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All about Google Analytics

Google analytics textWhat is Google Analytics (GA)?
As the name suggests GA is free and easy to use analytical software generating detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. Google does provide Google Analytics Premium service for high end business service and support.

Why do we need Google Analytics?
We need the GA to monitor the website popularity by getting the visitors count, track and monitor activity and transactions, get the demographics of the users, research on the business directions and growth path and so much still more to get out of this application. Google provides a dashboard and tools for the users to research and monitor their analytics data.

Google Analytics Dashboard Page

Google Analytics Dashboard Page

Google Analytics can measure:

  • Who is visiting the website?

           Characteristics of the visitors: Browser, new vs returning visitors, language, region

  • How are people finding the website?

            Traffic types: Referral, keywords, direct, organic, feed etc

Google Analytics visit by Countries

Google Analytics visit by Countries

  •  Where are visitors visiting from?

              Visits: Origin of the visitors, Browsers, OS, Mobile users, refers, pages

  •   What do the people do in the website?

The pages in the website which are most viewed the landing pages which are most popular etc.

How to get associated to Google Analytics?
To get associated with Google Analytics we need to create a Google Analytics account.

Create Google Analytics Account

Create Google Analytics Account

Now link the Google Analytics account to your website.

Google provides unique Tracking ID: UA-XXXXXXXX-X for your website. You can link this tracking Id with one main domain and multiple sub domains. Google Analytics works with the help of the page tags which is called Google Analytics Tracking Code. This is a small piece of Java script code which the user adds on to their website pages for tracking the visitor behavior in the website and sends them to the Google Server.

GA Sample Tracking Code

GA Sample Tracking Code

In order to get the JavaScript click on the Tracking Code tab. Google provides the following JavaScript code which needs to be pasted in the every page which needs to be tracked inside the <head> Tag.

%MINIFYHTML652a571287af3bb68df02e030f26e0d024%

How Google Analytics work?

When a visitor accesses any section of your website (e.g. www.abc.com) a request is made to the Webserver to display the page.The Webserver processes the request and sends back the response to the browser.

When the visitor’s browser loads the page it executes the JavaScript GA tracking code present in that webpage.
The main logic of the JavaScript GA Tracking code is present in the trackPageView() function.

Google Analytics Architecture

Google Analytics Architecture

Google Analytics now extract user cookie values. It updates / creates the cookies as necessary and collects all the appropriate metrics for further processing.
The web page sends the request to the Google Analytics Server where the data is processed.
After the processing all the data then forms the part of the Google Analytics Report.

This data is finally available for user’s view in the user’s Dashboard. This is indeed very straight forward process and GA is one of the leading free analytics tool in the market available today.

Please watch this space. In the next session we will explore the Google API and how to use it. Don’t forget to provide your valuable comments. :-P

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