This is an update of a post about Google Analytics that was originally published in 2009. To see the original, click here.
Google Analytics is the best way to track traffic to your website. It will tell you where in the world your visitors are from, the route they take to your site, how long they stay, whether they convert and much, much more. Analytics is free to install so if you haven’t already done so, what are you waiting for:
1. First of all you will need a Google account. If you are using gmail you can use those login details and if not, sign up for an account then proceed to check in with Google – click on the sign up button to get started.
2. Choose the ‘Website’ option.
3. Enter your Account Name. URL, timezones, industry category and click the applicable data sharing terms then click on the blue Get Tracking ID icon. Accept the terms for your location (using the drop down).
4. You will be taken to the tracking instructions. There are 3 ways to make sure Google knows to track your site.
- You can copy and paste the website tracking code into each page on your website
- or use the code to create a php file and add a little code to your template
- or you can use Google Tag Manager.
The way we prefer is to insert the code into the header section of your site in the <head> section before the <body> tag.
Once you have it set up and its been tracking traffic for a few days, you will find all kinds of valuable information that will enable you to improve your SEO, your online marketing efforts and make educated decisions:
Your traffic: where it comes from (both geographically and from other sites), how often people visit, how long they stay and which pages they visit and more;
Your content: which pages they land on and where they go from there, which content drives the most traffic etc (or the least);
Your goals: track your online marketing goals including conversion rates, funnels and Adwords campaigns.
- Filter out visits from you or your employees as they can skew your results.
- Set goals – Analytics allows you to set goals pertaining to your traffic. You should use these to track success.
- One of the things I like best about Analytics is the ability to view data in different ways – remember to use these capabilities to view graphical representations of your data.
Having problems installing Google Analytics or no time to do so? Just let us know. This is just one of the many services we provide.