Google Analytics is a web analytics tool used to monitor your website's performance. However, it's pretty complex, and most people using it are merely scratching the surface of its capabilities.
One reason for this is that you probably don’t need all the custom reports and 75+ dashboards provided in Google Analytics. If that’s the case, I would advise you to check out more straightforward analytics tools that give you the insights you need but are easier to navigate, such as Simple Analytics.
If you want to use all the complex metrics in Google Analytics to measure your website performance, hang tight:
- How to find pageviews in Google Analytics?
- How to find unique visitors in Google Analytics
- How to find keywords in Google Analytics?
- How to find bounce rate in Google Analytics?
- How to find referral traffic in Google Analytics?
- How to find UTM codes in Google Analytics?
- How to read Google Analytics reports?
- In which order does Google Analytics filter data?
- What are the options for filtering data in Google Analytics?
- How to create a dashboard in Google Analytics?
- How to create a view in Google Analytics?
- How to create a segment in Google Analytics?
- How to create a custom report in Google Analytics?
- How to exclude IP addresses in Google Analytics?
- How to block bot traffic in Google Analytics
- How to export Google Analytics data?
- Final Thoughts
Let’s dive in!
How to find pageviews in Google Analytics?
A pageview is a metric used in Google Analytics to measure the number of times a page on your website has been viewed by a website visitor.
To find this metric, you must first sign in to Google Analytics and select ‘Behavior.’ Underneath this tab, you should see an option labeled ‘Overview.’ Select it to display a graph showing all pageviews for your website over time. This will give you an overview of the number of people visiting your site.
How to find unique visitors in Google Analytics
Unique visitors is a metric used in Google Analytics to measure the number of people who have visited your website over a specific period. This metric is determined by using cookies to track your website visitors.
Assuming you’ve installed Google Analytics on your website correctly, you can follow the steps below to find unique visitor details in your Google Analytics dashboard:
- Go to the Google Analytics website and sign in to your account.
- Click on the "Home" button in the left-hand menu.
- Select the website you want to see unique visitors for from the list of websites in your account.
- Click on the "Reporting" tab at the top of the page.
- In the left-hand menu, click "Audience," and then "Overview."
How to find keywords in Google Analytics?
Keywords are words or phrases entered into the search bar by users to find what they are looking for. By identifying keywords in Google Analytics, you will understand which search phrases lead people to your website.
If you sign in and click on the home button in your account, you can select the website for which you want to see the keywords. When you navigate to the “reporting tab” and click on “Acquisition” and “All Traffic,” you will see a submenu. Then go to “Channels” and click on the “Organic Search” option in the table to find the keywords.
You can also use the Google Search Console to see the keywords people use to find your website.
How to find bounce rate in Google Analytics?
Bounce rate is a metric used to measure the percentage of visitors to a website who leave the site after viewing only one page. A low bounce rate can indicate that the content on the website is engaging or that your website is providing the information or experience that the visitor was looking for.
To find the bounce rate, go to the "Audience" section and select "Overview." There you will find a graph showing visitors and bounces and their percentages. Simply look at the percentage of "bounces" under the chart to see the bounce rate.
How to find referral traffic in Google Analytics?
Referral traffic can be defined as traffic to your website from a specific source. Let's say someone clicks a link to your website on Facebook. Google Analytics will indicate that the visitor was referred from Facebook to your website.
You can find referral traffic by selecting “Acquisition” in your dashboard and then “All Traffic.” Under this tab, you'll see a Referrals section listing all websites linking to yours. You can click on each one to see more detailed information, such as how many visits they sent and the average time spent on your site by those visitors. This can help you identify which sites send quality traffic and which may be less valuable.
How to find UTM codes in Google Analytics?
Sometimes, Google Analytics cannot provide a referrer directly or specifically enough. For example, if users visit your website from a link they clicked in a newsletter you broadcast every week via email. The referrer in Google Analytics indicates‘ email’ or nothing. If you want to know from which specific newsletter issue a website visitor came to your website, you can add a UTM code.
UTM codes are short strings of text that are added to the end of a URL to track the performance of specific campaigns or content on your website. They are mainly used to identify different marketing campaigns or newsletter issues, as in the example above.
To find UTM codes in Google Analytics, start by logging into your account. Once you’re logged in, select “Acquisition” from the left-hand menu. Then select “Campaigns” from the drop-down menu. Now click on “All Campaigns,” and you should see a list of all campaigns with corresponding UTM codes.
You can also view individual UTM code data by clicking on any of the campaigns listed and selecting “Source/Medium” from the left-hand menu. Here you will see a breakdown of each source (e.g., "Google"), medium (e.g., "Organic Search"), and campaign name with their associated UTM codes.
How to read Google Analytics reports?
Reading a Google Analytics report can help you understand how your website is performing and provide valuable insights that can help you improve its performance and achieve your goals.
For example, by viewing the "Acquisition" report, you can see how much traffic your website gets from different sources, such as search engines, referral websites, and social media. This can help you understand which channels drive the most traffic to your website.
If you are viewing the "Behavior" report, you can see how people are interacting with your website, such as which pages are the most popular, how long people are spending on your website, and what they are doing while they are there. This can help you understand what is working well on your website and what areas need improvement.
In which order does Google Analytics filter data?
Google Analytics applies filters to data in the following order: exclude filters, include filters, lowercase/uppercase filters, search and replace filters, and advanced filters. This ensures that the data is processed correctly and accurately reflects your configuring filtering rules.
When setting up filters in Google Analytics, it is important to remember that any filter you create will be applied to all data going forward. It won't affect past data, so be careful when making changes!
The exclude filters omit certain information from the reports, such as IP addresses or user agents. This can help ensure that your analytics reports don’t include irrelevant information. The included filters limit what is included in the reports and can focus on specific events or keywords.
Google Analytics also has lowercase/uppercase filters, ensuring that characters in capital letters are not considered during analysis. This is useful for when there may be typos or variations on how certain words are typed. For example, a lowercase filter would ensure that both “Google” and “google” will be treated the same for data analysis purposes.
The search and replace filter allows you to modify or update existing values in the data by replacing them with new ones. Lastly, advanced filters can be used to apply complex changes, such as removing certain query parameters from a URL or including specific traffic sources in reports.
What are the options for filtering data in Google Analytics?
Google Analytics provides a range of filters that allow you to customize your data analysis. You can use these filters to focus on specific groups of users, filter by source or medium, or narrow down the date range for viewing metrics.
One way to segment your data is with predefined segments. Predefined segments are custom views that let you divide and analyze user behavior differently.
For example, you might want to create a segment that only looks at mobile traffic or one which shows people who have purchased something from your website. With Google Analytics' predefined segments, you can easily target these audiences without manually applying multiple filters each time you view data on the platform.
You can also create custom segments in Google Analytics based on your defined conditions. This is a great way to quickly break down data into smaller pieces and analyze it more closely. For example, you could create a custom segment that isolates users from a specific country or only shows pageviews for content related to a certain topic.
Finally, the Advanced Segmentation feature in Google Analytics allows you to create complex combinations of user attributes and behaviors. This feature allows you to filter data by multiple criteria, such as device type, landing pages, etc. You can save these advanced segments for future use if needed.
How to create a dashboard in Google Analytics?
A dashboard lets you quickly see key performance metrics for your website in one place. You can customize the dashboard to show the most important data to you, and you can access it at any time to see how your website is performing.
First, log into your Google Analytics account and select the website you would like to create your dashboard for. Then, click on ‘Customizations’ at the top of the page. This will take you to a new page where you can create various dashboards based on different criteria such as location, device type, browser, etc.
Once you have selected the criteria for which you want to create your dashboard, click on ‘Create Dashboard’ button on the bottom right-hand corner of the page. You will then be prompted to enter a name for your dashboard and select from various pre-built or custom widgets.
The pre-built widgets include basic analytics such as overall sessions, visitors, and page views. On the other hand, the custom widgets allow you to create a more comprehensive dashboard with data from multiple sources. For example, you can view your website’s performance over time by using a line graph widget to compare total visits, unique visitors, and repeat visits over different time periods. You can also use bar chart widgets to visualize more specific data like geographic location or device type.
Google Analytics is a complex tool that provides multiple dashboards and custom reports that most users don’t actually need. If a straightforward dashboard to view your performance at a glance is important to you, you might check out other analytics tools, like Simple Analytics.
How to create a view in Google Analytics?
In Google Analytics, a view is a set of configurations that determine which data is collected and how that data is processed and reported. When you create a Google Analytics account, you are automatically given a default view, including all of your website's data. You can then create additional views to segment and filter that data differently.
For example, you could create a view that only includes data from some geographic regions or one that excludes traffic from your internal IP addresses.
Creating a new view in Google Analytics is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps:
- Log into your Google Analytics account and click on “Admin” in the navigation menu.
- Click the “Create View” button on the right side of the screen.
- Choose a name for your view and select the website to which you want it to apply (if you have multiple websites being tracked).
- Select any additional settings, such as filters or content groupings, that you would like applied to this view, then hit “Save.”
How to create a segment in Google Analytics?
Creating segments in Google Analytics can be a great way to gain insights into your website’s traffic. Segments allow you to compare different groups of users and measure performance between them. To get started, click on the “Segments” button in the left-hand menu bar of your main analytics report page.
From there, select “+New Segment.” You will now be taken to the segment creation page, where you can begin to craft your segment. To create a new segment, start by selecting a type of user from the drop-down list. This could be all users that visited your website in a certain time frame or only those that completed a specific goal on your site (such as making a purchase).
Once you have selected a user type, you can choose which criteria to use for filtering. For example, you could narrow down the results of your segment by location or device type.
When done configuring these settings, click “Save” and give your segment a descriptive name.
How to create a custom report in Google Analytics?
Creating custom reports in Google Analytics is an essential step to getting a good understanding of your website’s performance. Custom reports let you tailor the data points and metrics to your needs to gain specific insights for your business or website.
Creating custom reports is easy; here are the steps:
- In Google Analytics, go to “Customization” from the left-hand menu. Select “+ New Custom Report.”
- Give your report a name and enter a description (optional).
- Under ‘Type’ select whether you want this report to show ‘Explorer’ or ‘Flat Table’.
- Select the ‘Metric Group’ and the ‘Dimensions’ you want to include in your report. You can add up to 10 dimensions at once, but more than 5 may slow down your report.
- In the Filters tab, specify which conditions must be met for a row of data to appear in your report by setting filters.
- (Optional) As an added layer of customization you can adjust the View Settings with settings such as sorting and comparison options.
- When you're done customizing, click ‘Save’ in the top right corner to save your changes and create the new custom report.
How to exclude IP addresses in Google Analytics?
Excluding an IP address from Google Analytics will prevent data from that IP address from being included in your reports. This can be useful if you want to exclude traffic from your own office or if you want to exclude traffic from a specific referral website.
Keep in mind that once you exclude an IP address, you will not be able to see data from that IP address in your reports, so you should use this feature carefully. Here is how to do this:
- Log in to Google Analytics and select the website you want to work with.
- Click “Admin” at the top of the page, then click on “View Settings” under the “View” column.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the field labeled “Exclude traffic from the IP addresses,” and enter the list of IP addresses you want to exclude.
- Click “Save” to save your changes.
All data generated from those IP addresses will be excluded from your reports. You can also exclude multiple IPs by separating them with commas or spaces (e.g., 12.34.56, 78.90).
How to block bot traffic in Google Analytics
Blocking bot traffic in Google Analytics will prevent data from bots and spiders from being included in your reports. This can be useful if you want to exclude traffic from other automated tools from your reports.
Remember that this feature will not block all bot traffic, as there are many different types of bots and spiders that Google Analytics may not recognize.
To block bot traffic in Google Analytics, start by navigating to the Admin tab. From there, select your view and click on “View Settings.” In the Exclude URL Query Parameters field, enter utm_nooverride=1. This will ensure that any automated requests from bots or spiders are excluded from your reports.
You can also select “Bot Filtering” in the same section. This will allow you to completely exclude all traffic from known bots and spiders from being included in your reports.
Finally, if you want to further customize what is included in your reports, you can use filters to exclude specific IP addresses or user agents from being tracked. You may want to do this if there is a specific type of bot or spider that you want to exclude from your report.
How to export Google Analytics data?
You can save your Google Analytics data by exporting it. This can be useful if you want to create custom reports or perform a more advanced data analysis using the different dashboarding tools. The amount of data that can be exported in Google Analytics is limited, and some data may be aggregated or sampled in the exported file.
To export data from Google Analytics, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Google Analytics account and go to the reporting page for the report you want to export.
- In the top right corner of your screen, click on the gear icon and select ‘Export’ from the drop-down menu.
- Select which type of file format you would like for your data (csv, tsv, xlsx etc.).
- Input a title for your exported file and click ‘Export’ when ready.
- Your data will now be downloaded as a .zip file – unzip it, and open up the file with whichever software suits your needs best!
If you made it to this section of the article, you’ll understand that Google Analytics is a complex tool that provides a wide range of functionalities to evaluate the performance of your website. It’s important for organizations that want to monitor their website performance and want to uncover opportunities to enhance this.
However, to be very honest, you can do so without using most of the functionalities Google Analytics provides. It really depends on your needs whether these are useful. This is also one of the drawbacks of Google Analytics. They created a very complex tool to provide functionalities for the 5% of power users. As a result, they leave the other 95% with a highly complex tool for which they only need a few functions. This is one of the reasons we built Simple Analytics as a privacy-friendly and simple Google Analytics alternative.
Simple Analytics provides the insights you need to measure your website performance in a straightforward dashboard. If you want to see what that looks like, you can check our live dashboard here. If this resonates with your needs, feel free to give us try!