Second Lesson – Understanding Google Analytics

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. 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.

– 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.

Again, I appreciate your joining me for this short course.
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 Lessons” too…

Until then, David Belton

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