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Blog > Why use Google Analytics?

Why use Google Analytics?

posted on Jul 11, 2017

by Maria Lahiffe

Google Analytics is far and away the best and most-used digital analytics software in the world. [1] What is digital analytics software, you ask?

What is digital analytics software?

Digital analytics consists of data on behaviours such as:

1.      Who visits your website

For example. you can find out:

  • where they are (country and city),
  • what language they speak,
  • what type of device they used to visit your site – phone, tablet, or desktop

2.      What they do on your site

  • How long they stay and how many pages they visit
  • What specific pages they visit
  • Which page causes people to leave the most often

3.      Which time of day gets the most website visits.

This helps you pick the best time to publish your posts

4.      How they got to your website

Examples include:

  • through a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc)
  • social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)
  • a link from another website
  • direct type-in to the browser address bar

You can use this information to improve how you market your site.

5.      How users interact with your site’s content

For example, you can measure how many people clicked on a specific link, or what path they follow to get to a specific page.

6.      … and a whole lot else

In short, digital analytics give you data on how your website is doing. You can use this data to make informed decisions about what to keep and what to change on your site, to make it more attractive to the type of visitors you want.

Why is digital analytics important?

Digital analytics provide you with information to help you make educated changes to your site based on actual data, rather than guesses based on opinions. Once you understand your visitors’ behaviour, you can optimize your website to improve results.

For example, if you sell a product or service online, it is important to understand the paths people take to get to your sales page, and where they drop off. Volunteer Ottawa sells memberships and continuing professional development on our website. A possible path for a site visitor who buys a membership could be:

Homepage > Join VO > New Organization Sign-up > Shopping cart > Billing Information > Payment Method > Credit Card page > Payment confirmation page

Analytics may show us that a number of site visitors drop out of the purchase process at the Shopping Cart or Billing Information page, thus reducing the number of people who complete the purchase process. We could use this information to simplify the process (perhaps by combining the billing information and payment information pages), to reduce the number of steps to purchase. Then we can monitor site traffic after making the change, to verify if it made a difference.

Let’s be clear here: data on its own is meaningless. But used properly, it is invaluable in helping you understand what is working well, what is not working, and what to do next.

Why use Google Analytics?

There are a number of analytics programs to choose from, but Google Analytics is far and away your best choice. Here are a few of the reasons why: [1] [2]

  • It is really powerful, enterprise-class software which is capable of processing large amounts of data very quickly
  • The standard version is free
  • Google Analytics Academy offers free online courses on how to use it
  • It has a clean user interface
  • It can easily be integrated with other Google tools, such as Google AdWords

To get started on using this tremendously valuable tool, come to our upcoming course.

Want to learn more? Come to an upcoming workshop.

Click here for more information, and to register.

Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to all aspects of running a non-profit or a charity. Click here for our event calendar. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.

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Related post:

[1] H. Krpan, "10 reasons why you should choose Google Analytics as your website analytics software," Logit Digital Excellence, 9 March 2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 11 July 2017]. | [2] Y. Coren, "Using Google Analytics to Grow your Business," Analytics Ninja, [Online]. Available: [Accessed 11 July 2017].
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