As a business entrepreneur, how do you ensure that you are achieving your business goals? Well, among other things you invariably require to monitor, analyze, track and access the performance of your business in order to know that your business in moving in the right direction.
Most importantly this aspect holds good even for online businesses and blogs. This means that you have to employ powerful and comprehensive analytics tool that can provide you with essential information for tracking and improving your online business model.
In this context, Google Analytics proves to be a handy tool that can be used to monitor, analyze, learn and improve the performance of your business or personal websites.
Here, I have come up with a Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics Setup that will help you to understand and use Google Analytics in a better way. By going through this guide, you will be able to take full advantage of this comprehensive web analytical tool.
As I presume that you are a newbie to Google Analytics, I have described the essential aspects of this wonderfully useful tool from a beginner’s point of view. Here, you will get to know what is Google Analytics, why you should use it, how to use it and some other important details, as well.
Thus, if you are looking for deeper details regarding Google Analytics or want to learn about different sections of Google Analytics or else want to improve the reporting of your Google Analytics, you should consider yourself lucky as you are perfectly at the right place.
So, let’s get move on and see what Google Analytics has to offer to you.
Table of Contents
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service from Google, which is used for tracking and reporting website traffic. Using this service, website owners can get detailed statistics about the visitors to their website(s).
Some of the important data that you can get using this service include page views, site visits, pages per visit, the percentage of new visits, average time on site, bounce rate, etc.
Apart from providing above statistics, Google Analytics also tracks referral traffic such as search engine, direct visits, marketing campaigns and website referrals. The service was launched by Google in November 2005.
Why You Should Use Google Analytics?
Yes, I fully appreciate your question, and that’s precisely the reason which led me to include this section in this Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics Setup. As a webmaster, it is important for you to know the different dimensions of Google Analytics so that you can take full advantage of this powerful service.
Web Analytics in itself is utmost important for any e-business entrepreneur as it provides you with information and statistics that you can use to grow your business in the online world.
Without Web Analytics, you simply can’t figure out where your business is heading. This means that you remain passive and do not have any sort of control on how your business is performing. You can set goals, but you don’t have any tools to analyze how you have fared in your business campaigns.
This is where Google Analytics Service comes to your rescue. It not only tracks your website traffic but provides you with that extra bit of information using which you can make amends in your overall business strategy. In short, it lets you reframe your e-Business so that you can profit from your whole effort in the online world. And in my opinion, it is absolutely necessary for you.
Here are some of the many questions that can be answered by using Google Analytics. In fact, these are the most important ones for most website owners.
It includes questions such as:
How many people visit my website?
Where do my visitors come from?
Which of the websites sends traffic to my site?
Do I require a mobile-friendly website?
Which of the marketing campaigns delivers most traffic to my website?
What are the most popular pages of my website?
How many leads or customers have been generated?
What content is liked the most by my visitors?
Where did my converting visitors come from and go to my site?
And Much More…
A Quick Glossary about Google Analytics
Before we move on the in-depth coverage of Google Analytics, here’s a quick Glossary of some of the important terms used in Google Analytics. This will help you to understand, comprehend and use Google Analytics to your advantage.
Dimensions: A dimension is a descriptive attribute of an object that can take different values. Some of the examples of dimensions that you see in Google Analytics include Browser, Exit Page, Screens, Session Duration, etc.
Metrics: These are individual elements of dimensions which can be measured in the form of a sum or a ratio. Examples include Screen Views, Average Session Duration, Page or Session, etc.
Sessions: It is a period of time during which a user is actively engaged with your website (within a date range).
Users: They are the ones who have had at least one session within the selected date range. It includes both new as well as returning users.
Page Views: It is the total number of pages viewed.
Pages/Session: It shows how many pages a visitor visited on your site. Here, repeated views of a single page are also counted.
Bounce Rate: It shows visitor moved from your site after single page visit.
Goals: It measures the number of times users complete specific actions on your site.
Conversions: It is the number of times goals are completed on your website.
Acquisition: It is how you acquire users.
Campaigns: With Campaigns you can add parameters to any URL (from your site) so as to collect more information regarding your referral traffic.
Behavior: This set of data helps you to improve your content.
Steps for Google Analytics Setup on Your Website
Before Google Analytics Setup on your site, you will need a Google Analytics Account. You can use your primary Google Account or else you have to create a new one.
Setting up your account and property:
Once you have your Google Account, you need to go to Google Analytics and then click on the Sign in Button. It then shows up three steps that you must take in order to set up your Google Analytics for your website(s) monitoring. Here, you need to click on the Signup Button and then fill out some basic information relating to your site.
It is important to note that Google Analytics comes with hierarchies for organizing your account. In fact, you can have at the most 100 Google Analytics Accounts under one Google Account. Further up, you can set up 50 upto website properties under one Google Analytics Account. And moreover, you can have the most 25 views under one website property.
With Google Analytics, you can rename your accounts or properties as and when you require. As this is a Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics, I assume that you have one website and require one view – the default, all data view.
Moving on, the next thing with Google Analytics is that you can configure where your Google Analytics data can be shared.
Installing the Tracking Code
For this, you need to click on the Get Tracking ID Button. A Pop up will appear listing out the terms and conditions which you need to agree. Once this is done, you will have your Google Analytics Code.
Here, it is important to note that you need to install the code on every page of your website. This will largely depend on the type of website you have. For example, if you have a website which is built with HTML files, then you are required to add the tracking code before the tag on each of your pages.
This can be done by using a text editor program and subsequently uploading the file to your web host through an FTP Program.
Essentially, the installation of Google Analytics varies depending upon the platform used by you, the theme, and also the plugins.
Setting up the Goals
Once the installation of tracking code is completed, you move on to configure your Goals setting on Google Analytics. This is done by clicking on the Admin Link, which is located at the top of your Google Analytics. This will show up the View Column where you have to click on the “Goals”.
This is important as it enables Google Analytics to report when some action is completed. For example, if you are generating leads through a contact form on your website, you will want to furnish a thank you page to your visitors once they have submitted their contact details.
Next, you will click on the “New Goal” Button.
Here, you have to choose “Custom” option and go to click the “Next Step” Button. Then you have to name your goal under Goal Description, and select Destination. After that, you have to click on the “Next Step” Button.
Moving on further, you will have to enter the URL of your Thank You page in the Destination Field and change the drop-down so that it shows “Begins With”.
Then you need to toggle the value key in a specific dollar value for that conversion (This is optional).
Now click on the “Create Goal” Button to complete the setup. As a matter of fact, you can create as much as 20 goals on your website.
Note: As this is a Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics, I have described the simplest of all conversion tracking in Google Analytics.
Setting up Site Search
Setting up Site Search is really very easy and quick. Moreover, it is important as it will provide you valuable information. It is done for websites which have a “Search Box”.
This requires you to run a search on your website. Plus, you need to keep the tab open.
Now, access your Google Analytics and go to its Admin Menu. Here, you will see a “View” Column. Under this column, you will find View Settings. You have to click on it. Then Scroll Down until you find “Site Settings.” Toggle it to “On”. Further up; look for the URL of your search results. Then key in the query parameter and click on the Save button.
This will enable Google Analytics to track searches made on your website. It is important for you as you come to know what your visitors are looking for on specific posts or pages.
Viewing Google Analytics Data
Once Google Analytics is setup on your websites, it takes about 24 hours for it to start getting data. This provides you an opportunity to know details about your website traffic. Once you log into Google Analytics, you will be shown your Audience Overview Report. This is one of the 50 Reports that are available in Google Analytics. There is a “Reporting” link at the top through which you can access these reports.
For Standard Report, you can click on the Home Link at the Top. For Standard Reports, you have the option to change the date range so that you can get data within that date range. You also have the facility to check the Compare Box in order to compare your data from one date range to another.
For getting more information, you can hover over various areas on your Google Analytics reports. For Example, hovering over the metrics will tell you details pertaining to each one of these metrics.
Beneath the metrics, there are reports showing you top ten countries, languages, cities, browsers, operating system, etc., of your visitors. You can click on any of the top ten links to get details.
In short, the deeper you go into your analytics, the most valuable information you will get.
These reports give you information about your visitors. Examples include reports for your visitors on how often they visit your website, what technology they use, where they come from, and many more things, as well.
These reports tell about what drove visitors to your website. For example, you will see traffic broken down by specific sources (All Traffic > Source/Medium).
These reports tell about your content such as top pages on your website, the top entry pages on your website, the top exit pages on your website, etc.
With Google Analytics, you can see how many conversions your website has received. For this, you are required to set up Goals within your Google Analytics. For example, you can see the number of conversions made by visitors from New York in the Audience > Geo > Location report.
I sincerely hope that this Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics Setup proves immensely useful to you. It is specially done for beginners who are new to Google Analytics and want to take advantage of this powerful analytical tool for monitoring, analyzing and improving the performance of their business or personal website.
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