The reason you may be here is because, you do not know what Google Analytics is, haven't installed it or don't understand the data within.
Then carry on reading to find out how to get optimal results from Google Analytics in 2019.
Many businesses and websites still do not utilised GA which in all honesty, is totally ludicrous.
Throughout this blog, I shall be discussing all you need to know about that fundamentals of GA. Giving you comprehensive Google Analytics tips & advice.
Why should I use Google Analytics?
Are you a blogger? Are you a business owner with a website? If you answered yes then you need Google Analytics in order to understand the successes and pitfalls of your website.
GA possesses the ability to answer a lot of questions that you may have about your website, such as:
- How many people does my website generate?
- Where in the world do my visitors come from?
- Is my website mobile-friendly website?
- Which websites provide me with referral traffic?
- Does my digital marketing strategies help to drive traffic to my website?
- Which webpage is the most popular amongst my visitors?
- Are my visitors converting into leads/sales?
- Where did the converting customers come from?
- What can I do to enhance my website speed?
- Which content is the most likeable by my visitors?
These questions are not conclusive, there will be a lot more questions that you will want answering!
Now lets kick on and find out how we can install Google Analytics onto your website.
How do I install Google Analytics?
First and foremost, you will need a Google account to access the GA platform. You may already have one for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive or even YouTube.
If not then it is simple to create one.
#1. Setting up your GA account and property
Once you have set this up, you are ready to register with Google Analytics.
As you can see below, when you first arrive on the Google Analytic's landing page, you will be welcomed with these steps.
Once you clicked the sign up button then you will be required to enter your website's/business' regular details.
Do not worry though, there is no wrong or right way to establish your Google Analytics account.
In essence, it is all about how you organise your websites. Accounts or properties can always be renamed within GA.
If you ever wanted to move a property to another GA account then another then this would not be achieveable. You would ultimately need to set up the desired new property under a new GA account in order to achieve this.
Note: If you wish to do this, then you would lose any historical data that you have built up.
#2. How do I Install Google Analytics tracking code?
Once set up has been implemented then you can go ahead and obtained your Google Analytics tracking code.
You should then install this tracking code onto every webpage that you own. Initial installation in dependent on the type of website that you have.
This website is hosted by 123reg.co.uk and has the WordPress CGI installed.
Within WordPress, there are plugins that allows you to input the GA tracking code into the header script with ease.
Alternatively, if you have a website that using HTML in the backend then your installation will be a little bit different. You would need to insert the GA tracking code before the </head> tag on every individual page.
You can either utilise your website designer to do this or you can simply copy and paste the GA tracking code into a text editor software. Such as: TextEdit or Notepad.
When you have achieved this then you can upload your tracking code to the web host by using a FTP program.
I'm aware that many of my viewers are owners of Shopify accounts. Therefore I will address installing Google Analytics onto a Shopify account.
This is a simply process.
Simply, log on to your ecommerce website and locate the Online Store settings then the section under Google Analytics.
Again, just pasre your code here and you'll be good to go!
You have probably figured by now that installing GA varies from each type of website and the type of plugin and/or theme that you use.
Set up goals
After you have inserted Google Analytics tracking code into the HTML of your domain, the next step is to set up goals. These may be a small setting within GA however they can certainly prove to be very beneficial for your reporting and analysis.
In order to locate goals, you should look for the 'Conversions' tab as shown below.
Then find the Goals - Overview tabs.
You shall be presented with the following notification.
Goals are a great way to inform Google about certain actions that happen on your website.
E.g. if you implement lead generation through your website either through valuable content giveaways or contact forms then you will want the viewer to be redirected to a thank you page. Or if you have an ecommerce website and once a customer makes a purchase it is good practive for user experience (UX) to thank them for their custom.
The URLs for these thank you pages may look like this:
With this being said, lets move on to learning how to successfully set up a goal within Google Analytics.
Firstly, you'll need to click the big red button as shown above.
You will then be welcomed with this screen. If one of the options are more applicable to your needs then freely use it. Otherwise you can utilise the custom option.
Next, simply click continue.
After, you should name the goal something appropiate and that you will remember.
Following this, please go ahead and select the correct type.
On the next page, you will be prompted to input the URL of the destination page that you seek the goal to be associated with.
Then select the drop-down and change the option to 'Begins with'.
Congratulations, you have now created your first Google Analytics' goal.
However, your goals do not need to end here...
You may feel that you possess the need to achieve additional goals and/or conversions.
Just simply refollow the aforementioned steps.
Remember you can curate up to 20 goals within your domain.
DO ensure that the goals are relevant to the objectives of your website.
Other goals can consist of:
- Lead generation
- Email list sign ups
- Purchase completions
How do I view Google Analytics data?
Data takes a short while to be logged by Google Analytics, but can it does roll in, it can be imperative to your future success.
Every time you sign into you'll automatically be taken to the audience overview report.
Types of Google Analytics reports
The optimal way to view data is by utilising GA's different reports. All the reports can be accessed with ease within the left sidebar.
Google Analytics' audience reports are a very useful resource when you need to know the specifics of the audience that your website is attracting.
Want detailed reports on the demographics of your visitors, or what their interests are or their geo-demographics?
Of course you do!
Then you should be viewing the audience reports to get a bigger picture of your visitors.
Do you know how your website acquired its visitors?
Well Google Analytics' acquisition reports will tell you exactly that.
You can view your traffic segmented into different subsets.
Either Channels or Source/Medium, you will find the answer within.
You shall learn and get a comprehensive insight to whether they were established by social, direct, paid, organic or referral.
Behaviour reports are great to compile as you can learn everything about the content on your site.
In particular, the top pages on your website.
As I discussed previously about site search, if you have this enabled then Google Analytics will tell you the exact search terms that your visitors have entered.
GA will additionally tell you all you need to know about the page speed of your website. Which is an SEO ranking factor. Therefore it is well worth understanding this.
How do I track conversions in Google analytics?
Whether you decided to implement some goals on your website, you can keep an eye on these within GA.
In addition, GA will let you know what URLs the goals occured and provide you with a digital footprint of how to visitor took the desired conversion.
In this respect, most of the reports that Google Analytics provides will be centralised around the data concerning your conversions.
E.g. if you want to check on the quantity of conversions made by visitors from Liverpool. You'd locate Audience > Geo > Location.
FAQs about Google Analytics
Do you have some questions about Google Analytics? Here are some of the prime ones that I have come across business owners asking in regards to Google Analytics.
1. How do I share my Google Analytics data with someone?
If you are hiring a digital marketing agency or a freelance marketer, then you do not need to provide them your exact account details.
Simply just click the setting cog icon at the bottom of GA and locate the user management setting.
From here you can edit and manage property permissions for admin account holders.
However, to add a new admin member, you'd select the big blue plus and enter their email address.
Boom!!! You have invited your first admin account holder.
2. I have quite a few websites, and I don't wish to check each individual Google Analytics account on a daily basis. What do I do?
This one is easy!
When you are on the homepage of Google Analytics you will find a dashboard with all your websites automatically inputted for you. Your top metrics will additionally accompany these.
Such as:Average session duration, conversion, bounce rates and so forth.
3. Google Analytics claims that 90%+ of my organic keywords are not provided. Where can I find that information?
(not provided) is Google's methodology of adhering to GDPR on order to protect search engine user's privacy by screening the keywords they utilise to find your website in SERPs.
However, there is a way to discover these keywords.
I hope you've learnt a lot from this introduction to Google Analytics for beginners.
If you still have burning questions about everything I have discussed then please ask in the comments. Or alternatively, email me ay email@example.com.
If you want to progress your learning of GA, then Google provides a whole array of Google Analytics courses and certifications.