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The ABC’s of Google Analytics

Posted on January 13, 2017 by Jeff Pollard

We’ve talked about the benefits of using Google Analytics on your website in a previous blog entry. However, now I want to delve a little deeper into the kinds of information that Google Analytics can provide and talk a little about how that can help your business make decisions and grow. These three important pillars of Google Analytics can be boiled down into three letters: ABC


Acquisition describes how your potential customer discovered you (and your website). Analytics gives us some great tools to view this acquisition. We can see what channel the website visitor came to the site from, whether it be a referral (following a link from another website), from a search engine (either organic or paid), from social media, or from directly typing in the website’s URL. Google Analytics also allows us to see more detailed information about each of those channels. For example, when viewing traffic that came to the site from a search engine, Analytics shows us which keywords the visitors used to find the site. For social media, it allows us to see which social networks the traffic came from so that we can can gauge which social platform is most effective for your business.


Once a website visitor arrives at your site, the Behavior section of Google Analytics allows us to see how they utilized the site. We can see how many pages the visitors viewed, which specific pages they viewed, and how long they stayed on the site. This valuable information helps us to understand if the content, flow, and navigation are being utilized the way we intended. Behavior also gives us key data about your website’s loading speed, and events that may have occurred, like a file download or a phone number that was clicked from a mobile device.


Possibly the most important information to get from Google Analytics, however, is conversions. A conversion occurs when a website visitor performs the operation that we set up that turns them from being a casual website visitor into a potential customer. Typically, this is when a visitor fills out the website’s contact form, completes the shopping cart checkout process, or clicks an email or phone link. From a marketing standpoint, the goal is for the website to get as many conversions as possible. Analytics allows us to visualize conversions as a raw number as well as on a percentage basis.

Putting it All Together

The beauty of Google Analytics is that when we put all three ABCs together, we get a very clear picture of our marketing efforts and how we can continually improve them. For instance, we might find that 15% of our site’s traffic comes from our social media efforts on Twitter. Of those website visitors arriving from Twitter, most of them are on mobile devices and over 60% of them stay on our site longer than 3 minutes. Even better, around 5% of those visitors eventually fill out our contact form to continue the conversation. Following this path of data allows us to see that our efforts on Twitter are well worth our time and may even be worth increasing. You get the point.

If you don’t have Google Analytics collecting this key ABC data for your business, contact us to find out how we can install Analytics and help you analyze your website’s usage.

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About the author:

Jeff Pollard

Partner, Director of Technology

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Jeff is one of Torx's founding partners and serves as the agency's Director of Technology. He built his first website back in 1996 and has never looked back. Jeff wears many hats at Torx: front-end designer and developer, server administrator, and resident Apple enthusiast.