Unlocking Google Analytics – A Beginner’s Guide

Are you making the most of Google Analytics? As a free tool, it’s hard to beat, serving data that’s extremely helpful for formulating your on-going SEO strategy.

Here’s an introduction to this vital Google tool and some suggestions on how you can use the data to drive better SEO campaigns.

General and Demographic Data

On a general level, you analytics can give you detailed information on your visitors. You can learn from which country they’re originating, for example. You might find users arriving from a country you hadn’t anticipated. This allows you to optimise your site or create special pages for this country.

You also get information on which pages they landed on along with any interactions that ensued. This can help you with the development of your site architecture.

Demographic information including age and gender is extremely valuable in understanding your market. While this information won’t be perfectly accurate, it could alert you to certain trends you could take advantage of. If you find more and more young men visiting your face cream site, for instance, it could suggest a new market segment to target.

google analytics


What browser your visitors may use may be of scant interest. However, you should pay attention to trends in mobile use.

Analytics provides you with three device categories of desktop, mobile and tablet along with related statistics for each. If you find more of your visitors accessing your site through mobile devices, it could be a good time to work on improving their user experience.


One of Google’s methods of gauging website relevance (and thus quality) is that of stickiness. The theory is that if your visitor sticks around, he’s found what he’s looking for. The key metrics here are ‘bounce rate’ and ‘average visitor duration’.

Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors who leave your site having only visited the page they landed on. You can use this information to structure your pages to show related topics that will tempt your visitors to explore further.

Low visitor-duration stats suggest your content isn’t satisfying visitor needs.

A tab named ‘engagement allows you to focus on issues of satisfying your visitors.

google analytics


This section of Analytics has become less valuable since Google began phase out showing the phrases users entered in the search engine to find your site. Instead of valuable keyword data, your analytics account shows an unhelpful ‘not provided’.

Nonetheless, a click of the organic keywords tab provides a sampling of the queries that led to visitors arriving at your site. Also included is data on whether they were new visitors, duration of visit, bounce rate, and more. This is invaluable information.

We’ve just scratched the surface here of the richness of information Google Analytics serves up and the varied uses you can put it to. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts in which we examine the subject in depth.

About Nathanael Vanderkolk

Nathanael Vanderkolk is the Director of the Smart SEO Company, a SEO Agency in Sydney, Australia. Smart SEO Sydney has a keen awareness of the latest approaches to online marketing. Follow him on , Facebook and Twitter.
This entry was posted in Online Advertising. Bookmark the permalink.