Google Analytics is a very powerful tool that has many features which can be used for deep diving into for data and analytics. In this post, I discuss about:

  • Different options of choosing the date range for getting the data,
  • The different Metrics available
  • High level data points on the main reporting page

Choosing Date Range

Choose the tab “Standard Reporting” when you log into Google Analytics
Google Analytics Standard Reporting tab

You can select your date range using the calendar by choosing custom, yesterday, today, last week, last month. This will allow you to see your traffic trends in the given timeline.
Selecting time range in Google Analytics

The traffic graph would look something like this
Traffic Graph

If you would like to see trends between the past and present, you can select “compare to” in the calendar. This will apply to all your reports and graphs
Comparing time range in Google Analytics

The comparison graph would look like
Traffic graph

You can attach notes to specific dates by clicking on the date or “Create a new annotation”
Create a new annotation

You can view the data by the hour, day, week, month based on the granularity that you need
View data by granularity 


Metric is a measurement. Metrics appear as columns or  are in the graph. The different metrics available in Google Analytics are visits, % new visits, average visit duration, bounce rate, pages per visit, pageviews, unique visitors, visits
Adding metrics

You can select 2 metrics to compare them over time
Comparing 2 metrics over time

Overview Data Points

The front page of Google Analytics Standard Reporting gives you the big picture of the major data points for the time period selected
Overview Data points in Google Analytics 

  • Visit: The total number of visits during a time period. This includes people who might have visited the website earlier. Visit is a period of interaction between a browser and a website. Closing the browser or staying inactive for 30 minutes ends the visit. Counts the total visits during the time period.
  • Unique Visitors: New visitors that have not visited the website earlier. Visitors are identified by a Google Analytics visitor cookie which is combination of a visitor id and time of visit.
  • Pageviews: Total number of pages viewed on the website
  • Pages per Visit: The number of pages that are viewed during a single visit
  • Avg. Visit Duration: The average amount of time that is spent on the website.
  • Bounce Rate: Bounce Rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and leave rather than continuing to visit other pages on the site. Bounce rates is not relevant for blogging sites as folks usually read only a single page (post) and then leave the site.
  • New Visitor: New visitors are those visitors who visit the site the first time during the given time range
  • Returning Visitor: Visitors who have visited your website earlier

Demographics System Mobile Information 

On the main page, you also have high level information about Demographics (Language, Country, City), System (Browser, Operating System, Service Provider), Mobile (Operating System, Service Provider, Screen Resolution)

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