How to: Set up Google Analytics
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Not everyone understands the importance of having an online presence, and some people never will, it’s just not in their nature, and that’s okay.
But whether you’re completely out of your depth, or an I.T wiz, paving the way for your new business and setting up for the future is a must & that's why no matter your stance, you need Google Analytics.
You have come to the right place.
Starting your marketing process can be a huge brain ache and that often leads to us forgetting simple things while we focus on the much larger picture, which is why I will focus on setting up the nitty gritty fundamentals as basic as I can.
Google Analytics is a much more powerful tool than most businesses perceive it as.
Setting up your analytics account couldn’t be more of a valuable process, and it doesn’t even take that long!
So first of all…
What is Google Analytics?
In it’s simplest form, Google Analytics is a free tool provided by google to help you analyse your website.
Once we have set this tool up and integrated in into your website you will have access to many more analytics to see for yourself.
You can have a play around and decide what information this tool will and will not track, but primarily this is split into 4 categories:
1. User (User interactions)
2. Session (individual visits to your site)
3. Event (video views, comments, clicks etc.)
4. Pageview (Individual page analytics)
So, back to the question of…
How do I set up Google Analytics?
Well, inevitably there are two ways to set up your analytics, you can go through the traditional more basic route of using classic Google Analytics or you can start the process using Google Tag Manager.
Google Analytics is as simple as setting up your account and pasting the code into your site.
Here is a brief instruction on how to do so:
Firstly, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to create an Analytics Account here: google.com/analytics
Once you have clicked the link, navigate to “start for free” and then follow the on screen instructions to either create or sign in to your account.
After you have finished your account you will need to start by setting up a property (A property is just another word Google use to represent your website or app)
Here you will enter information such as your website name, your website URL, industry, etc.
When you have completed the basic steps above for creating your Google Analytics account you will want to move on to setting up other important aspects of the tool for your best use of analytics, such as goals, which we will cover in more detail later on.
For now, if you are sticking with Google Analytics, all you will need to do is either find your Tracking ID or your analytics header code, both of these can be found from the page you are currently on.
These then simply need to be copied onto your site through accessing the code.
From a personal perspective, it is highly recommended that you continue reading and set your account up using Google Tag Manager. (It’s also arguably easier!)
Set up Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is another free tool provided by Google that works seamlessly with analytics.
It essentially sends data from one location or service to another.
For example, it could take all of your data from Facebook Analytics straight to Google Analytics.
To complete the set up process of Google Tag Manager you will need to access the code of your website, or have someone ready who can.
Creating your Tag Manager account couldn’t be easier, simply click here Google Tag Manager.
Now you have clicked the link move your cursor to the “Start for Free” button just the same as your analytics account.
Once you have signed in with your Google Account, you will need to follow the on screen instructions to complete your setup.
Finally, after you have guided your way through the setup process you will be greeted with an installation screen.
This will present you with the code you need to install Google Tag Manager on to your website.
The screen will look like the following (obviously with code opposed to a blank box):
You can clearly see on this step that you need to paste this code in to either your <head> of <body> tag of your website.
Don’t worry; this really isn’t as difficult as they make it out to be…I promise!
In most cases (depending on the platform you used to create your website) it’s as simple as changing a single file or adding in HTML to produce the result of this appearing on every page of your site.
Now you’re all good to go!
Setting up Analytics via Tag Manager
For now, you will need to navigate away from GTM and back to analytics.
As mentioned previously in this article, you will need to setup a property in your Google Analytics account.
After you have signed in (or signed up) you will be greeted with the “Tracking Info” section.
This is the same page as I spoke about above when finding your Tracking ID.
For now, if you are using GTM, you don’t have to do anything with this code other than maybe make a note of it.
Now it’s time to merge the two together…
You need go back to Google Tag Manager
And select the “New Tag” button.
Remember when creating a tag it is ideal to keep specific names to each of these tags so you know which is which.
Then we will need to setup the configuration of the new tag.
A tags configuration is where we are going to be retrieving the data from (Google Analytics)
Firstly choose the tag type under the configuration tab (Universal Analytics).
Universal Analytics is basically an updated version of the classic analytics.
Next, select “Pageview” as the tracking type and here is where you will enter your tacking ID.
Once you have completed all these steps you can always venture on to more in depth and complicated analytics.
Such as setting up custom metrics or advertising features.
But for now, once you have determined your tag type and entered your ID you will need to add what is known as a Tag Trigger.
A Tag Trigger is simple a variable that you want the tag to trigger.
In our case (and imagine most), we will choose all pages – As we want to track the metrics across the whole of our site.
All you have left to do now is click “Submit” in the top corner and voila, you have officially completed your Google Tag Manager setup and Google Analytics integration.
Setting up Goals in Google Analytics
Now that we have complete the whole set up process and everything is up and running, we can configure a few more settings to make sure all of our analytics are accurate and useful.
Google Analytics goals are really no different from a day to day goal just more metrical.
But if your not using these in analytics it’s safe to say your missing out on a lot and barely scratching the service of its potential.
Setting up a goal simply forces you to take a much more careful and strategic approach towards your use of the tool.
You can look at the general metrics all day long; bounce rate, page views, page view duration, but having a goal gives you a clearer view of what’s important and what isn’t.
And setting these up couldn’t be simpler.
Start by logging into your Google Analytics account,
1. Click Admin to the side
2. Click Goals
3. Click New Goal
When setting up a new goal, I recommend excluding metrics that are no use to you.
You can always add these metrics into a separate goal later on.
It’s important to keep track of everything, but too much information in one place can be intrusive and hard to follow.
This is a perfect place to integrate your businesses funnel to track where your individual visitors go.
This will give you great insights on what’s working, and what isn’t and what you need to change to achieve that perfect funnel process.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on the different aspects of goals and the types you can create as we could be here all night, and the majority may have no use to you.
Just have a play around, and see what goals are right to track your future plan.
Remember, you can only create up to 20 goals for each property, so don’t get too carried away.
Setting up Google Analytics Events
I also mentioned events earlier on; these however, can be kind of a pain to dip your toes in to.
Events are similar to goals in a way but track metrics such as video views or button clicks.
An overview of your event will look very similar to all your other Google Analytics pages.
Google Analytics events are split into the categories:
Action describes the particular interaction with the event you have set up. For example, if you are in fact tracking video views your action in this instance will be “play” – how many times the video has been played.
A label is optional in your event but will provide more information about the specific action taken. In our examples case, if we have multiple videos we can label which page of your website this particular metric is from.
Value is the numerical component of the event. You could use this to keep track of how long your video takes to load. Again this is an optional part to setting up your event.
As you may have noticed, taking all these steps into practice could create endless possibilities for your tracking.
Before we end, I just want to clarify what was mentioned at the start of this post.
There are two ways for you to set up your analytics:
Classic Google Analytics and the right way ;) - (Google Tag Manager)
Setting up Google Analytics isn't exactly a tremendous amount of work, or difficult for that matter, but if you plan on creating multiple goals and events, It can be a lot to remember and keep track of.
But as I have already said, using analytics is a great way to nurture your funnel, track your goals, and make sure your business makes the right calls.
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