Google Analytics is a completely free service to collect detailed statistics on visits to Web sites and reporting on it.
Below I have tried to gather data, which you might need to get started with Google Analytics. This is a review for those who are not yet familiar with analytics and it doesn't reflect points that require deeper preparation.
Why use Google Analytics?
Analytics allows you to track users on your Web site in detail and to collect statistical data. The ability to compile these data records, as well as integrate with other Google products (AdSense, AdWords, Sheets and others), plus fact, that service is free, make its use advantageous in every respect.
One of the basic tools of Analysis are the Dashboards. You can create your own, which will contain the necessary widgets with metrics. You can export these Dashboards to PDF format and configure the schedule to automatically send on your or clients emails.
If you are going to use any analytics tools often, applying different filters and segments, you can save time and save your settings in the form of shortcuts. In this case it will be enough just to select the shortcut next time and all required segments and other settings will automatically appear.
At Intelligence Events tab you can observe trends in the form of automated alerts, as well as customize your own, in order to respond to changes in the behavior of your audience.
This tab allows you to monitor events on the website in real time, as well as the following metrics: number of active users, geographic location of visitors, keywords and websites-referrers, conversions, active pages.
By default, when you attempt to view statistics for your site, the "Audience Overview" tab is opened, where you can view the latest data on the number of users who visited your site, on how many pages they viewed, average duration of their visits and other useful metrics.
In the drop-down menu at the upper right corner you can choose the time period for which you want to view the statistics. There you can select the option "Compare to", which will help you understand – is it better or worse your case is going by comparing, for example, with the previous month.
Located on the left side there is a main menu with a variety of topics where you can find information about your audience, traffic sources, user behavior on your website, reached goals, conversions and much more.
Also here you can see an Overview Graph, to which you should pay more attention because of one additional function – annotations.
If every time, when you will have an important event (publication on the well-known resource, the beginning of the campaign), you will write an annotation about this, then in the future it will be much easier to take advantage of retrospective and figure out which campaign worked for you better, which links give greater effect and so on.
In this section you will be able to analyze traffic through the channels, AdWords ads, search, social networks and other sites. Overview of Acquisition will allow you to find out — what channel works for you better than others and why.
Section is named so not by chance. Here collected all that reflects the reactions and actions of users on the website, as well as something that could affect them. For example: the download speed of your pages, average time on page, the bounce rate, the landing pages and exit pages from which people often leave your website, statistics on internal site search, tracking of events, which people commit (filling out forms, clicks on the links), tracking experiments (a/b tests) and so on.
Last, but not least – Conversions section. This is the place where such information centralized, as: how much money you earned, what goals had been achieved, ways by which users achieved these goals.
Hope you are interested now, and at least want to try and see what is hidden in the lit sections of Google Analytics. Register, it's free: https://www.google.com/analytics/
If you have any questions or wishes to supplement this review – feel free to write comments and I will help you gladly with issues about this wonderful tool!