As a small business owner, you’d want to know where your website visitors are coming from, how many visitors are dropping by, how long they are staying (browsing through the pages), and which visitors eventually become customers, among other insights.
You need these insights to learn who your prospective customers are and what you can do to provide them more value, so they convert better. Google Analytics is the tool you need to help generate such information. It also provides countless opportunities; as long as you properly organize it to help you find answers/solutions to your needs.
To help you get started, here’s how to set up Google Analytics:
Step 1 – Sign up for Google Analytics
First and foremost, you need to have a Google account in order to access Google Analytics. If you have a Gmail or YouTube, you can easily sign in using your credentials from these Google accounts.
If you don’t have an existing Google account, click the ‘Create an Account’ link on the upper right-hand corner of the Analytics page.
Step 2 – Fill in the required details
The ‘New Account’ page asks “What would you like to track?” Choose ‘Website’ since you will be tracking data for your business site.
Your new account also requires the following information:
- account name (you may use your business name here)
- website name (you may use your site’s URL if you prefer)
- website URL (just copy and paste your site URL; if you just use www.yoursite.com, Google will automatically add http://)
- industry category (choose from the dropdown options)
- your reporting time zone (where you live/operate your business)
You also need to tick the checkboxes under the ‘Data Sharing Settings’. Checking all of the options is recommended, but this section is optional and you can select and de-select the options as you see fit.
Step 3 – Get your tracking ID
Once you’ve accomplished the items on your New Account page, click ‘Get Tracking ID’. You need to ‘agree’ to the Terms of Service in order to continue, so make sure to read it first before continuing.
You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll see the tracking ID number which starts with UA- and the tracking code which you need to use on your website.
Step 4 – Installing your tracking code
For small business owners using WordPress, it’s easy and quick to install the Google Analytics tracking code. Simply install the ‘Google Analytics for WordPress’ plugin and manually input the tracking code. You may also use your preferred plugin for this purpose (e.g. Simple Google Analytics).
For those who are not using WordPress, you can apply the following steps:
- Copy the tracking code.
- Locate the </head> tag of your website’s HTML code. For PC, use Ctrl+F. For Mac, use Command+F. Type </head> on the search box.
- Insert the code before the ending </head> tag within your site’s HTML code.
Step 5 – Check your tracking status (a few hours after installation)
It will take time for Google to recognize the newly installed tracking code – it may take a few hours to a day. You will see “Receiving Data” as status when you check your ‘Google Analytics tracking ID page.
This Google analytics tutorial for beginners is your initial step to finding out more about your website visitors – to help you improve your business and take it to the next level.