How to Begin with Google Analytics

How to Begin with Google Analytics

If you’re looking to begin with Google Analytics, here’s everything that you need to know!

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a web analytics software that keeps track of the visiting patterns of web users and reports the findings.

The reports include all sorts of useful information. This includes number of visits, time spent on those visits, what pages are most visited, and the map view location of the people visiting the site. And Google Analytics offers much more.

So let’s say that you want to redesign your hotel booking website. You hear that clients are now booking their reservations from their iOS devices instead of from their desktops. Instead of just believing hearsay, you can take a look at your Google Analytics reports. It shows the screen devices and sizes that clients are using to complete bookings. That gives you a true representation of your business situation.

Why is that important?

It’s important because the digital media world is more and more competitive every day. Thousands of websites are created daily and all are competing for our attention. Building a website that is easy to use, intuitive, and beautiful is not easy. But with the help of Google Analytics, you can do it with informed expertise.

If you’re looking to begin with Google Analytics, you might also like our new post: Website Terminology

How do you install the Google Analytics tracking code?

To install Google Analytics on your website you must visit the Google Analytics platform and create a new account. Then click “Admin” in the lower-left corner of the screen.  From this screen, you can Create An Account for your website (see screenshot below).

Enter a name for your account and a name for your website/property. Select your business size and industry category and the appropriate reporting time. Finally, hit the button that says: Create.

After the account is setup, you will be given the option to setup tracking for your property.

Since this is for a website, we will choose Web.  Next, it will prompt you to provide your website’s URL (for example, and website’s name.  After entering this information, click Create stream to finalize your setup.

The platform will now give you a Tracking ID with several different ways to install on your site (WordPress plugins, Wix options, and several others).  To install manually, the tracking code that looks like this:

        <!-- Google tag (gtag.js) --> <script async src=""></script> <script> window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-XXXXXXXXX'); </script>

These two items are the basis for tracking your website traffic. The G-XXXXXXXXX tracking code is the unique identifier for the property you created in Google Analytics. The website tracking code is a JavaScript code called every time a tracked event is fired.

For example, it tracks default page views by default. Thus, every time that a user goes to a page that includes your tracking code, the script is called. Then the page view will be recorded.

It is important to remember that the tracking code must be installed on every page of your website. If not, tracking will not work properly. With content management systems, such as WordPress, adding the tracking code can be as easy as modifying one line of code in the footer.php file or simply installing one of the many great plugins that will take care of that for you.

Also, when you begin with Google Analytics it is important to remember that unless you look at Real Time reports, you won’t immediately see the visitation information. In fact, it may take an hour for your reports to start reflecting what is happening on your website.

Finally, make sure to check the correct date ranges to filter the information that you want to see.

Concluding Thoughts on How to Begin with Google Analytics

You now have a full installation and are ready to begin. Imagine the possibilities as you grow – understanding your audience’s needs and behaviors. Next, try setting up Google Search Console or configuring Custom Variables!
Wondering about GA4? Read more about how you can use GA4’s new engagement metrics to make users stay on your site for longer!

If you love the sound of Google Analytics but would rather not install it yourself, AndiSites can help. We can quickly install Google Analytics for you so you can start checking your reports right away. Contact us today!

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