Google Analytics Basics – An Overview of the Home Page

Need help understanding Google Analytics basics? Google Analytics is arguably one of the most essential web tools in existence. Understanding the basics of Google Analytics begins with knowing how to view your home page. These metrics summarize your site status and point out where you need to improve things and what you’re doing right.

Understanding Google Analytics enables you to optimize your website and marketing processes to effectively meet the needs of your visitors. This tip allows you to focus on the traffic sources with the highest ROI and reconsider the ones with low conversions. Overall, Google Analytics is basically the perfect tool for helping you achieve your business goals.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a marketing analytics tool that provides data about your website. It helps site owners detect marketing strategies that are not working, allowing them to initiate effective ones instead. Using Google Analytics, you can optimize the pages that are not doing well and retain the strategy for pages that are engaging your site visitors. 

The best thing about Google Analytics is that it is absolutely free. As a business owner who owns a website, Google Analytics is one of the necessary marketing tools to have if you want to stand out from your competition. So, you can use Google Analytics to grow your business by implementing the marketing strategy that resonates with the needs of your potential clients. 

Google Analytics basics – understanding the “Home” page

Understanding Google Analytics basics begins with learning how to read the information on your “Home” page. By reviewing all of these features, you can come up with strategies to improve your site’s performance. And with excellent site performance, you will quickly achieve your business goals. 

Audience Overview

Audience Overview is one of the essential features of the Google Analytics Home page because it reveals the patterns of your site visitors. You will find 8 indicators within the audience overview report. They include users, new users, sessions, the number of sessions per user, bounce rate, average session duration, page views, and pages per session. 

An audience overview breakdown is an analysis to determine the areas of your website with high bounce rates and come up with solutions to reduce that parameter. Such a strategy audit will optimize your site and increase the duration visitors spend on your web pages.

Real-time Report

The Real-time Report shows you what is happening on your website at any moment. You will see the number of people currently on your website, the pages they are spending their time on, and the traffic sources of your visitors. You will also learn the countries from where each visitor is accessing your site. 

When you notice a blog post getting more attention from site visitors, you can put it on the front page of your site. This action can help increase the average time spent on your website by your audience. You can also use the real-time report to test the best CTA (call to action) for your most popular product. The type of CTA button that drives more sales within a short time will be the one to settle for. 


Insights is a feature that helps business owners optimize their site’s performance by suggesting meaningful actions based on your website metrics. For example, it detects any anomalies in your website and informs you about it. Insights is a vital feature for ecommerce websites because it tracks the trend of revenues for products and services. It also marks the landing pages with low ROI so that you can replace them with highly-converting ones. 

Acquisition Report

The Acquisition Report shows your traffic sources. Knowing your biggest traffic sources tells you where to invest more money and time to attract site visitors from other channels. With this report, you can understand, for example, which social media platforms to intensify your marketing campaigns on and where to reconsider. You will also learn the types of keywords that visitors used to find your website. Overall, the acquisition report enables you to drive traffic and sales. 

Location overview

The Location overview reveals the countries from where visitors access your site. Google Analytics creates this report using the visitor’s IP address and the ranges of their internet service providers. Location overview is crucial when targeting your potential clients. It reveals where most of your customers are located  and therefore, the best marketing technique to convince them to buy your products. 

When Users Visit

When Users Visit is a Google Analytics feature that indicates when a person returns to your site.The return-users metric shows if you are providing valuable content to your audience. It also reveals the time of the day or week when most users visit your website. You can decide to upload content during such periods to get maximum traffic and engagement.   

Pages Report

The Pages Report provides information about each page on your website. It reveals how many times a page was viewed, the average duration spent on that page, its bounce rate, and the number of people who exited the website through that page. It also reveals the number of people who entered your website through that page. The pages report shows you the pages with engaging content, and the pages that need improvement because they have high bounce rates. 

Active Users Report

The Active Users Report reveals the number of visitors that were active on your site over a specified period. It shows the retention rate of your website by indicating the number of times a user returns to your website within a specified duration (weekly or monthly). The active users report is helpful when monitoring the performance of a promotional campaign. You can also notice the number of people who visit the page consistently over a particular time. 

Mobile and Desktop Use

The Mobile and Desktop Use feature reveals the number of people who accessed your website using either a mobile device or a desktop. In some cases, mobile devices create more traffic compared to desktops, and websites that are not mobile-friendly may be affected in Google Search Engine rankings for mobile searches. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly to increase the amount of time mobile users spend on your site. Doing this may encourage desirable actions such as joining an email list or purchasing your product.  

User Retention

User Retention reveals the number of users who consistently visit your site over a specific period either weekly or monthly. This feature is closely related to the Active Users Report and can be used by marketers to measure the level of engagement of your content. If you have a small percentage of user engagement, then you should change your content strategies to meet the needs of your target audience. Generally speaking, the better user retention you have, the more likely it is that website visitors will become customers. 


Goals allow you to track specific visitor interactions on your site including ebook downloads, time spent watching videos, and button clicks. Once a visitor performs such an action, then Google Analytics marks it as a conversion. 

For every interaction, there are 4 types of goals: Destination, Duration, Pages, and Events. The Destination Goal tracks when a visitor lands on a specific page, like the Add to Cart page. The Duration Goal shows how long a visitor stays on your website. This helps you understand your site’s level of engagement. The Pages Goal shows the number of pages a user visits before exiting your website. Finally, the Events Goal tracks a particular event such as form submission, downloading a resource, or even time spent watching a video. 

Harness the power of Google Analytics to grow your business

Now that you have learned the Google Analytics basics, are you ready to use them to achieve your business goals? We are Google Analytics experts ourselves. We can help you attract more potential clients by providing effective content strategies based on your site’s metrics.

At IDI, our team of experts will help learn how to leverage your site’s Google Analytics metrics to increase user engagement. We can use the data from your Google Analytics home page in a strategy audit to determine the best marketing techniques for your website. We are here to help you expand your business by creating the right content to give your potential customers. Get in touch with us! 

Published by Adriana Stein

on April 30, 2020

Adriana Stein is an Online Marketing Consultant based in Hamburg, Germany. Originally from the US, she is a native English speaker and specializes in helping companies with their SEO & content marketing strategies, along with graphic design, brand copy and website development.

Connect with Adriana on LinkedIn

IDI's portfolio

Let's Connect To Discuss Your Requirements


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Other Articles That May Interest You

how to calculate seo roi

How to Calculate SEO ROI

In a rapidly evolving field like digital marketing, there’s always a new channel or tactic to explore. But one strategy ...
Read More
how to hire an seo expert

How to Hire an SEO Expert

As marketers, our job is to let our ideal audience and customers know that our company exists. In an online ...
Read More
why your business needs SEO

10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your business attract your ideal audience, educate and prime them for purchase, and build brand ...
Read More