Google analytics under 5 minutes

Setting up Google Analytics is pretty much known as a piece of cake. The downside is it requires a little technical knowledge, but on the upside, the free tool allows getting valuable insight on who your website visitors are, how they use your site, what content they prefer, how they found you, etc.

If you don’t already have this setup on your site, this 5 minutes will be the best you’ve invested in your digital strategy for quite some time!

Google account – 60 seconds

First thing you need is a Google Apps or a Gmail account. If you don’t already have one, Sign Up now. Once done, you can Sign in. Easy!

Analytics account & website tracking – 30 seconds

Once you have signed in, you can head over to the Admin area of your account, and select the Create a New Account item from the Account dropdown. The following form is by far the hardest step, but hopefully you know your domain name, your industry and also the name or label to give your website! Once you are finished, click the Get Tracking ID button below the form, and the next page will give you the analytic tracking code we are after, for this site.

Note that you tracking code starts with a <script and ends with a </script> tag and contains your tracking ID, but these are two separate things. The tracking ID is of the form UA-######-# where # are digits, of any length, and shown at the top of the page.

Updating your website – 120 seconds

Now that you have a tracking code, you need to update your site so that this code is “served” (although nothing will be “visible”) to all of your visitors and on all of your web pages. This is usually where a little help is needed as how to achieve this varies based on how your site was built. We have prepared the following list with a few common file extension and software you may be using to maintain your site. If yours is not in there, or you are unsure, see the last paragraph or contact us, simply.

Software or file extensions Where/how to install your tracking code
WordPress, Joomla, Drupal You are in luck! All of the major OpenSource platforms have a plugin for Google Analytics. You will have to install the plugin, and configure it with your tracking ID. Links to plugins: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal
Dreamweaver, Visual Studio, Netbeans If you are editing your site using one of these, chances are there might be some code in there. See the following two rows, and more likely the second one
.html, .htm If your site is built in raw HTML, chances are you will have to add the tracking code to all files, manually. You should still have a look however at any file called “nav” or navigation, header or footer, since these are likely to be “included” automatically on all pages already.
.asp, .aspx, .php, .jsp Given your site was built using a programming language, it’s likely that you have a header, “nav” or navigation, and a footer file. Find this one and add the tracking code to it. If you have all of these files, then header is preferred. Just make sure code is placed right above the </head> tag.

Generally anyone with a little web knowledge will be able to figure out how best to complete this. You will need to provide them with FTP details (host, username & password) as well as the tracking code Google gave you for them to complete this.

Are the numbers coming in – 30 seconds

Within 24 hours or so, you should start seeing statistics coming in. In other words, many of the 0′s you see will turn into a number. This is the indication that your code was installed and your site is now gathering data properly. After a few days, or even better, a few weeks, you will start getting some valuable insight on your visitors.

Still not working? The contingency plan – 30 seconds

Socially conscious EmpireOne is committed to helping everyone having access to such great tools. Drop our support desk an email at support -at- EmpireOne .com.au and we’ll sort you out in no time. Make sure you include the FTP details and tracking code!

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Written by

Managing Director of EmpireOne Group in Sydney, Sebastien has made a life of understanding both sides of the fence. Born in Canada and educated as a self-started business software engineer, not a single day passes without finding Seb tweaking a process, system or piece of code.