google analytics faq common questions answered

Google Analytics provides a wealth of information about how people find and interact with your website. By understanding your website traffic and user behavior, you unlock the power to make informed decisions about your marketing, content strategy, and overall website design. However, for beginners, the amount of data and technical terms with Google Analytics can initially feel overwhelming. This guide aims to simplify things by answering some of the most common Google Analytics FAQs, empowering you to confidently use Google Analytics to fuel your business growth.

Common Questions About Google Analytics

What is Google Analytics? 

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that collects data about your website visitors and how they interact with your site. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools and reports designed to help you understand how people find and interact with your website. By tracking key metrics like website traffic, user demographics, and on-site behavior, Google Analytics can provide you with valuable insights to optimize your website and marketing efforts.

How does Google Analytics work? 

Google Analytics works in three basic steps:

  1. Code Installation: You place a small piece of tracking code on each page of your website. This code runs invisibly in the background.
  2. Data Collection: As people visit your site, the code captures information about their actions and behavior. This includes where they come from, what pages they view, how long they stay, and any buttons they click.
  3. Reporting: Google Analytics processes the collected data and organizes it into easy-to-read reports. These reports provide insight into how users find and interact with your website.

How do I access Google Analytics?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started:

  1. Create a Google Account: If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a Google Account (like a Gmail account)
  2. Visit the Google Analytics Website: Go to and click the “Start for free” button.
  3. Set Up Your Account and Property: Follow the prompts to create a Google Analytics account and add a “property” (which represents your website).
  4. Install the Tracking Code: Google Analytics will provide a unique tracking code snippet. Copy and paste this code into the <head> section of every page on your website.

Is Google Analytics free?

Yes, Google Analytics offers a standard account that is completely free. They also provide a paid version called Google Analytics 360, designed for large enterprises with more advanced analytics needs.

Can I use Google Analytics for any website?

Yes, you can generally use Google Analytics for any website as long as you have control over the ability to add the tracking code. It’s compatible with most popular website-building platforms such as WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and even custom-built websites.

How to find Google Analytics tracking ID

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Click “Admin” in the bottom left corner.
  3. Under the “Property” column, select the website property for which you need the tracking ID.
  4. Click “Tracking Info,” then “Tracking Code.”
  5. Your tracking ID will be displayed at the top of the page, It will look like this: UA-XXXXX-X

How to give access to Google Analytics

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Click “Admin” in the bottom left corner.
  3. Choose the relevant Account/Property/View depending on the level of access you want to grant.
  4. Click “User Management” within the selected column (Account, Property, or View).
  5. Click the “+” button in the top right corner, then select “Add Users.”
  6. Enter the email address of the person you want to add.
  7. Select the appropriate permission levels (e.g., Edit, Read & Analyze, Collaborate, Manage Users).

What is a “metric” in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, a metric is a measurable data point that helps you understand aspects of your website traffic and user behavior. Some common examples of metrics include sessions, pageviews, bounce rate, and average session duration.

What is a “dimension” in Google Analytics?

A dimension in Google Analytics is a descriptive attribute or characteristic of your data. It helps categorize and organize your website traffic. Think of dimensions as the different ways to slice and dice your data for deeper insights. Common dimensions include:

  • City: The city where the website visitor is located
  • Device Category: Whether the visitor is using a desktop, mobile, or tablet
  • Default Channel Grouping: How the visitor found your site (e.g., organic search, paid search, social media)

What is a “secondary dimension” in Google Analytics?

A secondary dimension allows you to add another layer of detail to your Google Analytics reports. For example, if your primary dimension is “City,” you might choose “Browser” as a secondary dimension. This shows a breakdown of which browsers are most popular within each city on your traffic report.

What is the “bounce rate” in Google Analytics?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website and leave without viewing any other pages or interacting with your content in a meaningful way. A high bounce rate can indicate that users didn’t find what they were looking for, had a poor user experience, or that your page wasn’t relevant to their search.

How to transfer a Google Analytics account

Transferring ownership of a Google Analytics account requires granting administrative access to the new owner and removing yourself. 

Here’s how:

  1. Add the New Owner: Follow the steps outlined earlier (“How to give access to Google Analytics”), granting the new owner “Manage Users” and “Edit” permissions at the ACCOUNT level.
  2. Remove Yourself: Once the new owner is added, navigate to the Account User Management section and remove your own access.

How to check if Google Analytics is working

There are a few ways to verify if Google Analytics is installed correctly and tracking data:

  • Real-time Reports: In your Google Analytics dashboard, go to “Real-Time” > “Overview”. If it shows active users on your site, the tracking is likely working.
  • Browser Extensions: Chrome extensions like “Google Analytics Debugger” help verify if the tracking code is firing correctly.
  • Test a Goal: If you have any Goals set up in Google Analytics (e.g., form submission), try completing the goal yourself. If it registers, your tracking is likely functioning properly.

Master Google Analytics Basics for Smarter Insights

Even grasping the basics of Google Analytics outlined in this FAQ significantly enhances your ability to make data-driven decisions about your website. By understanding your audience and how they interact with your website, you hold the keys to improving marketing, user experience, and ultimately, driving business growth.

As you become more familiar with Google Analytics, consider bookmarking this FAQ as a reference guide. Revisiting these questions will be a valuable refresher as you continue to deepen your analytical skills.