What’s the point of Google Analytics?

In case you don’t know, Google Analytics is a free data gathering and reporting tool. It allows you to discover how your visitors are interacting with your website.

Recently there was a big change with Google Analytics (GA)… They retired their old version (called ‘Universal Analytics’) in favour of their new tool; ‘Google Analytics 4’.
I won’t go into the in’s and out’s of why Google did this… you probably don’t care… but the main thing to know is that it was a big change and required site owners to take an action for a smooth transition.

Since we help our clients with this sort of stuff, we did a lot of these upgrades for them. I was amazed to find that many site owners have never used GA before. It shocked me; because its a free way to find out hugely valuable information about your customers. Data is power!

If you are not a technical person and just want the basics, here are 3 ways you should use Google Analytics to improve your online business…

1. Check your most popular pages

In many cases, your most popular page will be your home page. But working down the list, you may see some surprises…

The Detective Society designs and sells puzzle board games through their ecommerce Shopify website. They were happy to see that a blog post they wrote about how to solve a particular type of puzzle was their third most visited web page. It had clearly been picked up on search engines and was driving traffic to the website.

Screenshot of Google Analytics showing popular pages
Screenshot of GA showing popular pages. Can you make more of these?

This meant that the site owners could:

a) focus on writing more content like this, to grab even more organic search traffic

b) improve the page to ensure it has links to their products. Once customers have finished reading the article, make sure they can purchase a related product

2. Work out how effective your marketing is

There is a section in GA called “User Acquisition”. It shows you where you are getting your traffic from.

If you do a lot of posting on social media, then you should see a high number in “Organic Social”. If the number is lower than you expect, then you might want to rethink the time you are spending on social media, or change your tactics somewhat.

A screenshot showing some sample acquisition figures in Google Analytics
Some sample acquisition figures in Google Analytics

You might also see some traffic coming from partners or other websites, under the “referrals” section. Consider rewarding those partners, or building relationships with new ones, to increase the number of places that send you traffic.

3. Check your device types

Finally, check under User>Tech>Overview to see what devices people use to view your website.

Screenshot showing a pie chart of the breakdown of visitors to a website, by device type
Check your users devices and make sure the site works great on those devices.

If your mobile visits are very high, it might convince you to focus your efforts on a mobile-first approach.

We tend to find that ecommerce stores for leisure items, clothes, games, etc tend to have more mobile visitors whereas business services websites have more desktop views. This is as you’d expect when you think about the sorts of people who might be exploring your business (on the sofa vs at their office desk, for example!).


Google Analytics is very powerful and these are just some basic uses. I would recommend it a must-have for serious digital business owners and anyone wanting to advertising digitally. The data is a necessity.

If you need help setting GA up, or want some guidance on your digital marketing strategy, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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