Measuring your progress is an essential part of any successful digital marketing strategy. Google Analytics is a great free tool for measuring and analysing your web traffic, plus it’s fairly straightforward to get set up. If you’ve never used it before, here’s how to get started…
Sign up to Google Analytics
If you don’t already use any Google services, you will need to create a Google account at google.com/analytics. Ignore all the stuff about premium and sign up for a free account.
If you haven’t used Google Analytics before you will then need to sign up after signing in with your Google account:
How to create a new Google Analytics account
The sign up button should take you to the new account page:
Enter your organisation’s name for the “Account Name” before entering your website’s name and address. Add an industry category and choose your reporting zone and data sharing options before clicking the “Get Tracking ID” button:
You’ll first have to agree to the Google Analytics Terms of Service:
Next you’ll be taken to a page with your Tracking ID, which is a piece of code that needs to be added to every page of your website:
Add your Tracking ID to your website
Now that you have your Tracking ID, you’re ready to add this to your website. Exactly how you do this will depend on how your website is set up.
If you are working with a developer, they will be able to add the code for you. Alternatively, if you are comfortable editing code, you can paste the Tracking ID directly into your HTML, immediately before the closing </head> tag of every page or, if you are using a template, into the page header.
If you are using a content management system, there may be a facility to add the Tracking ID without having to edit the code.
Test your Tracking ID is working
Once you’ve added your Tracking ID to your site, check that it has been installed correctly. When your code is successfully installed, you should start to see tracking data in your reports within 24 hours.
Go back to the tracking code page (Admin > Property > Tracking Info > Tracking Code) and look at the status. If you’re receiving data, then it’s working.
If your status is not receiving data, you have not installed your tracking data correctly. In this scenario, double check your installation and have a look at Google’s troubleshooting page. If you’re still stuck, get in touch, we may be able to help.
You’re ready to go
That’s it, your basic set up is complete! Now you’ll be able to see the number of visitors to your website, where they come from, how many pages they visit and much, much more.
Already use Google Analytics and want to track an additional website? Select “Create new account” on the property column on the Admin tab:
Once you get the hang of the basics, there’s many other things you can track with Google Analytics, including campaign, ecommerce and goal tracking, but that’s something for another blog. One thing you might want to do straight away is exclude internal search traffic, so that your reports aren’t skewed by your staff visiting your website.