, that indicates that the user is moving towards a macro conversion

Micro conversions (or micro-goals) are actions that a user takes that are either:

  • Critical on the path towards reaching a macro conversion
  • Or highly correlated with reaching a macro conversion, even if it is not a necessary step in the macro conversion

3. Bounce Rate

the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking an action

Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

Bounce Rate is important for three main reasons:

  1. Someone that bounces from your site (obviously) didn’t convert. So when you stop a visitor from bouncing, you can also increase your conversion rate.
  2. Bounce Rate may be used as a Google Ranking Factor. In fact, one industry study found that Bounce Rate was closely correlated to first-page Google rankings.
  3. A high Bounce Rate lets you know that your site (or specific pages on your site) has issues with content, user experience, page layout, or copywriting.

According to a report on, the average Bounce Rate range is between 41 and 51%.

4. Conversion rate

the total number of people who visited the site and multiply it by 100%.

Basically, a conversion is a measurable action that progresses a potential customer to become a paying customer. The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website or landing page that convert depending on your business goals. A “conversion” could be almost anything, but here are a few common types of conversions:

  • Making a purchase
  • Submitting a form (contact us form, lead gen form, etc.)
  • Calling your business
  • Engaging with your online chat
  • Signing up for a subscription (either paid or free — like a newsletter)
  • Registering on the site
  • Downloading something (software trial, eBook, mobile app, etc.)
  • Using something (new/advanced feature on your software or app, simply using your software/app for a certain amount of time)
  • Upgrading their service
  • Engaging with your site in some way (time on site, repeat visits, number of pages visited)

(Total no of conversions / Total no of visitors) x 100

5. Cost Per Conversion

the total cost paid for an advertisement in relation to the success

Cost per conversion (CPC) is one of the easiest ways to determine how well your ad campaigns are doing.

If your cost per conversion is too high, it could mean something is wrong with your ads. You could be targeting the wrong audience, or maybe your ad copy isn’t captivating enough.

In the same way, a lower conversion rate could mean your ads are well optimized for your target audience. Hence they convert easily.

Cost per conversion is calculated by taking how much money is spent on an ad campaign, divided by the number of conversions (customers) over the same period.

Cost per conversion = Total cost of ads/number of conversions

6. Event Trigger

Event tracking in Google Analytics tracks users’ interactions (known as ‘events’ or ‘event hits’) with your website elements. Event tracking collects data like:

  • Total events and average events per session
  • Total events based on event categories and individual events
  • Session data (like session duration and pages per session) for events and event categories
  • Ecommerce data (like average order value and e-commerce conversion rate) for events and event categories

7. Value per Visit or Revenue per Visit

Total Revenue / Total no of Visitors

The total value per visit is a website metric that helps you better understand how much value you are getting out of visitors.

8. Exit Pages

The metric referring to the number of times visitors have left a site from a single page.

The exit page is the last page a visitor views before they leave your website. In simple words, it shows how many people exit from a particular webpage.

9. Unique Pageview

shows the number of sessions a specific page was viewed at least once

The unique page views metric shows how many unique users visited a particular page, while the page views metric shows the total number of times a page was viewed (can include multiple views from the same user session)

Customer Journey Funnel

Marketing hourglass
  1. Awareness — Attracting new people who are currently unaware of your brand.
  2. Consideration — Standing out among your competition so that new audience members remember you.
  3. Action — Compelling your audience to take action and make a purchase.
  4. Engagement — Using social media to stay top-of-mind and keep your audience engaged after they’ve purchased.
  5. Advocacy — Building enough trust with your audience that they want to recommend you to others.

Attribution Model

An attribution model is a rule or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.

Understanding Attribution Model

Identifying the source that is responsible for the sale, whether Facebook, email, or organic search, is called Attribution. Attribution can be complicated when dealing with multiple channels.

Google Analytics has a total of seven default Attribution Models already built into the platform:

1. Last-Touch Attribution

In this type of Attribution Model, 100% of the conversion’s credit is given to the last ad channel that the user interacted with, regardless of the number of interactions the user had made with the brand before conversion.

2. First-Touch Attribution

This is the opposite of the last-touch Attribution Model. It gives all credit to the first point of contact between the customer and the marketing channel.

3. Linear Attribution

In this type of Attribution Model, credit for the conversion is divided evenly across all the user's channels in his path to conversion.

4. Time-Decay Attribution

In this model, more weight is given to the more recent points of contact. The last point of contact gets more credit, followed by the second last point of contact, and the credit continues to decline up the line until the first point of contact, which gets the least amount of credit.

5. Position-Based Attribution

This model gives the highest weight to the start and the finish of the path to conversion. The first and the last touch in the line of conversion are awarded 40% each. The remaining 20% of the touch is then distributed evenly among all the touches in the middle.

6. Last Non-Direct Click

In this model, Attribution is given to the last point of contact that did not result from a direct visit to a website. Google Analytics uses it as the default Attribution Model. This means that if you haven’t changed the Attribution Model in your dashboard, it’s the one your account is using.

7. Last Google Ads Click

In this model, credit is only given to the last touch with a Google Ads product. It becomes handy when evaluating how Google Ads campaigns performed in isolation from other strategies.

Some businesses find the above Attribution Models enough to give them insights and guide their marketing strategies. However, other businesses find them not adequate. Hence, a more customized approach is needed.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

OnPage SEO vs OffPage SEO vs Technical SEO

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO (also called on-site SEO) is optimizing web pages to rank higher in search engines. It includes optimizations to visible content and the source code.

Google looks at your page’s content to determine whether it’s a relevant result for the search query. Part of this process involves looking for keywords.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO includes activities done off of a website in an effort to increase the site’s search engine rankings. Common off-page SEO actions include building backlinks, encouraging branded searches, and increasing engagement and shares on social media.

In other words: off-page SEO is all the stuff that you do off of your site to get Google and other search engines to see your website as trustworthy and authoritative.

Think of it like this:

Your website = on-page SEO

Another site or platform = off-page SEO

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the process of ensuring that a website meets the technical requirements of modern search engines with the goal of improved organic rankings. Important elements of Technical SEO include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture.

Branded Keywords

A Branded keyword is a query that includes your website’s brand name or variations of it and is unique to your domain.

For instance, branded keywords for Google are:


Google Images

How do Google works

Google Drive Storage limit

Google Ads Login


Non-Branded Keywords

Keywords that do not reference a brand name or any part of it (including any misspellings) are considered Non-branded keywords.

Content Strategy

A content strategy (also known as “content marketing strategy”) is an organization’s high-level approach for creating and marketing content. A strategy for creating content includes topic selection, content formats, writing style, design, and promotion.

The content strategy lays out the goals you want your content to achieve, what type of content is best suited to achieve those goals, and how you’re going to create, distribute, and measure its performance.

A content strategy is a holistic plan that tackles questions like:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What are their pain points and needs?
  • What types of content do these people want to consume?
  • Where are they currently having conversations (online or offline)
  • What unique expertise does our brand offer?
  • How can we match our expertise to our audience’s needs?

How to build your content strategy

  1. Set your goals.

2. Identify your primary audience.

3. Define your area of expertise

4. Set the goals of your SEO strategy.

5. Create high-quality content.

6. Conduct keyword research.

7. SEO Analytics.

What other things do you know about Google Analytics? Let us know in the comments!