I am still really surprised at how many of my clients don’t have Google Analytics set-up on their website when I first speak with them. Even worse is some have it set-up but never view the data. Being able to track your website visitor data is one of the key things you need to do for your business, especially if your website is at the heart of what you do (i.e. you sell from an online store).
I’m going to use this post to show you how you can set-up Google Analytics on your website and turn on some of the key features so that you can start to track the data in a meaningful way for your business.
Get Google Analytics set-up
Firstly, if you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your website, or indeed even have a Google Analytics account, then head here: https://analytics.google.com/
You’ll need a Google account to access. using your Gmail login is fine if you have one already.
Then click ‘sign-up’.
Tell it the account name (your company name will do here).
Then the website name (I would write it as websitename.com).
Add the full URL http://websitename.com.
Select an industry (Google uses this data for reporting).
Then finally set your timezone. Don’t forget this as your data will be incorrect if Google thinks your site is in Australia when it’s in the UK.
Click the blue ‘Get tracking ID’ button and then select the privacy terms in the pop-up that appears next.
How to add the tracking ID to your website
Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll be taken to your dashboard and shown the tracking ID.
You’ll need to add this to your website in order to be able to track data.
I’ve tried to pick the websites I’ve had most experience with and that you can do on your own. If none of the platforms below apply to you, then you can always head to freelancer sites like Fiverr to get one-off help as that is a commonly offered gig there.
Head to the “Traffic” tab in your WordPress.com settings.
Paste the GA Tracking ID (UA-XXXXXXX) into the “Google Analytics Tracking ID” box.
Click “Save Settings”.
NOTE: Google Analytics support on WordPress.com is available as a feature of the WordPress.com Business plan.
Head to the ‘Plugins’ section of your WordPress site Admin.
Click the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.
In the search box type ‘google analytics’ and then search.
When the results return, try to install a plugin that has had many downloads and is compatible with your version of WordPress.
You’ll then be redirected back to the installed plugins page. Find your new plugin and click the ‘settings’ button>
Follow the instructions to add the GA Tracking ID (UA-XXXXXXX).
In the Home Menu on your site, click ‘Settings’, and then click ‘Advanced’.
Click ‘External API Keys’.
In the Google Analytics Account Number box, enter the GA Tracking ID (UA-XXXXXXX).
Go to Online store > Preferences.
In the Google Analytics section, paste the code <!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics –> in the Google Analytics account field:
You’ll know that Google Analytics is enabled on your online store when you see a code beginning with UA- under the Google Analytics account heading, like this:
Make sure you’re tracking demographics and interest data
Google Analytics offers up audience analysis as part of the data, which tells you where the audience is in the world and the language they use. This is easily detectable based on the users IP (location data) and the language setting that their browser (Chrome, Safari) has. However, it can also tell you a little bit about their age, gender and interest!
This is based on data that the user has given to Google over time about themselves and about the industries that they work in (remember selecting industry when you set-up your GA account at the start of this process?) We all have some type of Google account, whether it’s a Gmail account or Google Analytics account, and Google processes all of this data along with other data that is collected about you via cookies to be able to make very accurate guesses on the gender and the age of its users.
If you are interested, here is the data it collects from the following cookies:
More about it here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2799357?hl=en
You’ll need to switch this on to track though. It doesn’t come enabled when a new account is set-up.
To do that, sign into your Analytics account.
Navigate to the account, property, and view where you want to use Demographic and Interests data.
Open the Audience > Demographics > Overview report.
Click Enable (above the introductory text).
You should then see data in your reports within 24 hours of enabling.
I hope that’s been really useful, and you’ve been able to follow to get your site up and running with Google Analytics.
If you want to find out more about how you can get the best out of your website, then please get in touch for a no obligation chat with me: firstname.lastname@example.org