Got A Website? Track It With Google Analytics!

There was once a time (back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth) when website developers desperately yearned for an easier way to track their sites’ traffic to answer the five infamous W’s pertaining to their marketing initiatives (Who, What, Where, When, and Why?). Then along came Google Analytics, a free service created to generate a multitude of statistics on websites’ traffic, traffic sources, and conversions. Web developers and programmers from all over the world gathered and celebrated the birth of this incredible analytic generator. (Just kidding, but they totally should have). Anyways, whether your overall marketing objective is to identify the type of audience who engages with your site and the avenues they took to land on it, or how many conversions (i.e. purchase orders or registrations), it can be achieved with Google Analytics.

First off, in order to utilize the popular tool you have to create a Google Analytics account via your Google Adwords account or directly on the Google Analytics site. Once your account has been created add a new web property as a “New Account.” To do so, go to your homepage and click “Admin” at the top right. Then click “New Account.”

Insert the URL for your web property or properties that you wish to track.  Choose a time zone you prefer to report with and choose how you would like to share your data with others. After you’re finished configuring your settings click “Get Tracking ID” located at the bottom of the page. Google will then generate a tracking code containing a unique ID that will be used to track the data that is accrued via your selected web properties. You will then have to copy and paste that snippet of code to any of your site’s pages you wish to track data from. Note, if you’re already using another tracking snippet then you will need to remove that existing tracking code from all the pages you plan to track with Google Analytics. It is highly suggested that you paste your snippet of code before the closing </head> tag.

An example of Google Analytics' generated code:



Now you may need help from your programmer with inserting the tracking code. We at GO rely on our incredibly knowledgeable Interactive Director, Steve Malloy. He knows the ins and outs of every website we create for our clients that we’re pretty sure he can insert tracking codes with his eyes closed. Now don’t fret if you don’t have your own savvy Steve. Google Analytics provides you with further detailed step-by-step D.O.Y. (Do It Yourself) instructions for inserting tracking codes. 

Once you have inserted your tracking code, we recommend you verify that your snippet is in fact working correctly. To check its functionality click “Admin” on the homepage. Then click the web property you inserted the code. Finally, click the “Tracking Info” tab. Check that the snippet of code is identical to the tracking code visible in the “Tracking Code” box. Be mindful that the verification process can take up to twenty-four hours. Patience is a virtue friend. 

Google Analytics is this 21st century’s ultimate real-time data collector. You are able to identify all types of information. For example, the type of audience your website attracts, which mobile devices they were on, and how many conversions were made. Conversion tracking is important for e-commerce sites or other sites tracking a specific action, such as webinar registrations or newsletter subsriptions. It’s the best way to retrieve all sorts of data and compose customizable reports to fit your marketing objectives. The best part is it’s free! So what are you waiting for!



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