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.