How To Install Google Analytics On Your Website
Keeping track of the content that creates interest on your company's website is an important part of maintaining an online presence. Google Analytics is the go-to solution for website traffic analysis, and it offers a host of tools that allow companies to measure what users are doing online. For most companies Google Analytics will be free of charge, but the downside is the lack of support that Google offers.
If you want to get Google Analytics working for you, there will be some work involved. Depending on how complex your website is and what you want to monitor, Google Analytics can be tricky to install and manage. Regardless of what you want to do, this short guide will show you the basics of getting Google Analytics up and running.
1) Create A Google Analytics Account
The first thing you will need to do is open a Google account, and sign up for Google Analytics. If you already have a Google account for your business, all you have to do is click here. Once on the Google Analytics page, you will need to click on "Access Analytics". Then it is a simple matter of adding your website information. If you are just getting started, you will need to give Google your:
- Website address
- An account name for your website
- Your home country
- Your time zone
- All relevant contact information
Once that is all done, accept the user agreement, and move on to...
2) Access Your Tracking Code
When you want to track the use of your website, you will need to copy and paste the Google tracking code into every page that will be tracked. This is a string of HTML code that Google supplies to you, and you (or your web developer) will have to add it to your website before Google Analytics will function. Just go to the “Overview” page that shows your website accounts, then select the account from the “Actions” column, and click on “Edit”. The Main Website Profile is in the top right section of the page, and you will need to click on “Check Status.” You will find the tracking code underneath "Instructions for adding tracking."
3) Add The Tracking Code
Take the tracking code from Google, and paste it into the HTML of your web page just before the closing head tag. Simple, right?
4) Make Sure It Works
Once you paste the code into your pages, you will need to verify that Google Analytics is actually tracking your website data. To do this, you will return to the “Overview” page that shows your website accounts, and select the account you want to verify. Then go to the “Actions” column and cluck on “Edit”. The “Check Status” icon in the main website profile information box will allow you to see if the code was added correctly. You may want to give Google 24 hours to update their systems before you do too much trouble shooting, as Google Analytics takes a day to update in most cases.
Funnels & More!
Once you have set up your Google Analytics account and properly installed the tracking codes, the real fun begins. Google Analytics is a totally bespoke tracking system, and you will need to create funnels that capture the browsing data that you think is valuable. While the amount of data that this system is capable of collecting is incredible, it is only forward looking. This means that once you have set up your funnels, all other data is disregarded, which makes back testing impossible in most cases. Creating funnels is an art form in itself, so be aware that you will need to acquaint yourself with this facet of the system.
Learn more about Google Analytics with these great articles:
Support Can Go A Long Way
Google Analytics wasn't designed to be simple to use, and there isn't any official support available. This means that unless you are well versed in the system, getting a professional involved is a great idea. What could take you or an employee hours to figure out will be a matter of minutes for someone that has experience, and you are likely to get a far higher level of functionality. At JDR our role is to use Google Analytics to create value for you at every step of the way, to make sure you are in a great position to make full use of your web data.