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Setting up Google Analytics on Your Website

Google Analytics is an absolute must-have analytics platform that helps you gain deep insight into how visitors interact with your website. If you have a website that isn’t running Analytics or you’re in the process of building a new website, you need to set it up ASAP. All it takes is a few minutes of your, or your developer’s time, and you can start collecting data on your website and marketing efforts’ performance. This data is invaluable in helping you make the right decisions for the long term sustainability of your business.

Just follow the steps below to set up Google Analytics on your website and you’ll be up and running in no time!

Quick disclaimer: This article was written on 10/6/19. Google may have changed their Analytics dashboard since this article was published. If they have, please let me know in the comments section below (in case I haven’t seen it yet) so I can update the article!

Setting up Google Analytics on Your Website

There are three main steps to getting Google Analytics up and running on your website.

  1. Adding your domain to a new / existing Google Analytics account
  2. Implementing the analytics tracking code on your website
  3. Verifying that the tracking code is collecting data

Using a New Google Analytics Account

The following steps will cover how to set up an account from scratch. This is for those of you who don’t have Analytics on your website and don’t currently have an Analytics account. If you already have an account and you want to add another site to it, skip to the next section.

  • Go to google.com/analytics
  • Click on Start for Free.
  • Create your Analytics account.
  • Click on Sign up.
  • Fill out the Account Name field. We recommend that you use the main domain name in case you want to monitor multiple sites down the road.
  • Choose your desired Account Data Sharing Settings. You don’t need them all checked, but the two we recommend stay checked are Google Products & Services and Benchmarking.
  • Click Next.
  • Make sure that Website is selected.
  • Click Next.
  • Enter your Website Name and Website URL.
  • Select the closest Industry Category to your website’s product / service offering.
  • Select your Reporting Time Zone.
  • Click Create.
  • Accept the Terms of Service.
  • And that’s it!

Using an Existing Analytics Account

  • Log into your Google Analytics account.
  • Click on Admin.
  • Click on Create Account.
  • Fill out the Account Name field. We recommend that you use the main domain name in case you want to monitor multiple sites down the road.
  • Choose your desired Account Data Sharing Settings. You don’t need them all checked, but the two we recommend stay checked are Google Products & Services and Benchmarking.
  • Click Next.
  • Make sure that Website is selected.
  • Click Next.
  • Enter your Website Name and Website URL.
  • Select the closest Industry Category to your website’s product / service offering.
  • Select your Reporting Time Zone.
  • Click Create.
  • Accept the Terms of Service.
  • And that’s it!

Add the Tracking Code to Your Website

You have successfully set up your website in analytics, but that doesn’t do much. You need to start tracking data on your website so it can be tracked in your analytics account. To do that, we have to put the Google Analytics code on your website and there are a few ways to do it.

Full disclosure, some of these methods require some development experience or access to the back-end of your website. If you’re not comfortable doing this or you have a web developer on staff, let them handle it. Just send them your account information and this process so they can get you up and running.

Add it Manually

This method of putting analytics on your website requires some development experience or some familiarity with the platform that manages the back end of your website. If you

  • Log into your Google Analytics account.
  • Click on Admin
  • Under Property (the middle column), click on Tracking Info.
  • Click on Tracking Code.
  • Copy the code in the block under Global Site Tag. It will resemble what’s in the image below, except your code will have the correct Tracking ID which is at the top of the page.
google analytics tracking code example
  • You can either send this code to your Developer or do the next steps yourself.
  • Access the back end of your website and locate the resource that governs the <head> section of your site. Typically, the resource will start with header and have a file name suffix for the language your site is written in. Example: WordPress is written in PHP so the file that governs the header is header.php
  • Paste the tracking code immediately following the opening <head> tag so it’ll be on every page of your website.
  • Save the resource and upload it if your platform does not automatically update upon file save.

Use a Plugin (WordPress)

WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world so chances are pretty good that you’re trying to install analytics on a WordPress website. If you are, you’re in luck! Just follow the steps below.

  • Log into your website.
  • Click on Plugins in the admin navigation menu.
  • Click on Add New
  • Search for Google Analytics and search for Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics. Feel free to choose an analytics plugin of your choice. The rest of the process will deal with setting up this one.
google analytics plugin for wordpress
  • Click Install Now.
  • Once it has finished installing, click Activate.
  • Click on Settings for this plugin.
  • Then, click Authorize Plugin.
  • Click Get Access Code.
  • Log into the email account that manages your Google Analytics account.
  • Click Allow to let this plugin communicate with analytics.
  • Copy the code on the following screen and paste it in the Access Code box.
  • Click Save Access Code.
  • Verify that the correct View is selected under General Settings.
  • If it is, click Save Changes.

Verify that Google Analytics is up and Running

This is actually very simple. There really ins’t much to it.

  • Log into your analytics account.
  • Click on Realtime in the left navigation bar.
  • Click on Overview.
  • In a new tab, go to your website.
  • Go back to analytics in the previous tab.
  • If it’s up and running properly, you’ll see a visitor on your website. That’s you!
  • If the visitor count stays at zero, go back through the process to make sure you followed all the steps correctly.

Recap

We can’t stress how important it is for you to collect and track data about how your visitors interact with your website. Every tweak or edit you make on your website needs to be backed by supporting data and Google Analytics is a great way to get that intel.

Different agencies like to use different analytics platforms and some choose to not use Google Analytics, but here’s the deal. Google Analytics is free, it’s easy to implement, and it can do more than what most businesses need. If you’re working with an agency that uses their own analytics suite, let Google Analytics run in tandem with theirs to

We hope that this article helped you get analytics up and running on your website. If you have questions about marketing your website, if you want to build a new website, or you just need a second set of eyes, get in touch to set up a time to chat!

Kenny Empey

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