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Google Analytics 101: How to create, leverage an account for your business

Posted by Shivali Anand

November 29, 2021    |     6-minute read (1076 words)

Every website has unique performance indicators, such as the number of unique visitors, average time spent on the page and conversion rate. This data can provide business owners with valuable insights into how visitors are finding and using their sites. 

Google Analytics is a free tool that provides a detailed view of such metrics for your website or mobile app. It also works with Google's other marketing platforms, such as Search Console and Google Ads.

To start an account with Google Analytics for your business’s website, follow these five steps.

Step 1: Make an account

To create an account, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Google Analytics website. If you already have a Google account, you may use it, or you can create a new one for your business.
  • To use your current Google account, sign in and select "Access Google Analytics." Otherwise, press "Sign Up.”
  • Enter your information, including your account name (your company name), website name (the website you wish to track), website URL, industry category and reporting time zone.
  • Under “Data Sharing Options,” check the boxes corresponding to the data you want to share with Google under "Data Sharing Options." Note: The more information you opt to provide to Google, the better the information it can provide.
  • Select "Get Tracking ID."
  • Tap "I Accept" to accept the terms of service.
  • Add the Tracking ID to your site. You are now ready to begin collecting visitor information for your website.
Step 2: Set goals

A goal represents a completed activity, which is known as a conversion. A website conversion happens when a user completes a desired action on your website, such as completing a contact form, signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase. Every business website is developed to generate conversions. 

A digital analytics measurement plan must have defined goals. These goals allow Google Analytics to render critical information to you, such as the conversion rate for your site or app and the number of conversions. This underpins your ability to evaluate the efficacy of your online marketing campaigns.

To establish goals for your site, Visit your Google Analytics standard reports and click "Admin." Then, go to the "View" column and select "Goals" from the drop-down menu. To create a new goal, select "+ New Goal" or "Import from Gallery," or click an existing goal to adjust its parameters.

Step 3: Set up a Google search console account

Next, you will link your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts. Create a Google Search Console account if you don't already have one.

Click "Property Settings" in your Google Analytics account and scroll down to "Search Console Settings." You'll find simple steps for connecting the two accounts here.

This feature generates search engine optimization reports that provide critical information about your SEO efforts, such as your organic ranking for various keywords, information on which keywords are sending traffic to your site and geographic information about your visitors.

Step 4: Link Google Ads

This step is pertinent if you're advertising on Google. Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, provides you with immediate exposure to people who are more inclined to buy products and services than those just looking for blogs or YouTube videos on the internet. These ad campaigns may be optimized with the data provided through Google Analytics. 

To link your Google Ads account with your Google Analytics account, go to "Admin" and select "Google Ads Linking.” Simple directions for completing the procedure can be found here.

Step 5: Configure E-Commerce Analytics

This step is relevant if you have an e-commerce site. E-Commerce Analytics can help you measure sales on your site, as well as product names, pricing and total income. You can also use the reports created here to assess the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns or promotions.

The instructions for setting this up are found under “Admin.” Click “E-Commerce Settings” to take the necessary steps.

Next steps

After you have configured your Google Analytics account and compiled some data, you can begin running reports regularly to discover which of your marketing channels are generating leads and, eventually, sales and which aren't panning out. The data in these reports can help fine-tune your digital marketing strategies.

The stage of your campaign determines the frequency with which you should monitor your Google Analytics account. Checking your website every day, for example, is suggested if you are actively advertising to generate more visitors to your website, and this allows you to make improvements as needed. However, if your system is well-established, a weekly inspection should be enough. Set up notifications for significant changes, such as unexpected increases in traffic or changes to the bounce rate.

Types of Google Analytics reports

The standard pre-set reports listed below can help you gain a better understanding of your marketing activities.

  1. Real-Time reports: This feature allows you to track activity (live users, events, and goals) on your website or app as it occurs. These also assist you in determining whether your Google Analytics monitoring code is functioning correctly.

  2. Audience reports: These reports include detailed information on your visitors, including demographics (age and gender), general interests, location, language(s) spoken, frequency of visits, and device(s) used to access your website (web or mobile).

  3. Acquisition reports: These reports include information on your website's traffic, including what brought people to it.

  4. Behavior reports: These provide information on your website's content, particularly the key pages. Set up "Site Search" to observe what phrases and pages visitors looked for. These reports also include information on your website's loading speed and recommendations on how to improve it quickly.

  5. Conversion reports: Conversion reports provide answers to questions about the objectives you've set.

  6. Custom reports: In addition to the five basic types of reports described above, Google Analytics allows you to generate custom reports. Here are some examples of custom reports:
  • With a Benchmarking report, you may compare your data to aggregated industry data from other organizations that offer their statistics.
  • An AdWords report gives you an indication of the efficacy of your marketing efforts if you advertise through Google.
  • A Mobile Performance report is great for understanding how well your site is optimized for mobile users.
It's simple to generate a custom report. Use a standard format to create one and then add segments or filters to suit your requirements, or you can start from scratch. Go to Customization > Custom Reports to make a custom report. To begin, click "+ New Custom Report."

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