Digital Marketing

Google Analytics- A Complete Guide to the Beginners

Google Analytics
Written by Saifi Rizvi

Probably, you might have heard of the word ‘Google Analytics’ several times. But, do you know what really it is. Let’s check this out. The term ‘Google Analytics’ is a premium web service that helps in measuring and tracking the website’s traffic. In simple terms, it is a powerful analytics tool used by all the organizations to check the traffic of their website. In this blog, I would like to give you a brief outlook of the Google Analytics software from the basic, like its importance, how to get it, how to use, and other associated common analytics concerns.

What is the need of Google Analytics

Do you have your own website? Are you working on a blog or something? If yes, then it is quite mandatory for you to have Google Analytics installed. As, with the help of the Analytics, you can get aware of how many people visit your site, from where your visitors are coming, how much time they spent on your website, how many visitors move from one page to another of your website, which page is more popular on your website, how you can improve website’s speed, what type of content do the visitors liked the most, etc.

Furthermore, for the advanced users, the Google Analytics also helps to provide what marketing tactics are necessary to get more traffic on the website,

Other than this, there are numerous questions that Google Analytics can assist you out. However, these above queries are the primary concerns for the website owners.

How to Create Google Analytics Account

If you are looking forward to installing Google Analytics, then, first of all, you need a Google Analytics account. However, if you have a Google account that you use for services, such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Gmail, or Google+, then you can easily set your account of Google Analytics by using your personal Google account. Otherwise, you need to create a new one.

One thing that you must keep in mind that the Google account created must be with you for a lifetime and only you can access it.

Note: Whether it’s a web designer, web host, web developer, or an SEO professional, don’t let anyone create your Google Analytic account under their Google account name. However, if you and your partner part ways then will hold your Google Analytics data and you have to start from the initial.

Setting up Account and Property

Once you created your Google account, then you can move forward to Google Analytics and click the ‘Sign in’ button. After this, you will able to see three steps that are necessary for setting up your Google Analytics account.

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After clicking the sign-up button, you need to fill out the relevant details for your website.

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Nonetheless, the Google Analytics offers hierarchies that can help you to systematize your account. Surprisingly, you may have over 100 Google Analytics account in just a single Google Account. Also, you may have more than 50 properties of the website under one Google Analytics account. Though, you even have up to 25 views within just a single website property.

Important Guidelines For The Beginners About Google Analytics Account 

  • If you are having a single website, then you just need only one Google Analytics account having one website property.
  • In case, if you are having two websites, i.e. one for your personal use and one for your business, you might need to create two different accounts, namely one ‘personal’ and ‘123 business’.
  • If you are having numerous businesses, but less than 50, with each of them having own site, then you need to put all of them under a single business account. As well as, a personal account for your entire personal websites.
  • Well, if you are having a lot of businesses and each one of them has a bunch of websites, then you need to put each business under a single account name, like 132Business account, 156 Business account, and the list goes on.

However, there are no finite methods to set up Google Analytics account; the main thing lies in how you want to perfectly organize your websites. You can rename your properties or accounts at any point of time. You need to make sure that you are not able to move a website from one account of Google Analytics to another. Hence, you have to set a new website (property) under a new account.

For the complete guide to Google Analytics for the beginners, let’s check out the set up of how it looks if you are having a single website and need only one view.

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How to Get and Install Tracking Code

Once you are done with the setting up of your Google Analytics account, you need to click the Get Tracking ID button. After that, you will receive a Pop up of the terms and conditions of the Google Analytics that you have to agree. Then, you will be given your Google Analytics code as shown in the image.

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You should ensure that it is installed on every page of your website. Yet, the process of installation will clearly depend on what type of website you are having. Let’s take an example if you have a WordPress website on a domain that uses Genesis Framework. Then, this type of framework has a particular area to affix the header and footer scripts to your website as you can see in the below image.

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It really doesn’t matter, what framework you are using for your website, if you have a WordPress on your domain, then you can make use of  Google Analytics by Yoast plugin in order to install your code quite easily.

Therefore, if you have a website which is created with HTML files, then you need to add the tracking code before the </head> tag on each of the pages. With the help of using a text editor program, like Notepad for Windows or TextEdit for Mac, you can easily execute this and then you have to upload the file to your web host by using FileZilla (an FTP program).

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For instance, if you are having an e-commerce store Shopify, then you need to go to the settings of your online store and paste in the tracking area as prescribed.

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If you are working on Tumblr, you need to go your blog, just go to Edit theme button at the top right of the blog and then make sure you enter the ID of Google Analytics in the settings as shown below.

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As you can see that the installation of the Google Analytics based on the theme you use, the platform you use (website builder, Content management system, E-commerce software) and even the plugins you use.

Setting up Goals

Once the tracking code gets installed on your website, then you need to configure a setting in the profile of your website on Google Analytics. This is the Goal setting. By clicking on the Admin link at the top of Google Analytics page, you can easily find the goal setting under the view column of the website.

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The most striking thing about the goal is that it will notify the Google Analytics when something interesting yet important happened on your website. Like, if you are having a website where you sell commodities, then you have to create a confirmation page or a Thank you page for the visitors when they completed their purchase.

The URL will be shown like this.

http://132busines.com/thank-you

Or

http://156busines.com/thank-you.html

In the Google Analytics, you have to go to the New Goal Button like shown below.

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After that, you need to choose the custom option, and then click the Next Step Button

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You need to give a specific name to your goal that you can remember, Select Destination and then click the Next Step Button

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Then, you need to enter a Thank you page URL after the .Com under the goal details, Destination and make sure to change the drop down to “begins with”.

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Then, you need to toggle the value and put the particular dollar value for the conversion and to complete the setup, click Create Goal.

In case, if you are having similar goals and want to track on your website, then you can easily follow these steps again.

Tip: In Google Analytics, it is the simplest method of conversion tracking. In the Google Analytics support, you can even review the documentation to know more about setting up Goal Tracking.

Setting up Site Search

You can quickly set up site search as it will help you to give valuable data. It can be for any website that has a search box on it, at the top of the Moz blog, just like the search box.

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First of all, you need to run a search on your website. Then make sure you keep the tab open as you will need the URL for a moment.

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Get back to your Google Analytics menu and then click on view setting under the view column.

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You need to scroll down until you can see the site settings and toggle it to on.

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For search results, look at your URL again. Just enter the query parameter and then click save. For example, q is the query parameter.

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It will help the Google Analytics to track any searches made on the websites so that you can aware what the visitors are looking on your website.

Adding Additional Accounts and Properties

By going to your Admin menu, you can easily add a new Google Analytics account. After that, click on the drop-down in the Account column and then click on create new Account link.

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Similarly, if you want to add a new website to your Google Analytics account, then you have to go to your Admin menu, under the property column click on the drop down and then Create New Property link.

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After installing Google Analytics on your website, then you just need to set up goals, site up searches; wait for one day for it to start fetching the data.

Viewing Google Analytics Data

Once you get into the Google Analytics data, you start getting knowledge about the website’s traffic. Moreover, if you have more than one website, then you have a liberty to choose from a list of websites and after that, you have been taken to the audience overview report in Google Analytics. More than 50 reports are available to you in Google Analytics. By clicking on the reporting link at the top, you can have easy access to these reports.

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Standard Reports in Google Analytics

In the Google Analytics, the standard report will look quite like this. You can go on the drop-down arrow (at the top right) next to your website in order to switch different websites in your Google Analytics account. On the other hand, you can even go at the top and click the Home link.

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At the top right in the report, you can alter the date range of data by just clicking on the dates you are viewing. Moreover, you can even check the compare box to compare your data from one range of data to the previous range.

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In order to get more information, you can check a range of areas on your Google Analytics reports. Like, in the Audience overview, the floating line on the graph helps you to get information regarding the number of sessions for a particular day. However, hovering over the metrics under the graph will let you know about the meaning of each one.

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In the main metrics, you will be able to view the reports to see the top ten countries, cities, operating systems, browsers, languages, and even the screen resolutions of the visitors.

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To see further details, you can click full report link on every single one to view the full reports. For example, click on the US in countries helps to give you the full location report.

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Furthermore, you can still view each state to check the number of visitors from that particular state. Just scroll down the table and get over every single column name to get more knowledge about each metric.

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The field of Google Analytics is quite vast and interesting, the deeper you will get into, the more knowledgeable information you will acquire.

What are the different types of Google Analytics Reports?

When it comes to reports, here is the brief glimpse of what you will able to find in each of the standard Google Analytics reporting sections that are easily available in the left sidebar.

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There are a particular set of reports within the following sections that you can refer to.

  • Audience Reports: These reports will help you to about the visitors of your website. In addition, you will able to get information about the visitor’s age and gender, their interests, where they come from, their languages, and what technology they use to view your website.
  • Acquisition Reports: These reports help you to know about what drives your visitors to your website. You will able to see the traffic broken down by the main categories (All traffic > channels) and specific sources (All traffic > source).

From social networks, you can get more information about traffic. Even though, you can connect Google Analytics to Google AdWords to learn more about pay per view campaigns.

  • Behaviour Reports: with the help of these reports, you will get information about the content. If you set up site search, you will be able to see what items are searched by the visitors (site content > landing pages), and the pages they are searched upon (site search > pages).

You can even learn about how fast your website loads, i.e. site speed as well as some valuable suggestions on how to make your website faster (site speed> speed suggestions).

Conversions

If you have set up Goals with your Google Analytics account, then you will able to see that how many conversions your website has inward (Goals > overview) and on what URL’s they happened on (Goals> Goals URL’s).

While talking about goals and conversions, most of the tables under the Google Analytics standard report will definitely tie the particular data to the conversions. For example, you can easily view the number of conversions that are made by the visitors from California by Audience> Geo> Location report. Moreover, you can even see the number of conversions made by the visitors from Facebook under the Acquisitions > All traffic > source report.

Note: You can see the number of conversions made by the visitors on the specific pages by Behaviour > site content > Landing pages report.

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Shortcuts and Emails

If you find someone that you are willing to visit again and again, then at the top of the report, you can use the shortcut link to add them to the shortcuts in your left sidebar for a smoother and faster access.

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Otherwise, you can use the Email button to have them emailed to you on a usual basis.

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If you want to choose to send Emails to someone outside of your organization, then you need to check Emails by simply clicking on the Admin Menu and then on the scheduled Email box under the view column to strictly make sure that the only people who are working with your company are getting the information.

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About the author

Saifi Rizvi

Saifi Rizvi, owner of Digihubpost, is a passionate blogger and an accomplished digital marketing trainer from India. He has written blogs on various topics like SEO, Blogging, products reviews, making money online, Google AdWords, etc. He has assisted many clients from different industries and helped them improve their online strategies.

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