How to set up Google Analytics

Tracking website traffic, gathering statistics and analyzing them is very important part of any online activity, even if you're just doing this for fun, but especially if you're running an online business or otherwise making money online.

Either case, you should add some sort of tracking to your blog or website from day 1 (or day zero to be exact). There are many ways to handle tracking traffic stats for your blog or website, but Google Analytics is the most popular one, it's free and relatively simple to use.

In this simple Google Analytics tutorial, I'll show you how to set up Google Analytics account to track your website traffic, visitors and other statistics. This is true beginner's stuff, step-by-step style...

1. Set up a Google Account

If you have a Google Account already, move on to the next step. If you don't have an account yet, go create yourself one right now. You'll get GMail access (the best and only email you ever need), Google Docs, YouTube and all the other Google services with that same account.

Start by going to GMail signup (you can get Google Account with any mail, but using GMail is just too convenient to pass here.) and move from there.

2. Setup Google Analytics

If you are new to Google Analytics, first step is to sign up using your Google Account.

sign up to google analytics How to set up Google Analytics

Sign up to Google Analytics using your Google Account. (If you have already created Google Analytics account, just click on the Access Analytics -button.)

  1. Go to the Google Analytics official website.
  2. Click the sign-up on the right hand side and
  3. Sign-in using your Google Account.
  4. Sign-up for Google Analytics account
sign in to google analytics with google account How to set up Google Analytics

Sign in to Google Analytics with your Google Account (if you're logged in to Google, just enter your password)

sign up for google analytics account How to set up Google Analytics

Sign up for Google Analytics account (just click on the button on the next screen)

Now you have setup a Google Analytics account. Inside Analytics, you can have multiple Analytics accounts, and in each of those, you can have multiple website profiles. And inside those website profiles, you can have multiple sites (if you want).

If you just signed up for a new Analytics account, you'll be moved directly into creating your first website profile.

3. Set Up a Website Profile inside Analytics

Now that you have Google Analytics account, you're gonna setup a new website account. This is where we create Google Analytics tracking code, which will be placed into your website.

analytics new account signup How to set up Google Analytics

Signup for new website account inside the Google Analytics by entering the website and account name

  1. Fill in the website details and the account name
  2. Fill in your contact details
  3. Accept the Terms and Service
new account signup contact information How to set up Google Analytics

Enter your name and country or territory

analytics tos accept How to set up Google Analytics

Accept the Google Analytics Terms of Service

4. Get the Google Analytics Tracking Code

Once you create the account and website profile, you'll get the Google Analytics tracking code.

You can copy the code and paste it to any web page you have or inside your blogs theme- or template-file.

copy the google analytics tracking code How to set up Google Analytics

Copy the Google Analytics tracking code and paste it into a web page you want to track.

Or if you are using a plugin or an addon, you probably just want the property ID (for example: UA-1231231-1)

google analytics website property id after creating new profile How to set up Google Analytics

This is the Google Analytics property ID. You need it for the Google Analytics for WordPress -plugin for example.

google analytics property id How to set up Google Analytics

If you're adding Google Analytics to a WordPress blog via the Google Analytics for WordPress -plugin, you need to add the property ID to the plugin settings. Or you can copy the whole tracking code into the footer.php if you want.

I recommend to use the Google Analytics for WordPress -plugin, if you need the additional features like not tracking your own visits, automatically tracking outgoing links and other advanced features.

I dropped the plugin from my recommended WordPress plugins -list, since I'm using the optimized asynchronous Analytics snippet now, but the plugin is still the easiest, and thus the best option for beginners, to add analytics to a WordPress blog.

Summary

  • Inside Google Analytics you can have multiple accounts (with your one Google Account). In the accounts, you can have multiple website profiles and in those profiles you can track multiple sites (or just one if you like).
  • Setting up Google Analytics account is free. Setting tracking up is one of the first steps you should do when creating your first website, e.g starting a blog, and Analytics makes it quick and easy.
  • In addition to your own blogs, you can use Analytics on all sites you have access to the source files or can otherwise add javascript to the page (many free services don't allow this).

After setting the tracking, I recommend you only check the statistics once a week (or even once a month) and then analyze your traffic, top traffic pages, what keywords bring your traffic, what kind of visitors you get, etc.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful, and if you have any questions, leave your comments below or contact me if you don't want to ask your questions in public. Enjoy your Analytics (but not too much, statistics can be addictive) and here's hoping you'll have plenty of traffic to analyze in there.

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Topic: Blogging
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