Google Analytics – Back to Basics
So, you have a new website and before your web designer moves on to his/her next project, make sure they set up Google Analytics to allow you to monitor and track visitors to your website.
Google Analytics is great for monitoring how many people visit your site, where visitors are landing, how long they spend on pages, plus much more.
Here’s our step by step guide to setting up and running Google Analytics:
- Install a tracking code into your website
Generate a tracking code for your website by clicking on the ‘Admin’ tab in the top centre of the Google Analytics home page. Under ‘Account’ click ‘Create New Account’ and enter the details of your website. This will then generate your unique code which you should input into the HTML coding of every page on your website. Once this is in place you can start viewing your website’s data within 24 hours.
- Set up Goals
Choose which pages or actions on your website you would like to track and set up Goals in Analytics to measure these. To create a Goal, click on the Admin tab (mentioned above) and choose ‘Goals’ under the ‘View’ column. In this section you can set up a Goal from Google Analytics’ templates or you can create your own – a popular Goal with our clients is to calculate the conversion rate for people visiting your contact us page.
- Create Segments
Creating a Segment allows you to isolate and analyse a particular section of your website quickly and easily. To do this, click the ‘Reporting’ tab at the top of the Google Analytics home page, then choose ‘+ Add Segment’ in the centre. This will then give you the option to create a suggested Segment, or a Segment of your choice – you could choose to use Segments to filter your report to show only visitors from a certain location if your business operates heavily in that area, for example.
- Connect your Adwords
If you’re interested in running Adwords campaigns it’s also useful to link your Google Analytics to your Adwords account so that you can monitor their performance too. To connect your account, click ‘Adwords’ under the ‘Acquisition’ tab of ‘Reporting’ (see above).
Now this should mean that your Google Analytics is up and running and you are ready to start seeing the performance figures for your website – which can be viewed under the ‘Reporting’ tab.
In Google Analytics, most of this information is accessed via the drop down boxes on the left hand side of your screen. These are split up into four sections:
This shows the location, age and interests of your visitors, plus the technology which they have used to access your site.
The Acquisition drop down includes information on the types of traffic that your site has received. This is split down into organic search (when people have visited your site through search engines such as Google), referral traffic (when a visitor has clicked a link on a different website which has led them to your site) and direct traffic (when a visitor knows your website address and has typed this directly into their browser). Here you will also find information on Adwords and how many people have accessed your site through social media.
The Behaviour tab is where you will find information on what pages people have visited on your website and how long they are viewing those pages for. It also tells you which pages visitors enter the site on and which they leave the site on.
This is where you will find information on the Goals that you previously set up.
One of the most useful functions of Google Analytics is that it allows you to compare say, this month with last month, or this week with this week last year. You can then notice trends, for example, where there may be major spikes or falls in visitor numbers to your website. To do this, alter the date option in the top right hand side of the page.
If you don’t have the time to regularly monitor and review your Google Analytics – we offer this as a service for our clients. We don’t just take a snapshot of the data and send that over to you, as I know some SEO companies do, but we review each section and make recommendations and give explanations of rises and falls in visitor traffic. This information is vital to ensure we can identify under-performing web pages and ensure the website is achieving its aims and objectives.
If you would like help with analysing your website’s performance, or increasing the visitors to your site, contact our digital team on 01709 300130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org