Getting Started with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great way to keep track of your website’s traffic. Not only can you customize it to track specific visitor behaviors on your site, it’s also completely free! To get your Google account set up, follow the directions below:
Step 1: Create a Google Account
To use Google Analytics, you must have an account with Google. If you do not have an account, you can create one here. (You may already have an account with Google through YouTube, Google Drive, or Gmail. If so, it may make sense to add your Google Analytics to the same account.)
Step 2: Sign Up for Google Analytics
After you have created a Google account, head over to the Google Analytics webpage and click on “Start for free.” You will be asked to enter your credentials for the Google account you created in step 1.
Step 3: Enter Website Information
Once you have entered your credentials, you will be redirected to your Google Analytics Dashboard. You will need to provide information about your site, such as Account Name, Website Name, Website URL, Industry, and Time Zone. After you have completed this task, click “Get Tracking ID.”
Step 4: Connect Google Analytics to Your Website
Now that you have a tracking ID, you can connect your site with your Google Analytics account. There are a few ways to do this. The first way involves copying and pasting your website tracking code into every webpage you want to track. I highly recommend having a developer do this for you. If you want to give this a try yourself, follow the directions provided by Analytics Help here. If you use WordPress, there are plugins that help you link your account to your site. Here are a few I recommend:
Step 5: Add a Developer to Your Account
This final step is optional, but I recommend having an expert tied to your account to help with setup and maintenance. Adding a developer to your account makes it easy for him or her to manage your analytics without needing your account password, which you should keep to yourself.
To add a new user to your account, sign in to your Google Analytics Dashboard and click on the Admin Gear in the lower left-hand corner. This will show your accounts, properties, and views. Below each one there is a link for “User Management.” If you want to grant access to the entire account (which can have multiple properties and multiple views), click on “User Management” below “Accounts.” Click on the blue plus sign in the upper right-hand corner and select “Add New Users.” Next, enter the email and make sure the box is checked to notify new users by email. I recommend granting the developer permissions to edit, collaborate, read, and analyze. To learn more about permissions and what each one means, check out the Analytics Help webpage.
Google Analytics is a great tool and there is no reason not to take advantage of its free insights. Because setting up an account and linking it to your site can be complicated, adding another user such as a developer or analytics expert can reduce your stress and save you time.