A Beginners Guide to Understanding Google Analytics

Would you like to make planning campaigns easier and gain more customers through your website or blog?

Google Analytics, an all-encompassing tool, is designed to track everything you will ever need to know about your website including how to improve visitor conversion.

So, what is it? Google Analytics is a web analytics service through Google that tracks and analyzes your website and its performance. Google Analytics is technically free to use, but offers additional features for an additional cost.

Everything about your sites’ visitors is analyzed. Such as where they’re coming from, what they’re looking for, what demographic they fit, what they’re focusing on in your site, and whether or not they follow your call to action.

If you’re looking to learn who your visitors are, how to improve your website, and improve marketing campaigns to gain more customers, then you’re in the right place!

Here is how you can easily learn how to use Google Analytics.

Setting Up Google Analytics

The first step is to set up your Google Analytics account. If you have a Google account, such as Gmail, Drive, or Calendar, to name a few, you can set up your Google Analytics account through your existing account.

If you don’t have a Google account you will need to create one. Don’t worry! It is quick and painless.

Step 1

Google Analytics Sign UpOnce you’re in your general Google account, you will need to add an Analytics account. To do this go to “Google Analytics” and click the “Admin” button to select or create an account.

Step 2

Google Analytics Account Set Up

After you click the “sign up” button, you can enter your website’s information. This includes the site’s name, URL, industry, time zone, and data sharing.

Once this is complete, click on “Get Tracking ID.”

Step 3

Google Analytics Tracking Code

The tracking ID is a customized code specific to your site that allows Google Analytics to track and collect data.

There are several methods to installing the tracking ID onto your site depending on your site’s platform or hosting service. If you’re a blogger, many blogging platforms already have built-in analytics.

WordPress users can navigate to the Plug-Ins page and add the code there. Other’s may need to manually type the script in their site or find what Google Analytics integration their site’s platform/hosting service provides.

Make sure to add the tracking ID to all pages you wish to track.

Step 4

Configure Google Analytics

There are hierarchies in Google Analytics you can use to organize information. Each Google Analytics is equipped with 100 separate accounts, 20 site properties in each account, and 25 views in each site property.

The account is where each property lives and a property is the website or application you plan to track.

Note that you can rename your accounts and properties, but you can’t move a site from one account to another.

Step 5

Google Analytics User Management

Now that your site is installed with Google Analytics, you can customize what you would like to track and who has access to the account.

Goals

Google Analytics Goals

The purpose of the Goals setting is to view what visitors are doing on your website and learn which ones are becoming customers or potential customers.

This is done by including data from lead form submissions, email list sign-up, and/or purchase completion. If you don’t already, you may want to include a confirmation or thank you page where your visitors will be directed to after the sign-up or purchase a product on your site.

You will find the “Goals” button in the “Admin” page. From there click on “Goals” and create “New Goal.” Personalize your goal by going to “Custom”, then select “Next Step” where you will name your goal. Select “Destination” then “Next Step.” Here you will add your site’s confirmation page URL.

Follow these step again to add up to 20 different goals for your site.

Adding UsersAdd Users To Google Analytics

Adding users to Google Analytics is perfect for marketing teams and web designers to share data, collaborate, or present reports.

Add members to your account by clicking on “Admin,” choose the account you’d like members added, then select “User Management.”

Here you can add users by their emails. Set permission for each user. Some users can be set up with ‘read and analyze only’ abilities while others are granted Admin level access to edit and change settings when needed.

Social Settings

Google Analytics Social Settings

If you’re planning a social media campaign, then integrating social media into your Google Analytics is a great way to track social media behavior and learn which campaigns are succeeding.

To do this, go to your Google Analytics account and navigate to “Social Settings.” Here you can add the social media accounts you wish to track. You can’t add the tracking ID code into your social media accounts.

When you want to view what’s happening in your social media campaigns, follow the “Acquisitions” link in the left-hand sidebar.

Tracking Site Search

Tracking Site Search Google Analytics

Anyone who has a search box in their website should know about this handy tool.

With Site Search, you will be able to track visitors’ searches and learn what they’re looking for to better cater your website to your visitors’ needs.

To set up, head to the “Admin” section, go to the “View” column and click “View Settings.” Scroll down to “Site Settings” and turn it “On.” You will need to add a query parameter.

A query parameter is an extension at the end of your site’s URL that defines the specific content, page, or actions based on data that is passed.

To set this in Google Analytics, add a p or an s (if it’s a parameter string) to the query parameter box.

Traffic Sources

Google Analytics Traffic Sources

This section will allow you to track acquisition, or where your site’s visitors and customers are coming from. Data is collected from search engines, social media platforms, email marketing, and links from other sites.

Under “Site Search” click the “Behavior” tab to view which keywords people are using to find your site.

Knowing how visitors are coming by your site will help you incorporate the right keywords in your site content and blogs to improve SEO.

Once Everything is Set Up

Now that you have your Google Analytics account set up and are familiar with a few of its features, you can analyze, learn, and better plan your marketing campaigns and website redesigns.

Granted, what we’ve put together here is only the basic features of what Google Analytics has to offer. As you become more experience with the features of Google Analytics, you’ll be able to view data comparisons of different date ranges, who your audience is, and what is creating the most conversion in your website.

If you find out you need some assistance with the design of your website or improving SEO, let us know! We would love to help your site’s visitors become long-lasting customers.