Have you been told to use Google Analytics but have no idea what it is?
I’ve whipped up this post to give you the quickest, ‘all-you-need-to-know-right-now’ down low on what Google Analytics is, why you need it and how to set it up.
WHAT IS IT?
Google Analytics is a service that tracks and reports website traffic.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
You don’t really need to know that, thankfully.
WHY DO I NEED IT?
Because you need to track your audience. Imagine your website is your ‘shop’ – an actual brick-and-mortar shop. In real life, you can see who comes in, where they look, what questions they ask and what they buy. You can’t really see that on a website – but you can with Google Analytics.
You can find things out like:
- How many people are visiting your site
- What pages (or blog posts) are the most popular
- How long they are staying
- What sequence of pages they are visiting
- Where they are coming from
- How they found your website (e.g. through social media or Google search)
- Demographics of your visitors
Basically, a lot of very, very valuable information for your business.
HOW DO I SET IT UP?
Firstly, you need to set up a Google Analytics account. Once that’s done, you’ll need to implement your special code onto your website. Click on the Admin tab up the top, then Tracking Info to take you to a page like this:
Next you’ve got to put this code onto your site. If you’re using WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or SquareSpace, you only need to add the code once to your template or theme. The theme then automatically places the code in every post and page you create. Thankfully.
If your site is custom built, your webs developer should have already done this. If not, sack them. But make them update this and show you how to do it. Don’t forget to ask them what happens when you create new posts and pages – will it be automatic?
There’s a LOT you can do with Google Analytics. But for now, simply start getting used to it. Play around with the dashboard and set yourself some website traffic targets (do this after a week to get a baseline) for some motivation.
I’m working on creating more in-depth blogs to help you understand more features of Google Analytics and how to use it for your online business. But first, it needs to be set up and at least starting to record your website traffic.