Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool offered by Google for free to help you improve your digital marketing results. With Google Analytics, you can learn a lot about your audience, who they are, where they come from, and how they behave on your website. It is also the best website activity tracking service in terms of ease of use, installation, features, reports, support, and a lot more.
As you learn more about how to use Google Analytics, you’ll be making informed marketing decisions — which will lead to better SEO results, an increase in lead generation, and drive you more sales.
In this article, we’re going to help you do that, but before we go into a quick guide on how to use Google Analytics, we’ll show you how to install it first.
Installation can be broken down into two parts — creating an account and linking it using to your website.
Create a Google Analytics Account
With a Google Analytics account, you’ can add up to 100 websites and manage them all from one account. And you’ll also be able to control user groups and set permissions for members to access the account and see the data.
First, access the tool here: Google Analytics.
If you already have a Google account, this is what the page will look like.
Click Sign Up.
Important: We highly recommend that you use a separate Google account (not your personal account) for your business. If you already have one just use it — if not, you can create a new one here.
Fill in the form.
Tracking method: As a website owner, you should choose “Website”. The Mobile app option is for app owners who want to track mobile users.
Account name: Just go with your business name to make it easy to distinguish between accounts.
Website Name: Business name or domain name of your website.
You can add up to 100 websites to a single account; and that’s why you should name each one with the domain name so it becomes easy for you to access any website you want when your list gets bigger.
Website Url: Pay attention to the link (http or https).
Industry: If you can’t find your industry, pick the closest one. It will still be better than not picking one at all. (This will allow you to compare your data to other businesses in your industry in the future.)
Data sharing settings: Read through the options and see what suits your business best. Check the ones that you want, and click Get Tracking ID.
After you’re done filling the form, you’ll get a “Tracking ID” and a “Global Site Tag” for your website. They’ll let Google pull data from your website.
Now we will use the tracking id to link the two accounts.
How to Link Your Google Analytics Account To Your Website
Add Google Analytics To WordPress:
We always recommend for business owners to use WordPress as a CMS for their websites because of how easy it is to manage it.
All you have to do is install a plugin with a few clicks, and you’ll be good to go.
Go to Plugins in your dashboard and search for: MonsterInsights.
Click on Install Now, and then Activate.
Once it’s activated, head to Settings and click Authenticate with your Google Account.
You’ll be taken to a setup page where you have to fill in some information about your website.
Select the category that describes your website, and then hit Save and Continue.
The next step is to connect your Gmail account to your MonsterInsights account; and the plugin will automatically get the tracking ID and verification info from it.
Click Connect to MonsterInsights.
Choose the business account you used when you signed up for Google Analytics.
Pick the website you added from the list.
And then click Complete Connection.
Congratulations! You’ve just finished setting up your Google Analytics and adding it to your WordPress website.
Now, if you go to your WordPress Admin Dashboard, Insights, and then Setting; It should look something like this.
How to Add Google Analytics To Any Website
You have to pull the code and manually add it to your website header file.
Click on the Admin Icon on the left from your Google Analytics Dashboard.
Under Property, click on Tracking Info and then Tracking Code.
You’ll see your Website Tracking Code in the box.
This method works for WordPress if you don’t want to use the plugin.
Go to Appearance, Editor, and select header.php from the list in the right.
Paste the code above the </head> tag.
Click on Update File.
For other Content Management Systems:
Paste the tracking ID to your header file and save it.
It may take up to 24 hours for Google Analytics to start showing your website data.
How Does Google Analytics Work?
Although Google Analytics doesn’t tell you exactly what to do, it will nudge in the right direction to grow your online business and improve your sales.
Be aware that you can do a lot with it, but for this beginner’s guide, we’re going to stick with the basics.
We’ll explain the three main sections Audience, Acquisition, and behavior — and that will give you an idea on how you might be able to incorporate the data you get from Google Analytics into your plan and make it a winning strategy.
Audience allows you to learn a lot of valuable information about your audience.
The way you should communicate with your consumers changes as their personas change. For example, if your target audience is single moms aged between 30-45 and living in the US, there is a specific language you should use to get their attention.
Under Audience, you can see your audience’s age, gender, interests, geolocation, device, and a lot more; and that can help you a lot with developing a winning strategy.
Once you begin understanding what type of content is working and which audience is responding best to it, you can reverse engineer your content creation process.
Behavior section is very important as it provides detailed information about Pageviews and how users are flowing through your website.
This option is going to show you how visitors are moving through your website pages. And It will be useful to know that kind of information when you want to group pages in sections and decide which ones to show first.
This will let you know what pages get the most page views, which ones have high bounce rates, and what pages your Users exit from the most, etc.
You can access all the data about your website and pages by clicking on Site Content and then All Pages.
Choose the date you want to start from, and sort that out by day, week, or month.
Pageviews is the number of views generated by your audience for each time a page is visited or refreshed.
Unique Pageviews are collected by counting sessions generated by the same person as one Pageview only.
For example, if user A visits an article page you shared, goes to your content page, and then back to read the rest of the article; it will only count as a single
Bounce Rate is the percentage of users leaving your site after viewing one page only.
The lower your bounce rate is, the better. You want your visitors to navigate through your site and spend more time on it.
Numbers may vary depending on the industry, but if your bounce rates are higher than 75%, you need to take some action to lower it.
%Exit is the percentage of visitors leaving your website from a specific page.
Your exit rates importance changes depending on the page. For instance, it is normal to have 90% exit rates on your Contact page. It means that people leave after getting your contact info.
However, if your sales pages have high exit rates, you know there is something wrong with the design or copy. You should work on them to improve your conversion rates.
Simply put, acquisition lets you know how visitors are getting to your site. And it has two important subsections — Channels and Source/Medium.
Channels section is similar to what you can see in Overview but with a more detailed graph. You’ll see traffic sources sorted by marketing channels like Organic Search, Email, Social, Direct, Referrals, etc.
By clicking on any channel, you’ll find even more details.
Examples of different channels may be — specific keywords getting you traffic (Organic Search), websites referring to your links (Referral), or paid campaigns you ran in the past (Paid Search).
Source/Medium provides the most complete data about the source of your traffic — and that helps you monitor your website activity more effectively.
For example, if Channels tells you that your social media marketing is working, it would be unlikely that all the sources are working equally.
Knowing the behavior patterns of each Source/Medium helps decide which ones are driving the best results and double down on them.
Wrapping It Up
Keep in mind that Google Analytics can be used in a lot of different ways to help you grow online. There are a lot of features that you can use in different ways to achieve your end-goals. And thankfully, most of them do not require a lot of experience to be successfully implemented.
So, what are you waiting for? Make it a priority to learn the basics and understand what the data is telling you, and you’ll put your business on the right path to growth.