Google Analytics: A Quick and Easy Guide

Google Analytics is a hot commodity for website owners and businesspeople, but it’s also very overwhelming. What exactly is Google Analytics? What does it do? How will it help? Well, the Quick and Easy guide to Google Analytics is here to answer all your burning questions.

First, what is Google Analytics? According to Wikipedia :

  • “Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.”
  • “Google launched the service in November 2005.”
  • “Google Analytics is now the most widely used web analytics service on the internet.”
  • “Google Analytics is also offered in two additional versions: a subscription-based Google Analytics Premium targeted at premium users and Google Analytics for Mobile Apps.”

So, in summary, it’s a handy tool from Google that will help track the traffic coming in to your website and see how viable it really is. Awesome, right? So how does one get something like this set up on your website? Well, before you start anything you should first set up a Google Analytics account. Once that’s done, you can set up your website tracking and according to the Google Analytics Web Setup Help Page , there are two ways to do this.

The first way is to use the Google Tag Manager. “This approach is recommended because using Google Tag Manager simplifies tag management on your site. [It also] makes it easier to add other tags (such as AdWords Conversion Tracking and remarketing tags) to your site and configure your Google Analytics tracking.” To do this, you must have a Google Tag Manager account, as well as set up Google Tag Manager on your website. “To add Google Analytics tracking to your site, add the Google Analytics Tag to your container in Google Tag Manager and publish the container.”

The second way, which is a bit more complicated, is to manually add the tracking code into your website’s HTML. To do this, “you must have access to your website source code, be comfortable editing HTML (or have a webmaster/developer who can help you) and have a Google Analytics account and property already set up.” To track this way, follow these four steps .

Once your tracking is ready, it’s time to put Google Analytics to use! The Google Analytics Audience Reports Help Page has many metrics you can begin tracking, but as a beginner, here are three main ones this page lists that beginners should look out for.

  1. Active Users: Of course you’re going to want to track how active your website is and how many users visit your page over an amount of days. With this metric, you can “track active users for increments of 1, 7, 14, and 30 days, and stay abreast of the level of user enthusiasm for your site or app.”
  2. Demographics: “Understanding the age-and-gender composition of your audience gives you an opportunity to precisely tailor your content and advertising, from the graphics, language, and technical sophistication you employ on your site to the creative contents and placements for your ads.”
  3. Technology: Do your users visit your website on a computer or their phone? This metric will help you figure that out. “Understanding the technologies users employ to reach and consume your content lets you fine tune current versions, and plan upcoming implementations.”

Do you want to totally stalk your readers? Get Google Analytics. We can help you set it up on ANY website. Contact us to get started. Knowledge is power.

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