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How To Use Google Analytics For Beginners In 2018

Are you looking to learn how to use Google Analytics, but don't know where to start? Great news! You're in the right spot. This lesson will be divided over 2 core aspects. First I'll go over the basics of what Google Analytics is and second I'll show you how to set it up for your website.

What Can Google Analytics Do?

Analytics can do some powerful tasks for you. It shows you what people are doing when they get to your web page. It can show you the source that sent the person, how long they've been on your site, what they click, what pages they visit and much more. For example, say you are a web developer looking to build websites for businesses. You can have two copies of your website and send 50% of your web traffic to each. When one out performs the other, you start using that one and create a new page to test against it, always going with the better results. This is called A B testing, and is one of the powerful tools I'll explain in depth later on. First, we must understand the ABCs of Google Analytics.

google analytics
google analytics

The ABCs of Google Analytics are the holy grail of measurable success in the digital marketing world. Anyone can get traffic to a website. Anyone can watch what people do when they're there. Few people master the combination, allowing them to push customers through the first two and into the conversion process.
AQUISITION is where your find your customers. This could be by handing out business cards, emailing clients or having them click on your adwords or Facebook campaigns. These results are tracked by seeing how many visitors land on your page.
BEHAVIOUR is what your potential customers are doing once they've been "aquired" and now know of your business or brand. What do they click once they get to your website? Do they get caught at a certain step during checkout? Does something scare them off? Is one product getting way more traffic than another?
CONVERSION is the important part. It doesn't matter how many people you aquire or what they do on your site if they don't convert. You can track this one by checking if your potential customers make it to you "thank-you" page after the purchase screen.

Here is a quick screenshot of 1 year worth of data from my first business, a computer repair company. It reflects paid traffic such as the ad and social media campaigns run, as well as organic traffic from my website having solid SEO. From this screen you will be able to go through the ABCs, listed on the left sidebar. You will be able to see live traffic on your website as well as the history recorded. There are multiple modifiers for the data, allowing you to see which device someone used, the language their computer is set to, how many new visitors you have, etc. You will spend most of your time navigating through, and learning from, this screen.

Google keeps this interface very clean and easy to use. Everything you need to measure the success of your website is here. When you run social media campaigns and use Google AdWords, you want to be sure that your dollars are well spent. Getting high ROI is what you want, so you need to be using this tool. Plain and simple, if you want to track results on your website then Google Analytics should be your first choice.

google analytics
google analytics

How To Set Up Google Analytics

Install time! Head over to Google Analytics and sign in with your gmail account. Don't have one? Go here first.

First, click on sign in and select "analytics" at the top. Do not select the analytics 360 suite! Go through the form, adding an account name and filling out all info regarding your website. At the end, click "get tracking ID" You should end up on a page that looks like the one shown here.

Google Analytics gives us control over what we get to see while using their tool, in something called views. Depending on your size, you can customize your views differently. If big enough, you can set up an organization to group your views. Inside an organization, you'll have properties, which relate to each website or app you're monitoring. Inside each of these properties is where you may set up views. These views may be set up to track conversions, page visits, geographical customer location and more. Make sure these views align with exactly what you want to track, as you can't change the data once it's in there.

google analytics
google analytics

If you have multiple people on your account you may set up permissions to allow certain people edit options. If you don't need this, move on to filters! Filters are what we use so we only see important data that is relevant to furthering your goals. Go click "admin" on the top of the page to see what views are available. Under view, click "settings". Test everything first, as any data you stop collecting is gone forever!. We want to click the view selector and pick "create new view". Call this one Test View. Click "create view". Go to view settings and under bot filtering click "Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders". Click "save".

Now we need a view we can work with. While still in your test, go to the top right and click "copy view". Rename it to "Master View" and click "copy view". You now have a view that you can test things on, and once they work you can apply the changes to your Master View! Now we're going to set a basic filter. Go back to your test view and click "add filter". Call it "exclude internal traffic". Select "predefined" as Google knows many people use this filter, and click "select filter type". Select Exclude, click "source or destination" and then click "traffic from the IP addresses". Now click "select expression" and choose "that are equal to". Type in your public IP address. You may find this by searching Google for "what is my ip". Now click "save". You may now apply this to your master view if you so choose.

google analytics

You now have your website analytics set up, you have filters and you have a test view. You're all ready to play around with the wonderful world of Google Analytics! Start by exploring the audience > overview tab to see the traffic on your website. You can even check it in real time! Thanks for reading and I hope this guide has helped. If you're looking for more info, go right to Google and check out their in depth guides to mastering Google Analtics here.

Sully 13 April, 2018 js, google analytics, html permalink