In this lesson we are going to go over setting up your own Google analytics account, so you can start putting it to work for your website.
It’s time for your second lesson in the Understanding Google Analytics crash course. I hope you found lesson one informative and now have a better understanding of what GA can do for you.
Setting up your Google Analytics account is very simple and the entire process can be over in a few minutes.
The first thing you need is a general Google account.
This can be your Gmail account or some other account. If you don’t have any type of Google account then you have to create one.
It is better not to use your Gmail account which you already have because that way your Google Analytics account and Gmail would be juxtaposed and you would have too much information on one email address.
Ideally, you should go to the Google Accounts page and create an email address, unique for a specific website. You can name the email address as per the domain name of the website.
Once you have a general Google account, you should go onto the Google Analytics page.
Here, you will be asked a few simple questions and there will be several checkboxes.
Most of the checkboxes are self explanatory and if you are a little confused as to whether you should go for ‘custom’, ‘advanced’ or ‘standard’ configurations, it is better to go with ‘standard’, especially if this is the first time you are using Google Analytics.
It’s a good idea to choose a domain name for the account name. While, you can use any name you want, but having a website URL as your account name can help you easily track which Google Analytics account is for which website. If you have multiple website’s you can create different profiles for each one later, from within your Google Analytics account.
For optimum results you should let Google know about all of the domains that you want to monitor and collect analytical data on.
Additionally, you may or may not choose to share your Google Analytics data with third parties and other Google products and services.
After you complete the sign up process, you will get a ‘tracking code’ from Google Analytics.
This tracking code needs to be inserted in your website for Google to start recording data.
It must be placed after the body tag in the code of the webpage’s you want to track. If you have different files for different webpage on your website then you have to insert the tracking code on every page.
The process is fairly simple and Google provides you with detailed instructions, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself then you can hire a webmaster or a developer to do the job for you.
They should know exactly where to place the tracking code so that it will work properly.
Once the code is in place it will begin collecting data and you can login to your Google Analytics account and start observing the analysis in real time on the dashboard.
That’s it for today’s lesson.
In your next lesson we will be talking about the different types of reports available inside your Google Analytics account.
If you have any questions or need any assistance please feel free to contact me at any time. I will be glad to help.
PS: Do not forget to check out our other “Tracking Your Visitor Lessons” too…
Until then, David Belton