How to Get Started with Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for any website owner. Whether it’s a blog or a company website, Google Analytics can track all kinds of information about your website’s traffic, including how many people visit your website, what those visitors are like, which of your pages are most popular, where that traffic is coming from, how many of your visitors are converting, and much more. If you’ve installed Google Analytics but didn’t know what to do next or you’re considering installing Google Analytics on your website, read our tips about how to get started with Google Analytics.


Getting Started with Google Analytics

Get started with Google Analytics

So what exactly is Google Analytics? It’s a service provided by Google to track, measure, and report on your website’s traffic. Although it is free, certain features cost money. An ongoing study shows that Google Analytics is used more frequently than any other traffic analytics tool.

Once you create a Google Analytics account, you’ll need to install a tracking code on each page of your website. If this is the point where you usually give up, don’t despair: there are plenty of guides online to help, or you can enlist Online Optimism to install Google Analytics for you. The best part is if you’re a small business based in New Orleans, we’ll do it for free! Then you’re ready to get started with Google Analytics.

1. Track Your Goals

Google Analytics can provide you with a nearly endless amount of information about your web traffic, which is why it’s important to define your top goals upfront and focus on them first. You can use the “Goals” feature on Google Analytics to make sure you’re meeting these goals. Track up to twenty goals for your website, which can include:

Get started with Google Analytics

  • Destinations – The path you want a user to take on your website.
  • Durations – The amount of time you want a user to spend on your website.
  • Pages or Visits – The number of pages you want a user to view during a visit to your website.
  • Events – The action you want a user to take on your website, such as a click, download, purchase, or form submission.

Whenever a user meets the requirements for one of your goals, Google Analytics will count it as a conversion. Set your goals right away to start tracking conversions on your website.

2. Set Up Site Search

Get started with Google Analytics

According to KoMarketing, 44% of users report they would leave a company’s website if they couldn’t find the phone number or contact information. It’s hard enough getting people to visit your website. Once they get there, you don’t want to lose them over simple mistakes, such as information that’s missing or difficult to locate, or pages that load too slowly.

If you have a search box on your website, you can use Google Analytics’ “Site Search” feature to start identifying these issues as soon as possible. If you don’t have one, we recommend adding a search box to help users find valuable information on your website. Once you connect your Google Analytics account to your search box, you can track the keywords users search for on your website and improve it accordingly.

3. Filter Out Internal Traffic

Do you ever go to your own website? Of course you do! But what you might not realize is that Google Analytics is tracking your traffic as well. Another one of the first steps you should take after installing Google Analytics is to filter out this internal traffic. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up making changes to your website or reporting results about your traffic that are based on your own user activity.

Using the “Filters” feature, you can create an IP address filter for your IP address and the IP addresses of any other employees or companies that work on your website. Learn how with this guide from Google.

For more information about how to get started with Google Analytics, contact Online Optimism. We’re a Google Partners agency that employs several team members who are Google Analytics certified. Whether you want us to train you on how to use Google Analytics or just want someone to audit your analytics for you, we’re happy to help.