How to Properly Set Up Google Analytics for Your Website
06 Sept, 2017
Congratulations on your shiny new website! You’ve just taken a big leap forward towards marketing your business effectively. Now it’s time to sit back and watch the clicks roll in, right? Well, not quite. Having a website is great but if you actually want to track what it’s doing for you, you need to set up Google Analytics first.
If that sent a shiver down your spine, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Google Analytics might sound intimidating but we promise it’s not. Our step by step guide will walk you through the set up process so you can start tracking how many people visit your site, where they’re viewing it from, how long they stay on it, and more. There are several different analytics programs out there but Google’s is one of the best. Plus it’s free!
Alright, let’s supercharge your website.
Step 1: Sign Up
The first step is always the easiest. Head to www.google.com/analytics.
If you already have a Google account, sign in. If you don’t, you’ll have to make one. Once that’s done, return to the Google Analytics page (if it doesn’t do it automatically) and click on the green box that says Sign Up For Free.
This will take you to a final sign up screen that breaks Google Analytics down into three easy steps.
This will take you to a final sign up screen that breaks Google Analytics down into three easy steps. Click Sign Up and we’re off to the analytical races.
Step 2: Set Up
Now that you’ve signed up, it’s time to set up Google Analytics. Things just keep looking up! Here’s the set up screen:
And, after some scrolling, you get to the Data Sharing Setting:
In this post, we’re only going to cover setting up Google Analytics for Websites. If you’re curious how to set up Analytics for a mobile app you’ve created, you can follow this guide from Google.
Let’s get you set up! Here’s what each of the blank fields is for:
Account Name – Use your company name here. You can have/monitor multiple websites in one Analytics Account (up to 100), so make sure this name will be appropriate if you plan on adding more sites.
Website Name – You can use the URL (website address) for your business.
Website URL – Enter your website address just as Google tells you. They’ve already taken care of the http:// so you’ll probably just have to add the www..
Industry – This is optional. Google Analytics has some suggestions for you but sometimes they don’t exactly match. Pick the one that’s closest.
Reporting Time Zone –It’s important to choose the correct time zone as this ensures the way Google Analytics tracks days lines up with your own business day.
Data Sharing Settings – These are optional. Select and deselect as you wish. We usually leave them all selected
Now click the blue Get Tracking ID button, select your home country on the pop-up Terms of Service (which you’ll read in full of course), click Accept and you’re good to go!
Step 3: Installing Your Tracking Code
Easy so far, right? Well this is the part that usually gives people that deer in headlights look but it’s not really that bad. Once you’ve signed up for Google Analytics, you’ll see the tracking code set up screen:
Note: We’ve blacked out the tracking ID in the screen shot to avoid confusion with your own. You should be using your own unique tracking ID for this step.
That code needs to be added to the appropriate section of your website. If you’re using WordPress to manage your site, it’s an easy process. Just install the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin and copy and paste your tracking ID (the UA-XXXXXXXXX-X number) in. A full description can be found here.
If you aren’t using WordPress, it’s still an easy process to get the code onto your site. Here are a couple quick tutorials on how to add Google Analytics to Wix and GoDaddy, two of the more common web platforms. If you use something different, this is what you should do:
1)Copy the lines of code Google is showing you.
2)Go to your website’s (the one Google will be tracking) admin page/dashboard. Often, sites will have a dedicated section for Google Analytics. If not, find where you can enter HTML code and paste EXACTLY what you got from Google before the ending head tag in your HTML code (do a quick search for this by pressing Ctrl+F on a PC or Command+F on a Mac and type in the Find box).
3)Save the edits. Most sites reuse files for common content so you shouldn’t have to paste it anywhere else.
4)THAT’S IT! Google will take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to recognize the code. Once it does, you’ll see Status: Receiving Data next to the tracking ID on your Google Analytics home page.
With Google Analytics installed, you’ll now be able to dig deeper into how people view your website and see which of your online marketing efforts are working for you!