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Google Analytics Data Collection Guide

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows a precise analysis of the behavior of visitors to a website. The evaluation is purely statistical, a link with the personal data of individual users is not permitted.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is an analysis tool that provides a large amount of information about user interactions with a website in the form of statistical reports. The operator of the website receives important information about how the visitors got to his website and how they got there. Google offers this service to all website operators free of charge. The data collected help to find out, for example, the reasons for which potential customers leave the website prematurely.

How does Google Analytics work?

Using Google Analytics is very easy and does not require any prior technical knowledge on the part of the site operator. It is sufficient to create a user account on https://www.google.com/intl/analytics/ and to specify the website to be analyzed. Google then automatically creates standard reports in which all essential data about the traffic on the website are clearly listed. Advanced users can create individual reports that are specially tailored to their needs.

What data does Google Analytics collect?

The data collected by Google Analytics can be roughly divided into two categories.

Where do the website users come from?

It is not only about the geographical allocation of the users, but also the question of how they got to the website. For example, the following data is collected:

  • Country of origin of the user
  • Do the users use a PC or a mobile device?
  • Do users come to the site via a search engine, and if so, which ones?
  • Do users get to the page via a link from another webpage?
  • Is it accessed from a social network?

Which offers do users use on the website?

The data collected in this category can be individually tailored to the website. Not all possible dates apply to every website. The data collected include, for example, the following:

  • Document downloads
  • Playing videos
  • Length of stay on individual subpages
  • At what point do users leave the website?
  • Are apps used for page access?
  • Are advertising banners clicked?

What does Google Analytics collect data for?

The data collected serve the goal of improving the success of the website by adapting it to the needs of the visitors. Here, too, there are roughly two main themes to be distinguished.

Increase visitor numbers

The data make it possible to evaluate the success of the individual measures to increase the number of visitors and, if necessary, to make corrections. From the site operator’s point of view, it would be critical, for example, if no visitors were to come to the website via a popular search engine. This data can also be used to determine whether the company’s activities on social networks are actually bringing new visitors to the website. It is also conceivable, for example, that the analyzes show that smartphone users close the page very quickly. Then there is probably something wrong with the presentation of the page on small displays or the loading time is too long.

Optimize conversion

The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take the desired action on the website. That can be a purchase, but also a contact. The data provide information on why visitors leave the website again without this action.

Frequently asked Questions

Are users individually identifiable?

Google can identify visitors based on their IP address but does not pass this information on to Google Analytics users.

Can Google Analytics be deactivated?

Yes, Google provides a browser add-on that users can use to prevent their data from being recorded by Google Analytics. For more information, read our guide ” Deactivating Google Analytics “.

Is the use of Google Analytics permitted?

Yes, but website visitors must be informed of the privacy policy that Google Analytics is being used. Linking the data with personal data would not be permitted. Since only Google knows the IP addresses, normal users cannot create such a link on the basis of the reports.

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