Your website is a big investment and powerful tool for your business. With any investment, it’s important to be able to measure its performance. That’s where Google Analytics comes in.
In a bricks-and-mortar shop, you can count the number of people who walk through your door. You can ask them questions like how they heard about you or what specifically they’re interested in seeing. Google Analytics is powerful tool that allows you to do the same for your website. So without further ado, let me show you how to set up your Google Analytics account.
1. Sign up for an account www.google.com/analytics. Click the arrow in the upper right corner where it says “sign in” and click ANALYTICS at the top of the drop-down menu.
2. You’ll be redirected to Google’s login page. You can log in with your existing Google account, or create a new one if you don’t have one.
3. Once you log in, you’ll be redirected to the Analytics sign up page. If you created a new Google account, you may need to return to www.google.com/analytics and click ANALYTICS again to get to the sign up screen. Click SIGN UP in the box on the right.
4. On the next screen you’ll set up your website on your account.
Website Name can be your URL or your website name.
Website URL is your exact website address, minus the http://. That’s already been put in for you.
Industry Category is optional, but it can make Google’s suggestions for your account more relevant.
Reporting Time Zone is the time zone where you are located. This is super important for ensuring accurate reporting.
The Data Sharing options near the bottom of the page are completely optional. Select the ones you feel comfortable with.
5. When you’re done, click the blue button at the bottom that says GET TRACKING ID. You’ll end up on the page that shows your tracking ID.
I’ve blacked out my tracking ID to avoid you accidentally using my tracking ID. Your unique tracking ID will start with UA- followed by eight numbers, a hyphen and another number in this format: U-########-#.
6. At this point, you can add your tracking ID to your website and Google will start tracking traffic to your site within 24 hours.
For my web design clients, I add the tracking ID to their websites through their WordPress theme. Check with your designer or developer to see if they’ll do that for you.
If you want to DIY it and you are running a WordPress website, your WordPress theme may have a place where you can add the tracking ID. Check the documentation for your theme. Alternatively, you can install the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin and add your ID to your site through the plugin.
If you’re running your website on a platform other than WordPress, check out this post for platform-specific instructions.
There you have it. You’re all set to start analyzing your website performance with Google Analytics.