Step by Step Google Analytics Setup
As an internet marketing company we find we have to work with firms that do web design in Philadelphia often, and many times we have to request information and data contained in Google Analytics. Sometimes firms are unable to share this data with us because they have not correctly set up analytics data on their client’s sites. This article will explain the best practice for web design firms in Philadelphia to use when setting up Google Analytics in order to avoid this situation.
There are only a few necessary steps to set up a basic Google Analytics account on a new web property. The steps are simply:
- create a Google account
- install the tracking code
- set up a profile
- set up goals
- exclude IP addresses or traffic from domains via filters
Creating the Google Account
You must have a Google Account email address and password in order to use Google Analytics. You can sign up for a free Google account at www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount. After you register your account, you also have to register for Google Analytics at www.google.com/analytics/sign_up.html.
One Google Analytics account can track one or many web properties. A user of an analytics account does not need to sign in separately to each account. All accounts will show up in a drop-down menu once the user is signed into Google Analtyics.
It is very straight forward if you are going to be tracking a single website. You just have one analytics account for your website. It gets a little bit more complicated if you are going to be tracking many different websites (for your clients).
There is a limit of 50 profiles that you can set up in any Analytics account, however a user can see more than 50 profiles if they have been invited to join accounts. When a web design firm sets up accounts, they need to keep in mind that administrators of the account can see and modify all profile data for websites being tracked in the account. In addition, analytics data cannot be moved from one account to another. To avoid sharing data between companies, a best practice would be to set up a separate Analytics account for the websites owned by each company.
Installing the Tracking Code
Once you have signed into Google Analytics, you will be asked to generate the tracking code for the web property you wish to track. The screen asks the following questions:
What do you want to track?
You can specify:
- A single domain
- One domain with multiple subdomains
- Multiple top-level domains
- A site built for a mobile phone
The tracking code generator will also ask you if you want to
- Track AdWords campaigns
- Track ad campaigns from other providers
- Dynamic content
- PHP pages
- Use existing Urchin code in addition to Analytics
The tracking code can then be placed into the Head section of every web page that you want to track. It usually takes around 24 hours for the code to begin working.
Setting up Profiles
Google recommends setting up a new profile before filtering out any data or defining goals so that you can be sure you are getting all the available data stored somewhere. You can create several profiles for a website in order to provide different report views of the data. For instance you may want to restrict different users from seeing data about certain parts of the site or certain types of traffic. You can set up a profile to do this. When setting up tracking in an Analytics account, it is a best practice to make the first profile for a property a master profile so that you will have a profile that contains all historical data since tracking began. To add a new profile, simply edit the analytics settings and select “Add New Profile”.
Setting up Goals
The next step in a basic analytics set up is to establish at least one goal. This can be when a user gets to a thank-you page for signing up, a thank-you page for purchasing, or stays on the site for a certain amount of time. There are several types of goals you can set up in analytics.
First identify the thank-you page you want to track. Then edit the profile settings in analytics and scroll down to the goals. Edit the goal settings. In the case of a thank-you page goal set the match type to “exact match” because you are going to exactly match the thank-you page URL. Give the goal a name such as “Orders” or “Newsletter signups” and if you like you can also set up a goal funnel where you indicate the pages you think most visitors will take when they are getting to the goal.
Exclude Internal Traffic
This is all you have to do for a basic analytics installation, unless you are tracking an eCommerce site. In that case, you should set up the eCommerce tracking code. Again, there is a very good Google help document to assist you with this step, located here: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/gaTrackingEcommerce.html
By following these simple steps, you can easily install Google Analytics free tracking code and avoid a lot of confusion later.