Setting up Google Analytics is the first step in understanding:
- Who are the visitors to your website?
- What content would you like to see from your company?
- How they behave while browsing your website
The best part? Google Analytics is absolutely free.
Once you have it implemented, you can use Google Analytics to track and measure your company's traffic goals and prove the ROI of your web and social media presence.
However, setting up Google Analytics can be tricky (to say the least). Fortunately, we have a step-by-step guide for digital marketers of all levels that makes it easy and hassle-free to set up Google Analytics.
Before we dive into exactly how to do it, let's take a look at what makes Google Analytics so great.
Bonus: Get a Free Social Media Analysis Report Template That will show you the most important metrics to track for any network.
Why do you need Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a robust and powerful tool that provides indispensable information about your website and visitors.
With more than 56% of all websites using Google Analytics, it's also one of the most popular tools for digital marketers – and for good reason. The tool gives you access to a wide variety of information about your website visitors.
Here are just some of the data you can get from Google Analytics:
- The total amount of traffic your website receives
- The websites that your traffic came from
- Individual side traffic
- Number of leads converted
- The websites your leads were created on
- Visitor demographic information (e.g. where they live)
- Whether your data traffic comes from the mobile phone or the desktop
It doesn't matter if you are a freelancer with a humble blog or if you are a large company with a huge website. Everyone can benefit from the information in Google Analytics.
Now that you know how awesome it is, let's dig deep into how to set up Google Analytics for your own website.
How to set up Google Analytics in 5 easy steps
Setting up Google Analytics can be tricky. However, once you have it set up, you can get a lot of valuable information very quickly.
This is a pure 80/20 – with a little work, you can get disproportionate rewards later.
All you have to do to set up Google Analytics is to do the following:
- Step 1: set up the Google Tag Manager
- Step 2: Create a Google Analytics Account
- Step 3: Set up the Analytics Tag with Google Tag Manager
- Step 4: set goals
- Step 5: Link to the Google Search Console
Let's jump in.
Step 1: set up the Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is a free tag management system from Google.
The way it works is simple: Google Tag Manager takes all the data on your website and sends it to other platforms such as Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics.
Also, you can easily update your Google Analytics code and add tags without manually writing code in the back end. This will save you time and headaches.
For example, let's say you want to keep track of how many people clicked a PDF downloadable link. Without Google Tag Manager, you will have to manually change all of the download links to do this. However, if you have Google Tag Manager, you can simply add a new tag to your Tag Manager to keep track of downloads.
First you have to Create an account on the Google Tag Manager dashboard.
Enter an account name and click Next.
You will then set up a container, According to Google, this is essentially a bucket that contains all of the “macros, rules, and tags” for your website.
Give your container a meaningful name and select the content type to which it should be assigned (web, iOS, Android or AMP).
This is the code that you will put in the back end of your website to manage your tags. To do that, Copy and paste the two code snippets on each page of your website. As indicated in the instructions, you need to use the first in the header, and the second after opening the body.
If you are using WordPress, you can do this simply by adding the two pieces of code into your WordPress theme.
Pro tip: You can make this process even easier by installing and activating the plugin for inserting headers and footers for WordPress (or an equivalent plugin for other types of websites). This way you can add any script to the header and footer throughout your website, but you only have to copy and paste it once.
Once that's done, you can move on to step 2.
Step 2: set up Google Analytics
As with Google Tag Manager, you want this too Create a Google Analytics account with Registration on the GA website.
Enter your account and website name and the website URL. Also, make sure you also select the industry category of your website and the time zone you want the reporting to be in.
The tracking ID is a sequence of numbers that tells Google Analytics to send analytics data to you. This number looks like UA-000000-1. The first set of numbers (000000) is your personal account number and the second set (1) is the property number associated with your account.
This only applies to your website and your personal information. Do not give the tracking ID to third parties publicly.
Once you have the tracking ID, you can move on to the next step.
Step 3: Set up the Analytics Tag with the Google Tag Manager
Now, let's learn how to set up specific Google Analytics tracking tags for your website.
Go to your Google Tag Manager dashboard and click Add a new day Button.
You will be taken to a page where you can create your new website tag.
On this you will see that you can customize two areas of your tag:
- Construction. Where is the data collected from the day going.
- Trigger. What kind of data do you want to collect?
Click on that Tag configuration button to select the type of tag you want to create.
You want to select the "Universal Analytics" option to create a tag for Google Analytics.
Once you click on it, you can choose the type of data that you want to track. Do this and then go to "Google Analytics Settings" and select "New variable …”From the drop down menu.
You will then be directed to a new window where you can do this Enter your Google Analytics tracking ID. This will send your website's data straight to Google Analytics where you can see it later.
Then go to the "Trigger" section to select the data you want to send to Google Analytics.
As with the configuration, click on Trigger button to be sent to the Select Trigger page. From here click on All sites This is how data is sent from all of your websites.
When all is said and done, your new day should look something like this:
Now just click on save up and voila! They have a new google tag tracking and are sending data about your website to your google analytics page!
We're not done yet, however. You still have to set your goals – which will lead us to …
Step 4: set up Google Analytics goals
You probably know the key performance metrics for your website and business, but you don't know Google Analytics.
This is why you need to tell Google what your website is doing for success.
To do this, you need to set goals in your Google Analytics dashboard.
First click on Admin button in the lower left corner.
Once you do that, you will be redirected to another window where you will find the "Destinations" button.
Click that button and you will be taken to the Goals dashboard where you can create a new goal.
From here, you can browse through various goal templates to see if one fits your intended goal. You also need to choose the type of destination you want. They include:
- Target. e.g. if your goal was for your user to reach a specific webpage.
- Duration. e.g. If your goal was to get users to spend a certain amount of time on your website.
- Pages / screens per session. e.g. If your goal was to get users to view a certain number of pages.
- Event. e.g. If your goal was to get users to play a video or click a link.
From there you can define your goals even more precisely, e.g. For example, choosing exactly how long users need to spend on your website to consider it a success. Once you are done save the goal and Google Analytics will start tracking it for you!
Remember: there is a huge amount of data that you can track using both Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. It's easy to get lost in all the metrics you can keep track of. We recommend starting small with the metrics that matter most to you.
Step 5: Link to the Google Search Console
The Google Search Console is a powerful tool that provides marketers and webmasters with valuable search metrics and data.
With it you can do things like:
- Check your website's search crawl rate
- See when Google analyzes your website
- Find out which internal and external pages are pointing to your website
- Look at the keyword queries that you ranked for in search engine results
Click to set up Gear icon in the lower left corner of the main dashboard.
Then click on Property settings in the middle column.
Scroll down and click Customize the search console.
This is where you can start adding your website to the Google Search Console.
Click on that Add Click this button and you will be directed to this page. Click below Add a site to the search console button.
From here you can add a new website to the Google Search Console. Enter the name of your website and click Add.
Follow the instructions to add the HTML code to your site. When you're done with that, hit save and you should be back to Google Analytics!
Your data will not be displayed immediately. So check back later to see your Google Search Console data.
What to do after you've set up Google Analytics
Now there are a ton of different things that you can do with Google Analytics. The world of data analysis and web marketing is literally at your fingertips.
Here are some suggestions for what you can do:
Give your team access
If you're working with a team, grant permissions to ensure that other people can access the data in Google Analytics.
To add users, all you have to do is google the following six steps:
- Click on that Gear icon in the lower left corner to go to the admin dashboard
- Click in the first column User administration Button.
- click Add new users
- Enter the email address for the user's Google Account
- Select the permissions you want to give them
- click Add
And voila! You should now be able to give others access to your company's Google Analytics data.
Link Google Ads with Google Analytics
If your company uses Google Ads, you can now link them to your Google Analytics account so that you can see the entire customer cycle, from interacting with your marketer (e.g. ad impressions, clicking ads) to ultimately achieving goals You set them up on your website (e.g. make purchases, consume content), ”says Google.
Follow the seven steps below to link the two accounts:
- Click on that Gear icon in the lower left corner to go to the admin dashboard
- In the "Property" column, click Google Ads Linking
- Click on New link group
- Click the Google Ads accounts you want to link to Google Analytics
- click Continue
- Make sure that a link is enabled for each property that you want to see data from Google Ads for
- click Link accounts
The "Your Accounts" link gives you even better access to the information you need to determine the ROI of your advertising campaign.
Set up views
With Google Analytics, you can set up your reports so that you only see the data and metrics that are important to you in "Views".
By default, Google Analytics provides an unfiltered view of every website in your account. For example, if you've linked three websites to Google Analytics, they'll all be sent to a property where the data is aggregated.
However, you can set it up so that you only get the data you want to see. For example, you might have a view that lets you see only organic search traffic. Or maybe you just want to see social media traffic. Or you want to see conversions from your target market.
Everything can be done through views.
To add a new view, do the following:
- Click the gear in the lower left corner to go to the admin dashboard
- Click in the "View" column Create a new view
- Choose "Website" or "App"
- Enter a name for the view that describes what will be filtered for
- Select the "Report Time Zone".
- click Create a view
Once you've created your view, you can edit the view settings to filter exactly what you want to see.
5 ways to use Google Analytics to analyze your web traffic
Now that you've successfully set up Google Analytics and looked for ways to optimize it, let's examine a few ways you can analyze your traffic.
In the left sidebar you will find five reporting options that allow you to view your web traffic in different ways.
Now let's take a look and break down exactly what to expect in them.
The real-time report shows you an overview of the visitors to your website at that moment.
The report even breaks down how many pageviews you get per minute per second. You can see where your target audience is coming from, which top keywords you are ranking for and how many conversions you are getting.
While this can be very helpful for larger websites that attract hundreds of thousands or millions of visitors every day, it is not that helpful for smaller websites.
In fact, if your website is smaller and / or newer, this report may not show much data at all. You'd better look at some of the other reports on this list.
Target group overview
This is one of the most powerful reports you can access through Google Analytics. The audience reports contain information about visitors to your website based on attributes relevant to your business and goals.
This can be anything from key demographics (e.g., location, age) to returning customers to more.
They can even really get caught in the weeds and target very, very specific audiences. For example, you can track visitors who have visited a specific landing page for a product on your website and then come back four days later to purchase the product.
This information is incredibly useful for, for example, creating buyer personalities, choosing topics your blog post visitors might be interested in, and customizing your brand's look and feel for them.
Go deeper: Here's how you can create audiences in Google Analytics.
The acquisition report shows you where your audience is from in the world and online.
If you find that a particular blog post is getting high traffic, then you can determine exactly where that blog post's visitors are coming from online. For example, after some digging, you might find that the blog post was published on a relevant Facebook group that really got into the post.
The acquisition report is very important and can help you determine the ROI of certain marketing campaigns. For example, if you recently started a large Facebook advertising campaign, you can see how many Facebook users are coming to your website.
This will better inform you about how to deal with social media and SEO marketing campaigns in the future.
The behavior report shows you how your users are moving through and interacting with your website. In a broader sense, it shows how many page views your website receives in total and how many page views individual pages on your website receive.
This breakdown can be incredibly valuable. It shows you exactly where your target audience spends most of their time on your website, right down to the website. If you dive further, you can see the “flow of behavior” of your users. This is a visualization of the path your visitors take most often on your website.
This follows the user from the first page they normally visit to the last page they normally visit before leaving.
This can be a great way to check your assumptions about how your visitors are reaching your website. If they don't take a path they want (e.g. you want them to go to a specific landing page or product page, but you don't), then you can re-optimize your website to get them there.
You can also find a good breakdown of each page individually in the behavior overview. It shows how many views these pages get, how much time visitors spend on average on these pages and what page views they have. This can be very valuable, especially if you are using SEO marketing for your website.
This is where you can see the effects of all your marketing efforts. It shows how much money you make turning website visitors into customers.
There are three different reports under the Conversions tab:
- Gates: This is the summary of the performance of your goals and conversions. You can view the number of deals along with the monetary value of each deal. This report is also critical because it allows you to quantify the value and ROI of your campaigns.
- E-commerce. Relevant if you have an ecommerce store on your website. It shows you your product sales, checkout processes, as well as your inventory.
- Multi-channel funnel. Gives you an insight into how various marketing channels like social media, landing pages, and ads work to turn visitors into customers. For example, a customer may have bought from you after finding your website on a search engine. However, they may have learned about your brand after being mentioned on a social media feed. This report will help you.
This is a very important report to familiarize yourself with if you are looking to improve overall sales.
Google Analytics is a must have for every digital marketer. You can use it to track the performance of your website along with all of your digital marketing campaigns.
With it you can determine the ROI and learn more about your audience. Without them you are practically sailing on an ocean with no compass or map (that is, very lost).
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