Any business that wants to be competitive in a digital marketing space, needs to increase its website visibility by utilizing tools on search engines, such as Google. As a small to medium sized business marketing online, you may have felt the pressure to maximize the results on your web pages.
But do you know how much traffic your website is receiving or where it’s coming from? If the answer to any of these questions are “no,” then getting Google Analytics setup can solve that.
In this post, we’re going to look at Google Analytics from the absolute beginner’s point of view. Why you need it, how to get it, how to use it, and workarounds to common problems.
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First What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics setup is an easy way to gain an understanding of your website’s performance and visitors. Using Google Analytics can tell you about your website visitors, the desired content they want to see on your website, and even how they tend to behave when using your website.
Once you have Google Analytics setup, you will be able to track and measure the goals you have for your business’s website. In addition, it gives you the ability to improve your website’s ROI. That means more dollars back to your business. However, setting up Google Analytics can be tricky.
Especially, if you have never used it before. Thus, you may need a few pointers on what it is and overall setting it up. Before we jump into how to do it, let’s take a quick look at why it’s beneficial for your business in the first place.
Benefits Of Google Analytics Setup
If you have managed a website for a while, or are up to date with B2B marketing trends, you are probably already using Google Analytics. You probably analyze what the traffic for the day is and compare it to previous results.
About 56% of all web pages on the internet currently utilize Google Analytics. And for a good reason. It has become not only a very popular tool in digital marketing, but also a vital one. This tool gives your company access to a massive amount of valuable information regarding your website success.
And what company wouldn’t like access to that? Apart from Google being a Big Data company, a Google Analytics setup provides you with in-depth information about your website traffic and visitors. With a Google Analytics setup, you will be able to gain knowledge about what pages on your site receive the most traffic, where your site is generating leads from, and demographics on those leads. Other benefits include:
- Information on the amount of leads converted into purchasers
- Information on where website visitors came from
- Information on whether traffic is coming from mobile devices or desktops
- Information on each pages’ traffic and results
- The overall traffic your website is receiving
- Information on the demographics of your website visitors etc.
All of this is valuable information when it comes to evaluating and improving the performance of your company’s website. Ultimately, your website is where the majority of your sales or leads will come from, so it helps to have tools in place that will improve the effectiveness of it and make your website visitor’s journey more efficient.
No matter the business or industry you’re in, using tools to better the responsiveness of your website can only do more to benefit than harm your business. Having information on your customer’s website habits, demographic info, and conversions is meaningful information that any company can seek to benefit from. With all the new digital marketing tools businesses can now take advantage of to better their online presence, your company will be able to experience many benefits with these installations.
That’s where Google Analytics comes into play. It is one of the quickest and most-used marketing tools used today, so integrating it into your marketing strategy will surely provide your business with the key information it needs to make the most educated decisions. Take a look at how we used a Google Analytics setup to help one of our clients track their website traffic.
How to install Google Analytics
First, you need a Google Analytics account. If you have a primary Google account that you use for other services like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google+, or YouTube, then you should set up your Google Analytics using that Google account. Or you will need to create a new one.
This should be a Google account you plan to keep forever and that only you have access to. You can always grant access to your Google Analytics to other people down the road, but you don’t want someone else to have full control over it.
Big tip: don’t let your anyone (your web designer, web developer, web host, SEO person, etc.) create your website’s Google Analytics account under their own Google account so they can “manage” it for you. If you and this person part ways, they will take your Google Analytics data with them, and you will have to start all over.
Now, how do I set up Google Analytics?
Now that you know exactly why it’s important to your business, here are the steps you need to set up Google Analytics for your business:
1. Set Up A Google Tag Manager Account
you have to start with the basics. The first step is to set up Google Tag Manager with Google. Setting up this account is different from a regular Google account, but it is free. The way Google Tag works is by taking the information on your website and sending it to other platforms such as Facebook and Google Analytics.
This way you can save time because it easily allows you to update and add tags to your Google Analytics setup code without the manual labor of writing the code. For example, if you wanted to track clicks on a link on your site, it would be much more tedious without Google Tag manager. The tag manager gives you the ability to add new tags without you having to manually change the links.
2. Setup A Google Analytics Account
Next, you will have to create a separate account with Google Analytics. Similar to the Google Tag Manager, this account is free as well. Once you create the account, a tracking ID will be generated for you. The tracking ID is code that instructs Google Analytics to send the data to you.
This number is not only unique, but also important as it is specifically associated with your website and your personal data. Thus, it is important not to share this number publicly. Once your Google Analytics account provides you with this tracking ID, you can move onto the next step.
3. Use Google Tag Manager To Set Up Analytics Tags
The next step in the process is to integrate the information from the two platforms. This is where your unique tracking ID comes into play. This will aid in setting up the right tracking tags for your website. On the tag manager website, you will have the ability to customize two parts of your tag– configuration and triggering.
Configuration determines where the information collected from the tag will go and Triggering is the type of information you are looking to collect. When creating tags for your Google Analytics setup, you want to make sure you are using “Universal Analytics.” This gives your tags a wider range of reach when used on the internet in tracking information for your website.
4. Format Goals In Google Analytics
While you may already be aware of the key performance indicators for your website and business, Google Analytics is not. This part of setting up Google Analytics is most important because this is where the most valuable information to your website will become recognizable. This is where you will tell Google Analytics what you want to track specifically on your website.
Setting your goals in your Google Analytics setup is important, so Google can know what metrics to track in order to measure the success of your website. In addition, you will have the ability to choose from various goal templates to track. You can choose any one that matches your intended goals and then choose a specific goal. The goals include:
- Destination: This is if your goal is to track whether your users make it to a specific page on your site.
- Duration: This is if your goal is to track the amount of time your users spend on a page on your site.
- Pages or Screens Per Session: This is if your goal is to track if your users go to a certain amount of pages.
- Event: This is if your goal was to track if users play a specific video or click on a specific link.
From there, you can give your Google Analytics more specifics about your goals so that it can better determine what a “success” looks like on your website. However, there are many fields you can dive deep into when customizing the specific metrics and goals you want to track when it comes to setting up Google Analytics.
Therefore, it can become overwhelming when deciding what metrics to track. That is why it is best to start with the metrics that are most important to you and your business website and work your way up.
5. Add Your Website To Google Search Console
With the help of Google Search Console, you will be able to gain valuable search data on your website. You have the capability to:
- See your website’s crawl rate
- Check exactly when Google does an analysis of your website
- Find out what pages link to your website, whether they be internal or external links
- Look at what keywords your website ranks for on search engine searches etc.
All of this can prove to be very valuable information if you want to see how your website holds up in Google’s analytics system.
What’s Next, After Google Analytics setup?
The world of analytics is at your disposal. There are many things you can do with Google Analytics. Seeing as Google Analytics has many features and tools in itself, there are an endless amount of possible metrics you can look at when analyzing your website. After setting up your Google Analytics system, here are a few things you can do next that will help you fully maximize this new tool:
1. Give Permission To Team Members
If there is a team of individuals that typically have access to your businesses data tools, it is best to add those users onto the platform. This is to ensure they can have access to managing the Google Analytics setup.
This just makes it easier to manage this tool between individuals in your company. Now your team members can also go in and analyze the metrics and provide feedback.
2. Link Your Google Ads
According to Google, linking your ads to your Google Analytics account will help you track “the full customer cycle, from how users interact with your marketing (e.g., seeing ad impressions, clicking ads) to how they finally complete the goals you’ve set for them on your site (e.g., making purchases, consuming content).”
This can be helpful if you want to analyze the effectiveness of your Google ads and your customer’s journey. It can help you understand what specifics on your website are most important to your customers and even what you could implement onto your website to increase its efficiency. In addition, it can aid in determining your return on empowerment for your Google ad campaigns.
Your Google Analytics setup automatically gives you a very detailed view of every website in your account. Say for instance you have multiple websites in your Google Analytics account. All the data for each website will be sent to a single property, which can make things a little more confusing. Luckily, with your Google Analytics setup, you have the ability to set up your reporting tools, so you can view only the metrics that are most important to you.
For example, if you are only interested in social media traffic, you can set your view to only show information on your website’s traffic from social media. When you edit your views, you will be able to filter out the least important data, and focus on what you really want to see. In conclusion, the steps above are a great place to start if you want to understand the basis of what it takes to get your Google Analytics set up.
With it you’ll be able to determine ROI and learn more about your audience. Without it, you’ll practically be sailing on an ocean without a compass and a map (which is to say, very lost).
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