Having Google Analytics installed on your website is integral to your online marketing efforts. Not only does it allow you to see how much traffic is coming to your site, but it allows for the tracking of which keywords, regions, and traffic sources brought visitors to your website, allowing for more tailored efforts in your online marketing campaigns. Many sites, however, do not have Google Analytics installed on them. Here’s an easy walkthrough for setting up the service on your website.
Create A Google Account
If you already have one then you’re good to go, but if you don’t already have a Google Account, simply go to accounts.google.com/signup and create an account. It takes about 3 minutes at the most.
Create a Google Analytics Account
Go to Google.com/Analytics to begin the process of creating your account and click on the orange button that says “Create an Account”. It will most likely ask you to login to your Google Account again, so do so at this time. From there, click the grey button the right that says “Sign Up”.
Fill In the Fields
Input your relevant information into each of the fields on the screen. They are:
- Account Name: This is what you want the account to be called. If you don’t put anything here it defaults to the URL, or you can specify something like a company name if you prefer.
- Input URL: This is the URL of the site you want to track.
- Set Local Time Zone: This has no impact on the data that Google Analytics will track, but it does impact how the data is presented to based on days. Set this to the local time zone of whomever will be reviewing the data, even if you do business outside that time zone.
- Select Industry: This also has no impact on the data that Google Analytics will track, but does give opportunities for custom reporting based on your industry.
After you’ve filled in all the fields, click to agree to the terms at the bottom of the page.
Install the Tracking Code
The tracking code that Google Analytics gives you is unique to your website. It can be installed in a few different ways, depending on your website.
If you have a WordPress website, there’s a plugin that does all of the work for you. Google Analytics for WordPress (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/) allows you to just input the UA code that Google provides you and does the work of installing the code on every page of your website. If your site is built on WordPress this is the best way to set up Analytics on the site.
If you don’t have your site built on Wordpress, take the snippet of code from the bottom of the page and copy and paste it onto every page of your site that you want to track (which should be every page), just above the tag at the top of the page. This requires you to have FTP access to your site and may be something you want your website designer/developer to do for you.
Verify Google Analytics is collecting data.
Once you’ve installed the code, it may take Google up to a day to start displaying results. Be sure to check back to verify that data is being collected.
Sit Back and Let the Data Come In
Once the code has been installed on all pages of the site Google will start tracking the data. The whole process should take about 10-15 minutes (more if you have to manually install the code on every page of your site), but is incredibly important for tracking visitors to your site and maximizing your online opportunities.