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Setting Up Google Analytics – The Basics

Your website looks fabulous, you’ve got your social media profiles set up, you’ve got a digital marketing strategy that you are implementing but the return on investment doesn’t seem to be as much as you anticipated. What’s going wrong? The first step you need to take is to look at what’s going on behind the scenes, and Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help.

What are ‘Google Analytics’?

 turn customer insights into action for your business….” Google

Whatever you have invested in your online marketing, you want to see a return on that investment. To understand that, you need to know things – facts

  • How many people have visited your website?
  • When do they visit?
  • How did they get there?
  • What do they spend time looking at?
  • Did they buy/sign up/contact us?

Some of these questions can be answered in a fairly vague and non-scientific way by looking at your databases and sales figures, but in order to make real improvements to your online marketing, to make your efforts more effective, you need real statistics. You may be spending hours on Social Media but if it’s not sending people to your website, is it really the best use of your time? Website analytics will give you this information and a whole lot more.

Google Analytics is a tool that can give you these statistics and it’s a tool that we here at Web Adept use most frequently when we’re analysing and managing websites on an ongoing basis. Even better, many of the services are free.

How do I get Google Analytics?

To access the information that Google Analytics can give you relating to your website, you need a tracking code to embed onto your website. This code ‘talks’ to Google Analytics and passes the information back from your website so that you can access it.

Like all things Google, setting up Google Analytics is pretty straightforward. If you’re one of the millions (perhaps billions) that already has a private Google account (for example, you use gmail, or have Google+), you simply sign in at Google Analytics.

Once you’ve signed up you need to tell Google which website (or websites) you want them to obtain the information from, and where the information can be shared. For this basic guide, we’re assuming just one website, and one Google Analytics account, but bear in mind that if you have more than one website, you can have more than one Google Analytics account and organise up to 100 of them under one Google Account.

Website Analytics

Where do I get the tracking code and what do I do with it?

Once you’ve set up your account and agreed to the terms and conditions (of course) you will get a tracking ID and a tracking code. This may look quite scary, but try not to panic. This code then needs to be added to the pages of your website. How you do this will depend on the platform your website is built on. At Web Adept, we prefer WordPress websites – there are specific areas where you can add this kind of code, or you can install a plug in to do the job for you. If you are struggling, a quick Google search should give you the instructions you need.

Setting up Google Analytics is only the start – you need to configure your account to give you the information you need. However, if this is your first foray into understanding the performance of your website and your online marketing strategy, you’re probably at the point where you need a nice cup of tea and a biscuit before you go any further. We’ll be back with more help in future blogs.

If the thought of setting up – or getting to grips with – Google Analytics has you reaching for something stronger than the teabags, why not get in touch? We have been supporting businesses in their online marketing efforts since 1997 and would love to help your business too!