Step-by-step guide to set-up Google Analytics
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Google Analytics is a free tool that collects detailed statistics from your website and provides detailed reports. It collects data like the number of visitors, bounce rate, session time and traffic source. Gathering statistics about your site allows you to understand the behaviour of your users: which pages they go to, how long they stay in each page and how they got to your website (social media, search engine or typing your website address on the browser). All this information is vital to help you improve your site, increase and retain visitors and improve conversions. This blog post is going to take you step-by-step through the set-up of Google Analytics to collect statistics for your site.
Why you need Google Analytics
There are many reasons why you should use Google Analytics; some of the main ones are:
1 – To understand what type of content to focus on.
Google Analytics provides you with detailed information to understand how much traffic you have to each one of your pages, how long users stay on each page and whether they visit another page on your site or leave. This information is critical to understand the type of content that your visitors are interested in and what type of content is driving conversions so you can focus on creating the right kind of content that your visitors love and the right content to drive more conversions.
2 – To understand what social media platforms drive traffic to your site.
Google Analytics also gives you information on where your traffic comes from: from search engines, from different social media channels or direct traffic. Understanding where your traffic comes from can help you better focus on those platforms that bring you the most traffic so that you can concentrate on those to grow your Business.
3 – To understand what is not working on your site.
You can see which pages have are not receiving enough visits or have a high bounce rate. You can also see the average time on a page so you can see if users are reading the content or leaving before finishing the page, indicating that they are losing interest in the material.
On top of all of these, Google Analytics is a free tool.
How to set up Google Analytics
To be able to verify your website with Google you need a Google account. The same Google account is valid for all Google services, so you may already have one if you use Google Mail or any other Googler services. If you don’t have one, you can create a free account here.
Once you have a Google account:
1 – Log into your Google account
2 – Go to the Google Analytics web page
3 – Click on “Sign up”.
4 – Fill in the form below:
Google Analytics can track data from both Websites and mobile apps. I’m going to go through how to set up an account for Website only, so select the Website tab.
5 – Fill in the following details on the form:
1 – Account Name: this is the primary account name, which can be your Business Name (for example). An account can have several Websites associated with it.
2 – Website Name: fill in the URL of the website that you want to add to Google Analytics (you can add other Websites later if needed).
3 – Select the Industry Category that best reflects your Business.
4 – Set your time zone.
5 – Data Sharing Settings: I have only allowed Benchmarking. You can change these settings later within Analytics going to Admin > Account Settings.
6 – Click on “Get Tracking ID”.
A new window will appear with the Google Analytics Terms of Service. Read and accept the terms and click “I accept”. You will be redirected to Google Analytics, and you can see the tracking ID. ￼
7 – Connect Google Analytics with your website.
To be able to start tracking data, you need to connect your website with Google Analytics. The easiest way to do this is to install a plugin for Google Analytics. There are several to choose from, but I personally use Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.
To install Google Analytics Dashboard for WP:
1 – Go to your WP Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and search for “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP”.￼
2 – Install and activate the plugin. A new entry appears in the WP Dashboard for “Google Analytics” where you can change some settings.
3 – Go to WP Dashboard > Google Analytics > General Settings and click on “Authorise Plugin”.￼
4 – In the new window, click on “Get access code” and follow the link.
Login with your Google ID and you will get a code that you need to copy and paste back on WP, in the “Access Code” box above.
You have now connected your website with Google Analytics. Google Analytics will start collecting data automatically and you can check your statistics through Google Analytics or your WP Dashboard.
Don’t forget about data collection regulations
When it comes to any type of data collection, you need to be mindful of the different data collection regulations, including GDPR in the EU. This means that you need to:
2 -Anonymise the IP addresses collected.
IP addresses are collected by Google Analytics, even though you don’t see them in your reports. This data needs to be anonymised to follow GDPR. The easiest way to do this is to use a Google Analytics plugin like Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.
To do this, go to your WP Dashboard and then to Google Analytics > Tracking Code. Select the “Advanced Settings” tab and enable “anonymise IPs while tracking”.
You can now start checking your stats. You can check the following blog posts to improve your website:
Do you know if your blog posts are being indexed by Google? Find out through Google search console. You can also submit your blog to Google and other search engines.
I hope you’ve found this information useful. If you want to receive updates, register to my e-mail list below.