Setup Google Analytics: Step By Step

Setup Google Analytics: Step By Step

July 19, 2016

When people come to us, most of them are looking to increase their clientele, increase their sales, or make a greater impact. One of the first things we check is to see if they are using any analytics, specifically Google Analytics.

Google Analytics, or GA for short, is a free tool that can be set up and installed by anyone who has a website. It hooks into all sorts of things, like Adwords, but in its simplest form breaks down the traffic to your site, where people came from, and what they did on your site.

Now, this might not be immediately valuable, but think of these examples:

  • Most of your traffic is coming from a single source, either Facebook, Twitter, or referral links from a blog. Wouldn't it be great to know which one?
  • People are on your site, but keep leaving when they get to a certain page. Wouldn't it be nice to know which page?
  • More people are purchasing or contacting you from your site. Wouldn't you like to know how they got to your website?

We suspect that every one of those situations would be valuable insight for any business owner. Ok, great! So how do you get GA? We'll show you.

Requirements

  • Access to the administration area of your website
  • A Google account (Gmail, Google apps for work, etc.)
  • Absolutely no coding experience
  • Ability to copy and paste
  • Google Chrome to make sure you did everything right
  • About 15-20 minutes

Step 1. Get a Google Analytics Account

GA is free and easy to set up, but you need a google account. Simply head over to Google Analytics and in click Get Started under Google Analytics. This will start you on your process to create your account. Follow the prompts, answer the questions, and just keep clicking next.

A few points:

  • You want to track a website, not a mobile app
  • The account name can be anything you want. I suggest the name of your business
  • The website name can be the same as the account if you like. Mine is "Sadlowski Consulting Marketing" just to distinguish it a bit
  • Your website URL should be complete. Double check this before submitting
  • Select an industry from the drop down
  • Change the time zone for your time zone.
  • You can leave all the data tracking features as they are. Feel free to read them though.

Once done, press the big "Get Tracking ID" Button at the bottom.

Woman working on analytical data at a desk.

Step 2. Install your Tracking Code

If you followed Step one, you should now be on a page that looks like below, which includes a big Tracking ID and some code below it. Your ID will look something like UA-12345678-1

Shopify

To see step by step instructions from Shopify Help click here.

WordPress

Login to your website and access the admin area of WordPress. On the left-hand menu, hover over Plugins and select Add New. The plugin to search for is called, you guessed it, Google Analytics. Go ahead and install and activate that plugin.

Once installed and activated, you will be able to find it by hovering over the Settings tab at the bottom of the left menu. It has one field, and that is your tracking code. Go ahead and copy and paste that code in, then click Save.

Other Sites - Header/Footer Code or Javascript

Most other website builders should have either an option for inserting the Tracking ID or for inserting header and footer code or Javascript. Now, the latter option might sound technical, but I assure you, it's still just copying and paste.

We will want to add this code to the header of the page, so make sure you have selected the right area. On the page that contains your Tracking ID, scroll down to the box that says Website Tracking. It will include some text between <script> tags.

Copy everything in that box, all of it. Then go over to your header code area on your website, and paste the code you just copied. It's good practice to double check you grabbed it all.

Once you are sure, save your work on your website and you should be ready to go!

Woman reading data on her laptop screen.

Step 3. Test It Out

So the code should now be running on your site. Let's go and check to see if it is installed correctly.

If you are not using Google Chrome, go ahead and download it. Once you have it open, we are going to install the Google Tag Assistant plugin. Click the link and install it in your browser.

Once installed, navigate to your website and wait for it to load. In your menu bar, to the right, you will see a little blue tag with a happy face on it. Go ahead and click on this, then select Enable. Once you enable, refresh your website page.

Now that you have refreshed, your little tag icon should turn green and have a 1 in it. Clicking on it will show you the specific tag that you have installed and let you know if it working properly. Congrats, you are now getting data through Google Analytics!

Next Steps

The tough work is now over! Sit back, relax and let the data pour in. Give it a few days or even a week or two to grab some data!




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