Setting up Google Analytics will allow you to start collecting valuable data from your website. A free service offered by Google, Analytics will show insights into a website’s traffic and what actions the users are taking while navigating around the web pages.
The first step is to create your account and login simply. Following this link, you will be able to create your account by clicking “Start for free,” or if you already have an account, you can log in by clicking “Sign in to Analytics.”
You will then need to set up the property for your account. The property will represent your website and act as a data collection point for Analytics. This property will need a name and will also require a time zone to be selected. A Tracking ID is produced that is unique to this property, and a Site Tag that will need to be installed on your website. It is also required here to enter the business name and business URL.
Now that the property has been created, it is best to create a new “view” to get a more accurate dataset. Creating a “view” will allow you to filter out your company’s IP address, so it does not skew the data in any wrong direction. Now, when you visit the site yourself, it does not count that within the metrics inside of Analytics. In the “View” column, click “+Create View.” Either website or mobile application will need to be chosen for this specific view. Once completed, the “view” will need to be named and assigned a time zone.
Once all this is complete, you will need to install the tracking code on your website. The tracking code is easily copied and pasted from your Google Analytics account and into your website. The tracking code will be located in the Property column and accessed by clicking “Tracking info” and then the tracking code. Scroll down to see the entire site tag. To add it to your website, copy the whole code displayed into the Google Analytics account and paste it into the head tag on your website. To verify the “tag” is working and tracking correctly, keep a tab open with your website and then go back to the Google Analytics homepage, and the Real-Time report should show that open tab as an active user on your website.
Setting up goals inside Google Analytics will allow you to easily recognize actions you identify as crucial that a user can take on your site. Turning that action into a Google Analytics goal will let you see that data quickly and organized in one place. To set up goals, navigate to the admin setting, and under the view column, click in “Goals” and then “NEW GOAL.”
At this point, it is probably best to choose the “custom goals” option, as this will allow for easy data points of specific actions users take on the website, like visiting a particular page or playing a video. The goal will need a name and additional info to trigger the “goal,” for example, the page the user views; after that, click “save,” and the goal is all set.
If you are also using a Google Ads account, it is a good idea to sync it with your newly created Google Analytics account. Google is now allowed to share data between two applications and better understand how your advertising impacts the users it attracts to your site and their movements. Again, in the admin panel under the property column clicking on “Google Ads Linking” and “+New Link group” will start this process. Next, choose from the options of associated Google Ads accounts that are available to link. Once selected, name the title for connecting the groups and turn the switch on for each property to track in Google Analytics.
Once all these steps are complete, and the Google Analytics account is ready to go. It is now time to share access to the account with other relevant team members. Under the admin settings, click on “Account Access Management.” Clicking the”+” here will open the option to add users. Here, simply enter the email address of the person you would like to add. You can grant multiple permissions levels to each person you invite, ranging from full permissions to just access to view the data. The person will receive an invitation via the email you entered for them with the steps to join the Google Analytics users.
Following these steps will provide an excellent baseline of data and the ability to gather information for any marketing team. When the user becomes more familiar with Google Analytics, there are several additional steps to take and adjustments that you can make their account customized to the unique needs of their business and website.