No matter kind of business you own, you should be using Google Analytics regularly to check the health of your site, look for possible improvements, and make your site the best it can be.
It’s a pretty amazing free tool.
That said, Google Analytics can be TOTALLY overwhelming if you’re just getting started. There is a ton of data available, and while that is great news for those who want to understand where their website visitors are coming from and how they’re using the website, if you’re looking at Google Analytics for the first time, it can make you want to give up and never look again.
I’ve got a video walkthrough on how to start tracking your website analytics using Google Analytics.
SO, WHAT IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS?
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. A premium version is also available however the free version will be just fine if you’re getting started.
WHY DO I NEED GOOGLE ANALYTICS?
Do you have a blog or website? Yes? Then you need Google Analytics. Even if your blog or website is for personal use only, Google Analytics is worth setting up. Have you ever wondered how many people actually read your blog posts? Or perhaps you want to know where your website visitors live. Maybe you want to know how visitors are hearing about your website and what pages are the most popular. These are all questions that can be answered by installing Google Analytics. Now, let’s look at how we can get Google Analytics installed on your website.
How to Set Up Google Analytics on Your Website
Firstly, you will need a Google Analytics account. If you have a Google account that you use for services such as Mail, Drive, Google Calendar or YouTube, then it’s advisable setting it up under that account. Otherwise, you will need to create a new Google account.
You will then be presented with a page similar to the one below where you should enter your Account Name, Website Name, Website URL, Industry Category and Time Zone. Click the ‘Get Tracking ID’ button and that’s the first part done!
On the left hand side of your screen you will see an option labelled ‘Tracking Code’ under ‘User Management’. At the top of this page you will see your Tracking ID reference that begins with UA-XXXXXXXX-X. This reference is what connects your Google Analytics account with your website. The next step is to install the tracking ID into your website.
Depending on what kind of website you have, there are a few ways to get the tracking installed.
Showit Website: Showit has a built in integration with Google Analytics and it is SUPER easy to get started. Check out this tutorial to guide you on where to place your Tracking ID.
Squarespace: Squarespace is fairly simple like Showit – it has a built in integration to Google Analytics so all you need is the Tracking ID. Here’s a tutorial from Squarespace that walks you through where to pop in the ID.
WordPress: I recommend using a plugin to install in WordPress. There are a vast number of WordPress plugins available however a simple one is Insert Headers and Footers. Once installed and activated, copy and paste the Google Analytics code(Found under “Tracking), not just the tracking ID, into the plugin’s settings page. It can take up to 24 hours before the stats start to show on your Google Account so don’t panic if you don’t see results straight away.