Google Analytics: Learning to dive in

Google Analytics

Google Analytics: Learning to dive in

 

Google Analytics: Learning to dive in

Google analytics is an amazing free tool to track your website statistics. Whether you have a blog, or a static website, Google analytics is a must have tool in your arsenal to monitor your growth online. There are many reasons to use this tool such as-

  • Getting insight about number of people visiting your website
  • An estimate of live visitors
  • Websites driving traffic for your website
  • Successful marketing tactics
  • Sales conversion and generation of successful leads
  • Ways to improve site speed
  • Most likes content on the website

There are many additional things you can do with Google Analytics.

This tutorial is meant for the beginners. Here you would learn how to set up a Google Analytics account, and what are the basics of navigation and minimal set up for optimum performance of Google Analytics for your website.

Step 1: Set up an account with Google Analytics

First of all, you need to register yourself with Google Analytics at www.google.com/analytics. You can do so by using your existing Gmail account, or creating a new one.

If you do not have an existing account, then go to gmail.com and sign up for a new account and then head back to analytics account. So in case, you have already signed in using an existing account, you will notice something like this-

After signing up, you will see the following screen-

It’s a big page, so after scrolling, you will further notice this screen-

  1. Web site nameYou can add a name of your choice. Your simply put up the URL of your website. Completely depends on user’s choice.

  2. Web site URL This is the address of the website you are using. Or the domain name in technical terms.

  3. Industry- Although this is option, but having set up this option properly on google analytics will enable it to bring out some tailor made suggestions for you.

  4. Time zone- Just a way to ensure that every activity is in sync with your own business hours.

  5. Account Name-
    You can use company name, your name or your website’s name.

  6. Data sharing settings-
    Optional setting.

After you are done with this process, you need to click “get Tracking ID” button , agree with terms and conditions which will appear in the pop up and then you are all set.

Although you can add multiple properties (website) to your single Google analytics account, we will suppose, for simplifying things, that we have just one property added.

Step 2: Embed Google Analytics code to your Website

So practically, you CANNOT start tracking the data of your website unless you install the tracking code into every page of it. This may be seemingly intimidating, but the process is simplified herein for you.

After you’ve signed up, you will see something like this on tracking code setup screen-

Tracking ids of this screenshot have been blocked out so that no one confuses them with their own tracking id, for the tracking Ids are all unique.

In a WordPress website, you can simply install WordPress plugin for Google analytics and then manually copy and paste the code under the settings option.

In case you have a normal website other than WordPress, you can follow these simple steps to install the code-

  1. Copy your Google Analytics code.
  2. Paste it just before the ending Head tag in HTML code.
  3. Save it and you’re done!

Your Analytics account is now set up fully and will start supplying data after next 24 hours. Additionally, you can add a second admin user for security purposes.

Step 3: Set up Goals

After successful installation of tracking code, you need to configure your goal setting on your Google Analytics profile. This is present in the admin section of homepage.

Goals will tell Google Analytics when something important has happened. This is one word, is the gist for using Google analytics for your website. Although this is important, this is straightforwardly neglected by most of the people using analytics. Setting goals is important because everything revolves around the set goals. Here can be few examples of goals you can set up-

  • Ecommerce website- tracking conversion rates for products.
  • Engaged visitors- people spending more time on website
  • Readers- people visiting multiple pages on your website.
  • Calls to action- using event tracking
  • Best performing ads
  • Subscription- people subscribing to RSS feed or mailing list.
  • Purchase- People buying something from your website.

All these goals, when set up initially, will help track down conversion rates.

Click New goal button in admin panel.

Choose custom options and move ahead to next step-

Name your goal –

Enter thank you or page url for destination field and change the drop down list to “Begins with”.

Click Create Goal and complete the process.

Google Analytics Home

When you will sign in to your analytics account, you will land on your Home page where you will see all the websites being listed which are registered in your Google Analytics account. Some basic data stats such as session number, duration on an average of sessions, goal conversion rate etc.

In case you own multiple websites, you can utilize the search box to look up for a particular domain name. You can also mark domains with a star to quickly access them on login.

You will notice a date range mentioned. You can change this to peep into past data or analyze data belonging to a specific time period.

You can use this modulated time period to compare things like session number, duration, bounce rate and goals conversion rate.

You can click the corresponding data website to get detailed reports of for them.

Google Analytics Reporting

You can access audience overview data on Reporting section in Google analytics. On top of the screen, there is basic menu bar, enabling you to toggle between various sections like admin and reporting. Top right corner has the option to change or switch websites.

Left sidebar will have a search box. This will help you to find specific reports or links to important areas in your Analytics account.

Here are a few important options explained separately-

Dashboards-

These enable creation of customized views for your Google analytics data. You can ise widgets to do so. You can view subsets of data without navigating through standard reports.

Widgets can be added to the dashboard using +Add widget button.

You also don’t have to worry about starting from scratch as you can download preset dashboards from “Google Analytics Solutions Gallery”.

Emails and Shortcut-

Very often, you have to keep surfing through all the reports to look up the summary and what these reports have to offer. But when you find there is something that you need to frequently visit, you can simply add them to your shortcut lists and access them faster.

You can also use email button to get this emailed to you or someone else.

Intelligence events-

These are alerts for specific events which can be emailed to you by Google Analytics. Alerts can be set up for events such as unexpected hike in session numbers, goal conversions etc.

Real time-

This will show live stats for the number of active users on your website.

Conversions-

Since you have already set up your goals, you can track the number of conversions received for your website. The path taken by visitors to achieve that goal can also be seen. These conversions also tie specific data into the tables generated.

Google Analytics customization

Next main option in the menu is Customization. You can choose to see a particular portion of analytics Data and choose the option of mailing it regularly to the selected contacts.

You can even import reports from “Google analytics Solutions Gallery”.

Google Analytics Admin

This is the last menu in the top bar. It is used for managing all the settings for websites monitored in Google Analytics. Two important features are-

  1. Google Analytics Goals-

    This section has already been dealt under set up goal heading. Additionally, here you will find two more option of goal details which include funnel and Value.

    Specific Value for a goal can be added as value( example a purchase of specific amount).

    Website pages such as that of a shopping cart, which would need the visitors to move through a number of pages before making final purchase can be added to funnel.

    Sales funnel can be viewed in standard funnel Visualization report.

  2. Custom campaigns-

    This is used to track visitors from a particular traffic source. You can set campaigns by using UTM parameters added to URL end of any possible address that a visitor is likely to use.

    Google analytics would require 3 parameters-

  • Campaign medium(utm_medium)
  • Traffic source(utm_source)
  • Campaign name(utm_campaign)

Following shows campaign tracking example-

You can do this easily by using campaign URL builder tool by Google and just enter information such as URL, Campaign medium and source and Campaign name.