Google Analytics is Google’s tool for uncovering who visits your website, how they find it, their journey and much more that can help you with key business decisions.
It’s the most widely used analytics tools for measuring website traffic and can tell businesses a lot about their customers, but the amount of information you can get from it can be baffling.
Here, we explain how to set it up to be relevant for your business, ensuring the information you’re collecting is as useful is possible.
How to set up Google Analytics
To set up Google Analytics on your website, you’ll need a Google account, although this can either be a Gmail account or a Google Apps account.
Head to analytics.google.com and sign in. Now you can add a property to your account. Fill in the information relating to your website, such as name, country, industry category and then choose how to implement the code on your website.
We find the easiest way is to enter the tracking code into your website’s header if you have access to the code. Or you can verify its identity via some hosting providers (such as GoDaddy).
Once you’ve configured Google Analytics properly on your site, you should start to see data being tracked on your Google Analytics account.
It’s important to set goals if you want Google to let you know when something important happens as part of your KPIs (such as when someone completed a payment on your site, signs up to a newsletter, creates an account, or custom goals) and also, to exclude the IP addresses of your employees so all the data comes from genuine customers.
To set goals, head to the Goals section from the View column in the Admin dashboard choose New goal and select the option that’s most relevant to your goal. Give it a name, choose the options relevant to your goal (such as a certain destination, duration of an action or more) and create the goal.
To exclude IP addresses so only genuine visits are tracked, you’ll need to set up an IP address filter. You can do this for individual IP addresses, or subnet IP addresses if your business uses a variety of different addresses.
Go to the admin panel, select the account you want to create a filter in and select All filters from the Account column. Choose New filter then Create new filter and name it something recognisable (such as IP address exclusion). Choose the Predefined filter type and from the Select filter type drop-down menu, select Exclude. Click the Select source or destination drop-down menu and select traffic from the IP addresses. Now choose whether you want to exclude individual addresses (that are equal to) or multiple subnet IP addresses (that begin with).
Enter the IP address(es) that you want to exclude or the beginning of the IP address if you’re entering subnet addresses and save the filter.
Setting up a personalised dashboard
Google Analytics provides so many important insights, but it can be very complicated. That’s why it’s key to set up your Google Analytics dashboard for your business so the most important metrics can be viewed instantly.
When you first head to Google Analytics, you’ll arrive at the dashboard. To edit the information shown on here, you can head to Reports, choose Customisation and then Dashboards.
Select to choose New Dashboard and opt for the blank canvas option to create your fully tailored dashboard. Give it a name and you can start positioning the widgets most important for your company reporting.
You can choose standard widgets that present the information numerically, while a timeline will offer that information in a graph so you can track changes over time.
A geo map shows how the data is spread geographically, pie gives the breakdown of a data point as a share of traffic and bar chart plots two data points against each other.
You can also choose real-time widgets or standard widgets, the latter which shows past data.