Learning about who is visiting your website by setting up google analytics and how they are using it is a lot easier than you may think.
Website owners who have insight into such details inevitably find ways to become even more popular and successful.
As with many other website-related matters, Google offers the easiest way to gather information about visitors and usage patterns. Google Analytics collects and provides data about everything from referrers and visitors’ home countries to aggregate traffic levels, demographics, and dwell times.
As a freely available tool, Google Analytics should be useful to anyone who is interested in such details. Quite a few website owners never get it set up, however, perhaps feeling that the process will be too complicated.
Website owners who would rather handle the required work themselves can do so by taking the following five steps.
1. Register a Google Analytics Account
Most people now control at least one active Google Account, but it takes more than that to start using Analytics. A quick visit to the platform’s official site is all that is required to activate the service for an existing Google Account.
This will generate a unique tracking number that will be used for a variety of Analytics-related purposes. This identification number should be kept private, since sharing it with others could result in contaminated data later on.
2. Set Up a Tag Manager Account
Although there are other options, most website owners will find it easiest to set up Google Analytics with the help of the same company’s Tag Manager system. Once again, all that it takes is a quick visit to the homepage of that service to add it to a Google Account’s lineup.
Tag Manager complements Google Analytics by handling a lot of the busywork that would otherwise be required to get going. Tag Manager can also be used to make Google Analytics even more informative by allowing tracking over a wider range of properties and services.
3. Add Google Analytics Tracking to Your Site Using Tag Manager
Head to the Tag Manager dashboard next to get everything ready for use with Google Analytics. You will need to create at least one new tag and then activate the “Universal Analytics” feature for it in the configuration screen.
For each tag you create, you will also need to set an appropriate “Track Type,” whether that corresponds to a targeted page or an event like a visitor’s click on a promotional button. Finally, you will create a Google Analytics Variable in the Tag Manager dashboard, add your unique ID to it, and select an appropriate trigger.
4. Set Up Some Google Analytics Metrics
Google Analytics is a lot more useful if you have some well-defined goals in mind. Fortunately, the platform’s dashboard makes it easy to define metrics that will be recalculated upon every visit to your website.
You can track anything from how often visitors land on particular pages to the number of URLs they visit, on average, before heading elsewhere. Setting up appropriate metrics from the start will make it easier to judge how much progress is being made toward the overall goals for your site.
5. Set Up Google Search Console
Finally, you will complete your setup of Google Analytics by adding your site to the Google Search Console.
This dashboard allows you to quickly assess how your website is performing with regard to a variety of search-related issues. This completes the picture that Google Analytics paints by giving you more insight into how your visitors discover your site and use it.
Simply following the five steps above is all that it takes to get Google Analytics up and running for any website.
While the process does take a bit of time, it should be manageable by anyone who is comfortable running a site, in general.
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