As most web professionals already understand, website analytics data can be really informative for someone that is trying to run a website. In the following paragraphs, I’d like to take a moment to lay out how to get started using Google Analytics on a website since not everyone is aware.
Pro Tip – Keep in mind, a Marksman Media developed website comes with the option to get a weekly Google Analytics report sent directly to your email!
Step 1 – Signing Up
If you already have a Google account, then this part is easy. Otherwise, go to Google and create an account. Next, go to google.com/analytics to create your analytics profile.
Step 2 – Creating Your Site Profile
Once you’ve named your profile and supplied the site’s URL, you will need to verify that the site is yours to monitor. You can do this in a variety of ways, but perhaps the easiest method is to download a small (.htm) file supplied by Google and upload it to the root of your site.
Step 3 – Installing a GA Plugin
Now you have a Google Analytics account and property for your site. Now you need something to tie your page activity back to that account. Here is where a plugin (for most CMSs) or some Google supplied code is going to come into play.
Since I build all of my customer sites on WordPress, I’ll focus on the aforementioned method. The best plugin I’ve found to integrate Google Analytics is the “GA by Yoast” plugin. It can be downloaded from wordpress.org. Activate the plugin and from there you will only need to authorize the plugin to interact with the Google Analytics property.
Step 4 – Using Google Analytics
In many cases, I have found that users have been given access to their sites analytics and have never taken a look at them. Log into your Google Analytics property, or even into the plugin dashboard, and keep tabs on who, when, and from where users are interacting with your website. It is quite easy to create recurring reports for your site and the intelligence gained can be of great importance.
I hope that this simple overview is enough to get you started on finding new ways to improve your presence on the web. If you would like to learn more about using Google Analytics, or are looking for someone to manage your website, I am always looking for new clients to assist.