What is Google Analytics? How Does it Work?

Previously we wrote about web analytics and why it’s the information dashboard you can’t live without. In this article, we’re going talk about one of the most popular web analytics tools, Google Analytics.

When I worked for a search engine marketing company, we would advise our clients to get this tool and they would exclaim, “I’ve never heard of such a thing!” They would say, “what is Google Analytics? How does it work?”

Maybe you have the same concerns. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

The average business owner isn’t interested in being a analytics guru. They are interested in growing their business and their website is a big part of their plan. But how will they know if the website is succeeding or failing?

Google Analytics reveals the hard truths. So where do you start?

It starts with knowing what Google Analytics is and how it works. Let’s dive in!

What is Google Analytics - AstekblogGoogle Analytics is a free web analytics tool that generates detailed statistics about activity on a website. On its website, Google explains that the system “helps you analyze visitor traffic and paint a complete picture of your audience and their needs, wherever they are along the path to purchase.”

Google Analytics uses first party cookies on each visitor’s computer that store anonymous information. This is what aggregates visitor data into your account. Learn more about cookies from Google itself.


Google Analytics is the World’s Most Popular Web Analytics Tool

How popular is it? According to MarketingLand.com:

  • Google Analytics is installed on over 10 million websites
  • 60% of the top 10,000 websites use Google Analytics
  • 50% of the top 1 million websites use Google Analytics


Website owners have created their accounts not only because it is free to use (and popular), but because it is reliable. You will get a wealth of knowledge about your site, and Google has made this software as simple as possible for you to get started.

How does Google Analytics Work?

Google Analytics is a software that is connected to your website through a piece of tracking code. This is a small piece of Javascript code that is made within your analytics account, like the example below.


The account holder generates this code and then places it into the HTML back end of their site. The GA code needs to placed on every page of your website that you want to track.

Setting Up Google Analytics is Easy

You can get your Analytics account up and running in one afternoon. Here are the steps:

1) Visit the Google Analytics website and create an account.

2) Set up your account to track your property. Add analytics tracking to your website, a mobile app or blog. Each of these has a unique setting that Analytics will walk you through completing.

3) Set up your tracking code. This unique code, placed in the header area of your Javascript code, does the heavy work of collecting data and delivers it to your Google Analytics account.

 It’s as simple as that.

More Help with Google Analytics

Are you nervous about setting up Google Analytics yourself?  Or maybe you set it up but want to know if everything is working correctly.

We’re here to help.  Our expert web analysts want to make sure your Google Analytics is running smoothly so that you get the kind of website data that will help grow your business.



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