If you have a website, knowing how your users interact with your site is essential. Many of you will have heard of Google Analytics, but may not have it installed on your website, or may not be getting the best insights from the data being collected.
In this blog, we aim to bring you through a high level introduction to Google Analytics, how to Install Google Analytics on your website, and understanding some key terms and metrics. We will be writing a series of blogs on Google Analytics, each one being more detailed and advanced than the previous. If you have any questions, or require assistance with an analytics solution, we here at Trigger Media can help, just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, what is Google Analytics? – In short, Google Analytics is a free tool for tracking users on your website. Google Analytics tracks the actions of your website visitors and gives you detailed data on their behaviour on site. While there are many analytics tools on the market, Google Analytics is one of the most well equipped and comprehensive tools available among both paid and free solutions.
Do I need to use Google Analytics? – Our answer to this is invariably YES!! While it is always nice to see how many people are using your website, Google Analytics gives you a Real-Time tool, as well as hourly breakdown of visitors on your website. If you are to publish a post on social media at 5PM, you want to know how soon after posting did people visit your site. Knowing 50 people visited in a day doesn’t tell you how many visited after 5PM, so having a tool which can give you these insights is essential.
But Google Analytics offers much more than time of day metrics. When using Google Analytics, you can also analyse data on your users:
– LOCATION – Are people from your city/county visiting your website, or is your traffic coming from an entirely different country? Knowing the location of users can be very important
– TRAFFIC SOURCE – How are people arriving on your website? Was it because of that post you put on Facebook and Twitter? Are people finding you via SEO, or are they finding your website because of a link on another website? Knowing how people come to your website can help you make important business decisions.
– CONTENT – It’s one thing to know people are coming to your website, but why? What content are they reading? Knowing what content on your website performs best can help you decide if you need to tailor your other messaging, or change your product offering to suit the website customers.
– eCOMMERCE – Very similar to content, knowing which product performs best, and even knowing the conversion rate per product is hugely important. This can also help you decide if your pricing is appropriate for each product, or if you need to change the product details to encourage more people to transact.
These are some very basic examples of metrics you could follow in Google Analytics, however, you can clearly see that the insights you get can be hugely important for your business.
How can I install Google Analytics on my Website? – Setting up Google Analytics on your website can be a little tricky if you’re a novice. We’re going to describe the general way to install Google Analytics on your site. There are easier ways depending on your CMS (WordPress, CraftCMS, Squarespace, etc) but we are going to describe the way which works for all websites.
- If you have not already done so, create a property in Google Analytics. Create one Analytics property for each website you want to track. Creating a property generates a tracking ID, which you’ll use in your gtag.js tracking code snippet.
- Find your tracking ID, as described below. You’ll use this tracking ID in the tracking code snippet.
- Copy and paste the gtag.js tracking code snippet to each web page you want to track. Add the tracking code snippet right after the opening <head> tag on each page.
FIND YOUR TRACKING ID
To find the tracking ID:
- Sign in to your Analytics account.
- Click Admin.
- Select an account from the menu in the ACCOUNT column.
- Select a property from the menu in the PROPERTY column.
- Under PROPERTY, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code. Your tracking ID is displayed at the top of the page.
TRACKING CODE SNIPPET
This part can really look daunting as its actual code. Don’t worry, all you have to do is copy what you see in Google Analytics, and past it into your website Header.
Paste the following snippet right after the <head> tag on each page of your site. Replace GA_TRACKING_ID with your own Google Analytics tracking ID:
<!– Global Site Tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics –>
<script async src=“https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=GA_TRACKING_ID”></script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || ;
gtag(‘js’, new Date());