How to Add Google Analytics to Your Website
November 16, 2015 | Search Engine Optimization
Sometimes I tend to forget that while a lot of web technologies are old-hat to me, they may be new or even unknown to someone else. Recently I’ve noticed that many of my clients aren’t using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is arguably THE most essential tool for any website. It’s a free tool from Google and it provides invaluable insight into your websites’ traffic, engagement, and conversions. Even if you aren’t ready to dig into the data just yet, you should still setup Google Analytics to collect your data so you have it when you are finally ready.
It’s a simple process but may be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before and odds are, if this is your first website, you probably haven’t. So let’s walkthrough the process on how to get started.
3 Simple steps to setting up Google Analytics
1. Setup a Google Account
The first thing you need to do is signup for a Gmail account in order to take advantage of Google Analytics. Don’t worry, it’s simple, fast, and free. Just fill in the required fields and click next step when you’re done.
Now you just need to authorize your account. Google will send a text message to your mobile phone, simply enter the code into the authorization field and that’s it! Congratulations! A whole new world is now open to you! You can now setup google analytics, google webmaster tools, a youtube page, a google plus page, and much much more!
2. Signing up for Google Analytics using Gmail
Now that you have your own gmail account, you can now register for google analytics. Click the link here or type in analytics.google.com to get to the signup screen.
Now just click “sign up.” You’ll be taken to the analytics signup page. You’ll need to pick a name for your account, enter your website address (Example: http://www.my-website.com), industry, and time-zone.
For the data sharing settings, I typically just leave all of those boxes checked. When you’re done, click “Get Tracking ID.” You’ll need to accept the Google Terms and conditions. Once you’ve accepted the terms, you’ll be taken Google Analytics Dashboard. Here you’ll see your Google analytics Tracking ID as well as the block of code you’ll need to add to your website.
3. Adding Google Analytics to Your Website
There are several ways to do this step, so depending on how your website is setup you may need to do this step a bit differently. If you’re running WordPress, there is a pretty simple way to accomplish this. Download the Google Analytics plugin by Kevin Sylvestre and simply copy and past your tracking ID.
However, if you prefer not to use a plugin you’ll have to add the code block the old fashioned way. Simply copy and paste the code block after the opening body tag on any page you’d like to track. If you are using php, I like to use a php include so I don’t have to copy and paste the entire code block on every page. That method goes a little beyond the scope of this article but if you’re interested you can find more information here.
That’s it! Your website is now setup to start collecting analytics data!
Note: Google Analytics takes roughly 24 hours to start displaying data. So don’t worry if you don’t see any data in your dashboard right away.
For more information on Google Analytics and how to take full advantage of it’s features check out some free training courses from Google.