Google Analytics is a marketing saviour. It’s free, easy to use and provides a wealth of information on how your website is faring.
What does Google Analytics show?
- How many people visit your site
- Which pages they first land on
- How long they spend on your site
- How they found you
- Which pages they click on and in which order
- Whether they arrive by mobile/tablet/desktop computer
- Which country they access your site from
- Where they typically exit
- And a heap more…
How do I get started?
Google Analytics at times appears more complicated than it actually is. The trick is to not get bogged down in the huge array of stats. As long as you set things up properly to begin with, you’ll find keeping up with the stats extremely simple and easy to manage.
Linking Your Website To Your Google Account
1) Head to Google Analytics.
2) Click Create an Account and follow the directions. This will involve linking your website URL and accepting the terms.
3) You’ll then be given a unique code (‘UA-… etc’). Copy this code and login to your website dashboard.
4) You’ll want to paste the code into the Google Analytics section. If you are using WordPress and you don’t have a Google Analytics tab in the Settings section of your dashboard, head to www.wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/installation/ and install the widget by following the instructions.
5) Once you have installed and activated the widget in WordPress, paste in the code and click Update.
6) Test that you have set up everything correctly by logging into Google Analytics (after visiting your site from one or two computers) and checking that data is showing up.
Setting up filters
This means excluding yourself from your stats so you don’t get overexcited about your own footprints.
1) Login to Google Analytics and click Admin from the top menu.
2) You will see three drop down menus. Select your Account and Property. (They will most likely already be set to the right selection)
3) In the third dropdown menu (View), select Create New View and create a view name. I would suggest selecting website and calling it “Your Site’s Name (filtered)”.
4) Return to the main Admin page and select the new view you have created in the View dropdown menu.
5) Below the dropdown menu, click Filters and then + New Filter. Call the filter something like ‘My Computers’. Select the same options as below and add your computer’s IP address (to find this type into google.com “What is my computer's IP address” and it will show up at the top of the page).
How many tourists visited my site?
Click Reporting in the top menu. Then select Audience > Overview in the left column. Hover your mouse over the titles to find out more about what they mean.
Goals are ways of tracking particular activities. For instance, you may want to set up a goal that lets you know each time someone clicks Book Now. You could then compare this to the number of actual bookings to work out how many people are choosing to abandon your shopping cart.
1) Click Admin on the top menu.
2) Click Goals in the far right column.
3) Click + New Goal.
4) Follow the steps. For step 3, add the URL of the page you are tracking to the Destination text box. For Value and Funnel you can leave these off.
5) Select Create Goal. Note: To track your goals, click Reporting from the top menu then Conversions > Goals from the left column.
Are my stats any good?
The main thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how many people are visiting your site or how long they are staying. The only thing that matters is that you are always improving. Corny, I know. But it’s true.
Don’t compare your website’s stats with other websites. Compare your stats only with yourself. As long as each week you are increasing your number of unique visitors, average visit duration and pages viewed per visit, and decreasing your bounce rate, then you’re flying!