You’ve got a website and you may even be blogging. You want people to see it and you want to know who, when and how people are seeing it. This is useful to you so you can be more strategic with your content.
Obviously, you want to increase the traffic and therefore bookings through your site with the aim of creating income from these site users, but this can seem like a scary task when you have little to no information about who is on your site and what content they are viewing.
What is this ‘Google Analytics’ thing people keep on talking about? And why is it useful to me and my business?
Google Analytics is a free tool available from Google that allows website owners to track the website traffic on their sites and glean some useful information about your site visitors. It collects data on 75% of all websites in the world - that's crazy. There is a lot of information available to you when you log in to Google Analytics. It can easily become overwhelming but you’ll find that there are large sections of Google Analytics that you don’t actually need to pay *such* close attention to and we're here to help you.
This is where Google Analytics becomes your new best friend forever, because as a site owner it allows you to answer these five important questions about your audience:
- Who visits your site?
- What are people doing on your site? What content are they viewing?
- When do people visit?
- How do people find you?
- How do your viewers interact with content on your site?
It’s not surprising there's a whole lot of fear out there about Google Analytics, because logging in can feel like a minefield, however have no fear because Google Analytics doesn’t need to be scary. I'm going to break it down for you into some easy to digest, bite-sized chunks!
How to setup Google Analytics for your website
- Firstly, you want to sign up here for a Google Analytics account. You’ll want to sign in with an existing Google account, or if you’ve put this off until now, set yourself up a free account!
- Once you’ve signed in you’ll come to a setup screen.
- For Website Name - you can simply use your URL
- For Website URL - just type in your website address!
- For Industry - we’ve found most of these options don’t apply to the clients we work with – if you’re having trouble picking one, we recommend “Online Communities”.
- For Pick your Time Zone - This is super important so make sure you check your specific time zone.
- For Account Name - feel free to use your company name. You can have/monitor multiple websites in one Analytics Account, so make sure this name will be appropriate if you plan on adding multiple websites.
- Data Sharing Settings - completely optional. Select and deselect as you feel comfortable.
- Click the ‘Get Tracking ID’ button and install on your website.
- Under ‘Tracking Info’ then ‘Tracking Code’ you’ll find a page which says ‘Website Tracking’ and then has a piece of code below. Copy and Paste this code.
WordPress users: Head into your WordPress account Dashboard and under the Plugin section, search for the ‘Insert Headers and Footers’ Plugin. You’ll want to download and activate this plugin. (Although do check your theme settings as there may be an area under Appearance > Theme > Theme Options where you can add your Google Analytics code. If you're not sure, check with your theme support)
Squarespace users: In the Home Menu, click Settings, click Advanced, and then click External Services. In the Google Analytics Account Number box, enter your tracking ID, and then click Save. It may take up to 24 hours for site statistics to populate in Google Analytics.
Upon activation, you'll need to visit the Settings > Insert Headers and Footers page. This is where you’ll paste the Google Analytics code that you copied into the headers section.
You’re done - congratulations! Stick the kettle on. Eat a celebratory biscuit or three. Nom, nom. Speaking of cookies, now that you're stalking your website visitors, you need to install a Cookie Notice.
So in this blog I've shared how to set up Google Analytics in a few simple steps. It'll take some time to get used to but if you're keen to know more then just hit me with an email to register your interest in a future training I'm planning about this!