How to set up Google Analytics (and why the hell you’d want to)

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:

  • How many people are visiting your website?
  • What are people visiting on your site?
  • 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

  • Here’s the link to Google Analytics guide and below you’ll gather more detail / what each step means
  • Create or sign in to your Analytics account:
  • Go to google.com/analytics
  • Do one of the following:
  • To create an account, click Start for free.
  • To sign in to your account, Click Sign in to Analytics.
  • You’ll see “Create a Google Analytics 4 property to measure your web and/or app data.” and a box to add the name of your property – just add the name of your website. As of 2021, UA (the usual Google Analytics that most people used, has changed to Google Analytics 4
  • Change “Reporting time zone” to your local timezone
  • Change “Currency” to British Pound
  • Click Next
  • Select Business size
  • Under “How do you intend to use Google Analytics with your business? (Check all that apply)”, tick them all
  • Click Create
  • You should be given the Property ID (if you cannot see this, click Admin in bottom left corner, go to Property Settings)

If you already have Google Analytics installed and want to switch to the GA4 from the old Universal Analytics

Google have provided this article to support you with that.

WordPress users:

Check under your WordPress theme > Theme Options to see if there is an area where you can add your Google Analytics code.

If you aren’t sure, then google the name of your WordPress theme + install Google Analytics and you’ll see support articles guiding you through. (Oh how I wish it was the same for everyone!)

You can add a plugin like “GA Google Analytics” to your WordPress website, go to Plugin Settings once installed and activated, select “Global Site Tag” and add the tracking number in the box provided.

Squarespace users:

Log into your Squarespace website.

Head to Settings > Advanced > Code Injection > Header.

This is where you add the new G- code.

Click Save.

Wix users (as of March 2021)

Wix haven’t yet caught up with the new Google system so even though there is a link to click to upgrade, don’t do it.
Login to Google Analytics, head to Admin in the bottom left corner.
Click Create Property, select Advanced Options and select ‘Create a Universal Analytics property only’.
Fill out your Business information on the next page.
Click ‘Create’, you should be brought to the page with your Tracking id (this should look like UA-12345678-1).
Then open Wix in a new tab on your browser.
Go to Marketing Integrations in Wix, then head to Google Analytics and click Connect.
At the top right click Connect Google Analytics.
Paste your Google Analytics ID. Note: Make sure that there are no extra spaces before the code.
Select the IP Anonymization checkbox to ensure that Google does not save your site visitors’ IP addresses. Click Save.
Important: You may see an option to ‘Upgrade to GA4’. Please DO NOT select this option as it is currently not supported.
Sorted? Good!
Now that you know how to install Google Analytics, you need to tell your readers that you are stalking them in this way and add a cookie notice to your website. We’ve all seen them on other websites, now’s your turn. Head to my blog post on how you need to install a Cookie Notice.

See you over there!

Maddy

Maddy x
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