What Is Google Analytics?

Is Google Analytics Free?

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that gives it’s users detailed information regarding website traffic. If you’re looking to make money online through a website, blog, or an e-commerce store, setting your website up in Google Analytics is a must!

Some of the data Google Analytics keeps track of are the number of visitors to your website, how many pages they viewed, how long they stayed on your website, the websites bounce rate, and more.

This information will help you make data-driven decisions which will save you time and money in the long run. Knowing who your audience is, where they’re located geographically, which website pages are the most popular, and how long visitors are staying on your website will tell you which of your initiatives are working, which ones aren’t, and the areas that can be improved upon. You’ll also be able to track goals and attach monetary values to those goals. To learn how to create a goal, how to track leads, and how to set up conversion tracking click here. For now just know that if you have a website you should be using Google Analytics. 

What Is Google Analytics Used For?

Google Analytics main purpose is to give you information regarding your website and how it’s performing. If you want to start running paid advertising campaigns and want to know who your audience is, such as their geographic locations, Google Analytics will be able to tell you that information. The reason this information is so beneficial is because knowing who and where your audience is will allow you to zero-in on those areas and make sure you’re targeting the right locations with your ads which is a huge money saver!

Even if you’re not running any paid advertising campaigns, you’ll still want to use Google Analytics to learn if people generally like your website. It sounds simple enough, but there are a lot of factors that can make or break a website. Some of these include long load times, poorly placed CTA’s (calls to actions), or generally uninteresting content. The main analytical metrics you would use to judge whether visitors are enjoying your website or not would be Pageviews and Bounce Rate.

One of the reasons Google Analytics is so great and also the “most widely used web analytics service on the web” is because it gives you detailed data, a behind-the-scenes look essentially at your website and how visitors are interacting with it. As you make updates to your website, start running paid advertising campaigns, or carry out other marketing initiatives, you can keep track of those changes within Google Analytics by creating annotations!

Add a Note in Google Analytics

Annotations are simply notes you make in your account. An example of an annotation would be “Started paid advertising on June 20th, 2018”. Now, as you analyze the data in your account you’ll be able to refer back to your annotations. When you see rises or drops in traffic, these may be due to a change that was made either to the website or to marketing initiatives. Your annotations will help you keep track of all the changes you make and how they affect the performance of your website.

How to Create a New Annotation in

Google Analytics

1. Log into your Google Analytics account. Then, click Audience or Behavior (you can get to the timeline graph either way.)

2. Then click Overview which is right under Audience and Behavior.

3. Click the small arrow located under the graph in the middle of the screen.

4. You’ll then click the + Create new annotation button. Set the visibility to Shared if you’d like anyone who has access to that view to see the annotation or set to Private. If set to Private the annotations will only show on your account with that specific login.

How Do You Use Google Analytics?

Setting up Your Account

The first thing you’ll need to use Google Analytics is a website or a mobile app. Your website doesn’t need to be live in order to implement Google Analytics. But, since Google Analytics tracks visitors to your website, if your website isn’t live and isn’t seeing any traffic you won’t see any information. You’ll be able to add the code to your website which will start you off on the right track, collecting data as early as possible which will help inform future decisions. Let’s begin!

1. You’ll need a Google account email address in order to use Google Analytics, but don’t worry!

It’s 100% free to set one up.

Go to: https://analytics.google.com

Either login here with your Gmail address (Google account email address) or click Create Account to create an email address and follow the steps on the screen.

2. Next you’ll be taken to a screen like the one below. It’s here that you’ll fill out your account information. The information you’ll be adding will be your Account Name, your Website Name, your Website URL, the Industry your business/website is in, and your Timezone. Be sure to leave the checkboxes checked as this is recommended by Google and will help them improve the Analytics platform.

*When inputting your Website URL pay close attention to the http and https options. If your website isn’t secure (http) and later becomes secure (https), you’ll want to update that information in your account as well.

3. After you’ve filled out all the information as shown in the image above, you’ll click the Get Tracking ID button.

The code under the Global Site Tag section will be what you’ll add to your website. This code is what allows Google Analytics to track website visitors and is necessary in order to use Google Analytics. There are a few different ways you can add the code to your website.

If you have some WordPress experience and feel comfortable editing code, this will be a breeze! But, if you aren’t very tech savvy I highly recommend either reaching out to your web developer or hiring a freelancer who has experience implementing Google Analytics Tracking IDs.

Below I’ll walk you through the steps of adding the code to your WordPress website. Scroll further for instructions on how to add Google Analytics to Squarespace and Wix.

 How to Find Your Google Analytics Tracking ID and Global Site Tag Tracking Code

1. Log into your Google Analytics account.

2. Click on the gear icon on the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

3. In the middle of the screen you’ll see a menu item that says Tracking Info. Click Tracking info, then click Tracking Code which is a subcategory of Tracking Info.

4. Here you’ll find your Tracking ID (which will begin with UA-) and your Global Site Tag tracking code which will be the code in the box under the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) section as shown below.

Where to Put Google Analytics Code If Your Website Is Built in WordPress

Without a Plugin

*First, you’ll need to set up an account in Google Analytics. Click here and follow the steps from the section Setting Up Your Account listed above. Then…

  1. After logging into the backend of your WordPress website, you’ll want to click on Appearance which you’ll find on the left hand side of the screen as shown above.

2. Now, you’ll click on Theme Editor which is a sub-category under Appearance.

3. Once you’re in the Theme Editor, you’ll notice there’s a section on the right hand side of the screen titled Theme Files. It’s here where you’ll scroll to the file titled header.php

4. Click on header.php. The contents of this file will now appear in the middle of the screen. From here, go back to Google Analytics and you’re going to copy the code from the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) section. To find the code you’ll be adding to your website scroll up to the section How to Find Your Google Analytics Tracking ID and Global Site Tag Tracking Code or Click here.

5. Now that you’ve copied your code, paste it right before the closing head tag. The closing head tag is the line of code that reads </head>

The code will start with:

<!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics –>

*Make sure where you paste the code, it’s on a new line that isn’t breaking up the text of any other code. You can click enter a few times to make some space for you to add the code.

*If you’re having trouble finding the </head> line of code, repeat the steps above. Make sure you’re in the header.php file. As you search for the line of code </head> keep in mind you shouldn’t have to scroll down very far as it’s typically closer to the top of the file.

6. That’s it! Click Update File and now test it out to make sure it’s been installed correctly.

To Test If Analytics Is Working

To test that your Tracking ID has been installed properly and is working, open a new tab and visit your website. Now, go to Google Analytics, and click on the menu item on the left hand side of the screen that reads Realtime, then click Overview.

*Make sure you’re on your website in a different tab and you should see at least 1 active user on the website right now. If you don’t see that and it says 0, make sure your website is open currently and go through the above steps as needed.

Where to Put Your Google Analytics Code in Divi

*First, you’ll need to set up an account in Google Analytics. Either scroll up and follow the steps from the section Setting Up Your Account listed above or Click here. Then…

1. Log into the backend of your WordPress website.

2. On the left hand side of the screen you’ll see a menu option titled Divi if Divi is the active theme on your website.

3. Click Divi then click Theme Options.

It’s here where you’ll be able to make changes directly to the Divi theme.

*If you do add the code from the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) section directly to Divi, but in the future change themes, you’ll need to add your Global Site Tag (gtag.js) to whichever new theme you’re actively using.

4.Once in the Theme Options sections, click on the Integration tab.

5. Now, go back to Google Analytics and copy the code from the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) section. To find the code you’ll be adding to your website scroll up to the section How to Find Your Google Analytics Tracking ID and Global Site Tag Tracking Code or Click here.

Now that you’ve copied the code, paste it in the section that says:

Add code to the < head > of your blog

or to the section right below it that says

Add code to the < body > (good for tracking codes such as google analytics)

Pasting the code in either section will work fine.

6. To test that your Google Analytics is working scroll up to the section titled, To Test If Analytics Is Working, or Click here.

To Use Google Analytics on Squarespace

*First, you’ll need to set up an account in Google Analytics. Either scroll up and follow the steps from the section Setting up Your Account listed above or Click here. Then…

1. Log into your Squarespace account and click on the website you’d like to add your Google Analytics code to.

2. Next, click on Setting on the left hand side of the screen.

3. Then click on Advanced and External API Keys.

4. Then go back to Google Analytics, get your Tracking ID and paste it into the section that says Google Analytics Account Number. To find your Google Analytics Tracking ID, scroll up to the section titled, How to Find Your Google Analytics Tracking ID and Global Site Tag Tracking Code, or Click here.

*It may take 24 hours before traffic starts being recorded in Google Analytics. After 24 hours,

5. To test that your Google Analytics is working, either scroll up to the section titled, To Test If Analytics Is Working, or Click here.

To use Google Analytics with Wix

*First, you’ll need to set up an account in Google Analytics. Either scroll up and follow the steps from the section Setting Up Your Account listed above or Click Here. Next…

1. Log into your Wix account and click the menu option My Account.

* You can only connect your Wix website to Google Analytics if you’ve upgraded to a premium plan.

2. Next, click Manage Premium and then click on the Domains tab. It’s here you’ll click on the domain you want to connect to Google Analytics.

3. Here, you’ll want to click Manage next to the Google Analytics section.

4. Now, you’ll want to retrieve your Google Analytics Tracking ID, copy it, and paste it into this section. To learn how to find your Google Analytics Tracking ID, scroll up to the section titled How to Find Your Google Analytics Tracking ID and Site Tag Tracking Code, or Click here.

*Make sure there are no spaces before the code.

5. To test that your Google Analytics is working, scroll up to the section titled, To Test If Analytics Is Working, or Click here.

If You’re Not Sure How/Where Your Website Is Built

If you’re not entirely sure how/where your website is built, there are a few ways to figure it out. If you worked with a design company, they may have added their logo to the footer of your website. If so, you can reach out to them and either ask them to set your website up in Google Analytics or to give you the login credentials for your website so you can set it up on your own or hire a developer to assist with the set up.

If you hired a freelance web developer, there’s no mention of them anywhere on your website and you’ve lost their contact information, first, don’t panic!

You can use this free tool to find out which content management system your website is built in and where it’s hosted, along with a lot of other helpful information.

*The domain you purchased is hosted by a domain hosting provider, such as Namecheap or GoDaddy, whereas the physical website is created and managed in a content management system such as WordPress or Squarespace.

1. By going to, https://builtwith.com and typing in the domain in question you’ll learn everything you could want to know about where your website was built.

2. Once you’ve typed in your domain and clicked Lookup, go through the list of technologies until you find the section Content Management System.

*To find out where your domain is hosted, search through the list for the section titled Web Hosting Providers.

Conclusion

Congratulations for making it this far! You’re now able to set your website up in Google Analytics like a pro!

If you’d like to learn more about Google analytics and the most important metrics to track, visit 7 Most Important Google Analytics Metrics & How to Understand Them