Most of our clients want a method of seeing how successful their site is in terms of visitor numbers and other metrics. Using Google Analytics is a popular way of doing this.
Some of the stats Google Analytics can measure are:
- How many visits you get in a period of time
- How long visitors stay
- Which country your visitors come from
- Popular times of day they visit
- What device they use
- How many pages visitors view in one session
Google Analytics works through adding a piece of code with a special tracking ID to your website. To use it, you need to set up an account and create a tracking ID.
Starting with Google Analytics
The page is headed Google Marketing Platform. Don’t worry – you’re in the right place! Google have recently moved a number of services including Google Analytics under the Google Marketing Platform banner.
Click on the large blue button in the middle of the screen which reads Sign in to Google Marketing Platform.
Next you’ll see this screen which prompts you to sign in to a Google Account:
If you have a Google Account
You might already have a Google Account if you’ve signed up for another Google service e.g. Google Maps.
Enter your email address, click Next, then password and Next to continue.
You’ll be taken to this screen.
To continue, click on the Set up button in the Analytics section.
You can now skip to the Create a New Google Analytics Account section below.
If you don’t have a Google Account
Google accounts are free to make. On the Sign in screen, click on the Create account link.
Fill in your name and create a password.
For email address, you can either:
- add one you already have (you must have access to it, because you’ll be sent a confirmation link via email)
- create a new Gmail address (click on the link Create a Gmail account instead).
If you use your own email address
Check your email and find the verification code in the email Google just sent you. You should have a six digit code. Copy it.
Enter the code in the space provided and click the Verify button.
Follow the instructions in the “If you create a Gmail account” section below. The only difference is that you won’t be asked for a recovery email address, since you’ve already provided one you have access to.
If you create a Gmail account
After clicking Next, you’ll be asked for your:
- Phone number (optional)
- Recovery email address (optional)
- Birthday (required)
- Gender (you can prefer not to say)
In the More Options section (scroll and click the link to see it) there are some data collection choices you can opt out of.
When you are happy, click on the Create Account button. You’ll go to this screen.
In the Google Analytics section, click the Set up button.
Create a New Google Analytics Account
After you click Set up, a new tab will open showing this 3-step process:
Click on the Sign up button.
Website should be highlighted.
Setting up your account
Add an Account Name. This will probably be your organization name.
Setting up your property
Add a Website Name.
For the Website URL, if you have an SSL certificate on your site, choose
https:// from the dropdown which says
Enter the URL in the box. Do not add
https:// here, and do not add a trailing slash to the URL.
You can add
www to the domain or not – whatever you prefer.
In Industry Category select the most appropriate one for your organization.
If you are in the UK, change Reporting Time Zone. Click on United States and find United Kingdom in the list (you can search for it and it will show up). The time zone will be automatically populated.
Data Sharing Settings
Click the Get Tracking ID button.
The Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement pops up.
The country defaults to the United States. Select United Kingdom from the dropdown if you are resident here.
If you accepted any of the data sharing settings this is what you’ll see:
Check both of the checkboxes, then click the I Accept button.
If you unchecked the data sharing settings you will see a smaller box:
Check the checkbox to agree to the Data Processing Terms and then I Accept.
Your Google Analytics tracking code
You should see a Success message, then a page with your new Tracking ID.
The Tracking ID will be unique, and in the format UA-xxxxxxxxx-x where each x is a number.
Underneath this you’ll see a box with Website Tracking Global Site Tag.
You’ve now created the Google Analytics tracking code.
You still need to add this code to your website to start tracking your visitors. Copy and paste this code and send it to your web developer (hopefully us) who will add the code to your site.
Checking your code is working
Once the code is added to your site, you can check that it’s recording visits by viewing your website’s source code.
Open your website and follow these instructions for your web browser to view source.
CTRL-F (Windows) or
CMD-F (Mac) and search for UA- in the search box.
You should have a result containing your Google Analytics code (the numbers are blurred in the screenshot below).
Now you can log in to Google Analytics – use the Sign In link – and check how much your visitors love your site!