Google Analytics FAQ

Google Analytics is the industry leader in data-collection and analytics software. Started by Google in 2005, it is now found on 50% of the top 1M websites worldwide, including Twitter, YouTube, and other very well-known ones. Google Analytics collects data on the computers that visit a site and then provides a series of data-based reports organized into four main categories: audience, traffic sources, content, and conversions.

  • Audience tells about the computers that have visited a site, including location (plotted on a world map), behavior, technology, and type of platform being used.
  • Traffic sources give an idea of where a site’s traffic is coming from – either direct, from another site, or from a search engine. For traffic arriving through search engines, the search terms used are given.
  • Content focuses on the site itself. It includes diagrams showing how visitors move through a site, as well as information about the site’s speed, what pages are viewed, and how long visitors spend on those pages.
  • Conversions relate to goals that the site owner specifies. These can be simple goals, such as visiting a page or playing a video, or they can be much more complex goals, such as sharing a page to a social media outlet.
At the Harvard Chan School, we provide access to our Google Analytics data on a per-request basis. We also give hands-on group training sessions to help you understand the data collected and to use those data to develop ways to better organize and maintain your site.

Related how-to documents

Have a question? Need help? or 617-432-HELP (4357)