Google Analytics – it’s enough to send shudders down many website owners spines. But never fear, I’m a numbers type of gal so Analytics is right up my alley. If you’re unsure if you have a Google Analytics account attached to your website, or how to go about creating one – you’re in the right place. I’m going to explain in non-technical speak, how to tick this overwhelming “to do” off your list.
What do we need to do to get Google Analytics on my website?
- First of all, you need to know if you already have a Google log in (don’t worry, we will check below).
If not, you need to create a account with Google. Note – you most likely do have an account but may not realise it!
- Then, we need to see if you have an Analytics account associated with this log in.
If not, you need to create one!
- Finally, for data to be collected in the account – we need to link the analytics account to your website.
Hang on a minute – I’m not sure if I already have Google Analytics on my website?
You’re not alone…it’s a task that can sometimes be completed when your website is set up and you’re none the wiser. Here is a little quick tip to check if you do have Analytics connected to your website already.
- Go to the chrome web browser
- Visit your website (make sure you’re logged out)
- Navigate to “View” in the toolbar, select “Developer” and “View Source”
- Hold down the control or command key (depending on whether you’re a mac user or not!) and the F key
- Type in “UA-“ and search. If it brings up a result like below, that’s your tracking code.
- If it doesn’t, search for “Tag” or “Google” – if you can find a reference to “Tag Manager”, then you may have an account as well.
If nothing appears – you don’t have Analytics – so you’ll need to create an account and link it to your website.
AND if that was all too hard, just continue below…it’s ok :)
Now, let’s get into creating your Analytics account.
Do I have an account with Google?
Yes– you will be able to log in using this account. You can move onto the next step below (logging straight into analytics).
No– you will need to create an account here.
Note: you don’t have to create a gmail email address, select “Use my current email address” instead to use your own email.
You will be emailed a verification code which you will need to copy and paste where indicated.
How to create a Google Analytics account
- Go to http://www.google.com/analytics/
- Click “Sign in to Analytics”
- You will be redirected to your Google Account login. Enter password and click Next.
- Then go to Google Analytics website: https://analytics.google.com/ Click Sign Up (note – if this screen doesn’t appear, you may already have an Analytics account attached to your Google log in).
- Enter your Account Name – note this is the overall name for your Analytics account (you can have multiple sites under this one account). The name is not overly important so don’t stress.
- Add your website name and URL (i.e. https://yourdomain.com.au)
- Select your Industry (this is mostly used for benchmarking by Google, so again don’t stress too much) and timezone.
- Click “Get tracking ID” (which is what will track your data for Google) – you will need to agree to all the terms before progressing.
- You will then be shown your Tracking ID and code that can be used to place the ID on your website. This is the “link” between your site and your Google Analytics account and what sends the data to Analytics. Without adding the code to your website, nothing will be sent to your Analytics account – so this is the all-important last step!
How to add your Google Tracking ID to your website
How to do this last step will depend on your website platform. Most platforms such as Squarespace, Wix and Shopify have great support documentation. Generally, you just have to enter the Tracking ID into the correct field on the back end.
For WordPress there are several ways you can enter the Tracking ID – through Google Tag Manager, through placing the Global Site Tag into the head code for the website, or using a plugin. For those who don’t like the technical, a plugin is the simplest method.
The plugin I recommend is this one by Monsters Insights– there is a free and premium version, for most people starting out the free version will be fine. Install and activate the plugin as per normal and then navigate to the “Insights” tab on your dashboard to configure the settings and link it to your Google Account. It’s a great idea to exclude admin views so when you log into the website, this data isn’t sent to your Analytics Account.
- The analytics view you have created will count ALL website visits – best practice for Analytics is to create a filtered view, which excludes spam (how to do this is a topic for another post to come!). Always be sure to keep the one original view that contains all visits, then add the new “spam free” view.
- Link your Google Analytics up to your ecommerce store for extra exciting analytical data
- Link your Google Analytics to your Google Search Console account for streamlined reporting
There you have it – you should have a fresh Google Analytics account hooked up to your website, ready to collect lots of handy (and slightly creepy) info about your website visitors!