Your website is your home, the hub of your digital marketing operations. In order to advance in your online marketing campaigns, you absolutely must know where your site traffic is coming from, how users are interacting with your site, and how they behave once they arrive there. To do this, you need Google Analytics, and to install Google Analytics, you need to follow some specific steps.
Think about it this way, why would you bother consistently throwing money at your Facebook marketing campaign if you weren’t acquiring any leads from that channel? Or if you were, and virtually none of them were converting, don’t you think you’d change something in your strategy?
The problem is that there’s virtually no way to actually know where your traffic comes from and how they are behaving on your site without, you guessed it, Google Analytics.
Without this tool you’ll really struggle to get insights into traffic acquisition, conversion rates, and a number of other metrics you simply need to know so that you can optimize your campaigns accordingly.
Once you’ve installed Google Analytics however, you’ll be able to drill down on all this information in real-time, in enormous detail, for free.
You can track site performance at any time, comparing metrics from hour to hour, day to day or decade to decade easily and quickly, which means you can actually study what campaigns have may have been more successful than others in the past.
You can see what campaigns have been more effective in particular countries, you can understand what demographic of people were more likely to convert, you can analyze your site using cold hard facts.
All this means is that you can optimize your site to the fullest extent possible, so that your online business runs at its most efficient, and you see great increases in ROI.
Of course, for all this to be possible, you actually need Google Analytics to be installed on your site. Fortunately for you, we’re going to take you step-by-step through the exact process of how to install Google Analytics so that you can start perfecting your campaigns and achieving your marketing goals.
How to Install Google Analytics on Your Site
1. Create or sign in to your Analytics account:
It’s pretty clear that you need to start off by having an Analytics account, so go to this page and if you already have an account simply sign in, but if you don’t, it’s completely free to start.
You can log in using your Google or Gmail account, otherwise, go ahead and create a free one, and accurately fill in the information Google requires of you.
2. Set up a property in your Google Analytics account:
This is going to be the property you want to track site performance for, so this will be your company website or app, for example. Once you are signed up to and signed in to Analytics, you need to click on the ‘Admin’ button, which is in the shape of a cog.
Then, under the ‘Property’ column, click on the new ‘Create Property’ column. Bear in mind that if you can’t see the ‘Create new property’ button, you don’t have Edit permission, so you need to check that you are logged into the right account.
At this point, you do have the option to choose an app as your property, but we’re going to stick to installing Google Analytics on your site for now. To do this, enter your website name, the URL of the site, and select your Industry Category.
The industry category you select will determine what ‘goal templates’ you can use, as Google designs them so that you can set up campaigns with specific goals, that are specific to your industry.
Finally, you enter your Reporting Time Zone, which will determine when the boundary will fall for one day in your reports, before clicking on ‘Get Tracking ID’ at the bottom of the screen.
Copy the tracking ID that appears to your clipboard or a Word document to use later on in the process.
3. Set up a reporting view in your property:
This is a step designed to more accurate, filtered data. For example, you can filter out any traffic that stems from IP addresses associated with your business so that figures aren’t skewed by you or your employees, or you could filter data that comes from a specific region you are aiming a campaign at.
However, to set up your Google Analytics you need at least one view that will show you unfiltered data. It is after you’ve set up this first, unfiltered, view that you will be able to add filters to track a more specific subset of data. You can add as many as 25 views to each property.
To set up a view, go to your Admin page and select the property you want to set up an account for. Then, in the right-hand column, click on ‘Create View’.
Then enter the name of the view, the reporting time zone and then click ‘Create View’. Once you have created the view, you can go back to your admin page and edit the data it tracks under the ‘View Settings’ option.
4. Install Your Google Analytics Code
So, now comes the part of actually installing the Google Analytics code on your site. Start by going to Admin again, then going to the ‘Property’ column for the appropriate account and clicking on ‘Tracking Info’.
You’ll see this menu above pop up, so you need to click on the option that says, ‘Tracking Code’. You’ll be presented with this page below, and if you’ve forgotten your Tracking ID already, this is your moment to have a big sigh of relief.
Your tracking ID is the code in the top right of the screen; the nine-digit code always preceded with ‘UA’. Below that you’ll see the code you need to add to the HTML of your webpage in order to track data from that specific piece of online real estate.
Copy and paste the code Google supplies for you in between the <head> tags on your pages.
5. Verify the tag is working
Finally, you want to check that the code is working, and you are indeed tracking data coming from a webpage you’ve installed the tag on. To do this, click the ‘Send test traffic’ button at the top of the screen to see if the active-user count updates just above.
You can then access your Google Analytics Dashboard by clicking ‘real-time traffic reports’ and enjoy the full range of features available to you on Google Analytics.
How do I Track Site Performance?
Of course, it’s easy to leave you there and say good luck in all your future Google Analysing, but at Adversent we like to go the extra mile, so here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to recognising trends, what those trends entail, and how you should alter your campaigns based on them.
1. A drop in traffic from one search engine
So many marketers, particularly those interested in SEO, find themselves extremely perturbed when they see that they have lost traffic from a specific search engine.
They’ll go about altering their entire SEO strategy, trying to recover the level of traffic they had before. But you don’t need to do this. A distinct drop in traffic coming from a distinct source doesn’t mean you have to alter your entire strategy, and it doesn’t mean you have to start panicking about overhauling your entire site.
The first thing you need to do is identify whether this drop in traffic really is just relevant to one single search engine. To do this, in your Google Analytics, go to the ‘Acquisition’ tab on the left-hand side. Click here, then on the dropdown menu underneath, click on ‘All Traffic’. Then, when the next dropdown menu opens up, select ‘Source/Medium’.
In the table you are presented with, you can then see a breakdown of where all of your traffic is generated from.
The 6 Types of Traffic:
Display traffic – any users that have come from display ads such as banner or flash ads installed on websites.
Paid search – traffic that clicks on paid ads in the SERPS. These are results that a business has paid to have appear in search results and are indicated by a green ‘Ad’ box.
Social traffic – users that have clicked on a link to your site from any social media platform.
Referral traffic – traffic that ends up on your site having clicked on a link on other websites or other sources such as an email marketing campaign, bypassing search engines.
Direct traffic – any traffic that has typed your domain name directly into the search bar at the top of the screen, navigated to your site from a bookmark or some other way that mean a search engine is bypassed.
Organic search traffic – the users that have ended up on your site by typing a search term into a search engine and then clicking on an organic search result to your page.
In the case we’re considering, you clearly want to focus your organic search traffic, as it’s fluctuations in this that indicate whether your SEO strategy is a success.
You can do this by drilling down on any of the options you see in the table of traffic sources. We, for example, might be interested in seeing whether there are any noticeable fluctuations in the amount of traffic we are getting from Google, our top organic traffic generator.
Clicking on this, you are presented with an in-depth report on how much traffic has come from Google. So, back to what you need to do if you see a distinct drop in traffic from one search engine, Google, for example.
If you can clearly see you are getting less visitors coming via Google, whereas the number of users who come from Bing, Yahoo or Ecosia are all holding steady, then don’t look to overhaul your entire SEO campaign.
It is far more likely that you have infringed on some quality guidelines specified by Google, or that you have disallowed Googlebot from crawling some of your pages, unindexing them so that they don’t appear on SERPs.
Speak to your developer, make sure your site is properly mapped for search engine crawlers. Listen to chatter in the SEO community about any potential Google updates to their algorithm. Find what the problem specific to Google is, and address it.
2. A drop in traffic from a social source
Let’s say you take a look at your Google Analytics and see that you’ve had a real decrease in the number of Facebook visits you’ve been getting over the last couple of weeks.
This would indicate that your Facebook Ad strategy, whether your ad copy isn’t compelling enough anymore, whether you have changed your bidding and budgeting strategy and aren’t appearing in the right places, isn’t working as effectively as it could be.
But without Google Analytics, you’d have such little grasp of your traffic acquisition that you’d probably ignore this issue, potentially assuming that your Facebook campaign was running smoothly.
Thanks to your new platform for tracking and analysing traffic, you can address issues to do with traffic acquisition and optimize all your digital marketing strategies.
By this point, you should understand that installing Google Analytics on your site is an absolutely vital step towards really succeeding in your digital marketing endeavours. We’ve just given you a taste of the features and uses that Google Analytics allows you, and now it’s up to you to explore the platform and really get to grips with it, so that you can quickly and easily see where you are succeeding or failing.
Data is essential for progress. Without it, you can’t know whether your SEO campaign is falling flat, or whether particular landing pages just aren’t converting customers.
Google Analytics gives you the power to identify so many key factors and trends that will influence the way you market and help to position you way ahead of your competitors.