How to Add Google Analytics to a Website in 5 Steps

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When it comes to running your website, there are countless tools out there. From platforms that help you keep track of inventory to plug-ins that boost your site’s SEO (search engine optimization), there’s literally an entire industry built around helping you get more from your site.

But there are few tools out there that bring as much value as Google Analytics – particularly when you consider the fact that it is entirely free to use!

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about adding Google Analytics to your own website.

1

Why Use Google Analytics?

If you’re reading this guide because you’re already convinced of the usefulness of Google Analytics, then feel free to jump to the next section. However, you may also learn something about the benefits of using this analytical tool for your website in the paragraphs that follow.

At its core, Google Analytics is a tool that’s used to track website performance and collect insights into your site’s visitors. It’s typically used by those who need a general overview, rather than deeper analysis, which is why it is very popular with both small and medium-sized businesses – particularly ecommerce websites.

The information gathered from Google Analytics can be used to analyze the behaviors of your customers: such as where they come from, and what they do once they’re on your website. This, in turn, can be used to help you optimize your website, to retain and convert your visitors. Insights from Google Analytics can also be used to help improve your marketing campaigns, and understand where best to spend your budget.

Because Google Analytics comes with a dashboard that automates the collection and display of data, it saves businesses a considerable amount of time when compared to manually gathering, imputing, and analyzing information. These reports are also fully customizable, so you can track only the aspects of your websites that matter most to you.

Another really handy aspect of Google Analytics – especially for ecommerce website owners – is the ability to track what’s being searched for on your site, which tells you exactly what people are looking to buy.

So, now you know why you need Google Analytics – but how do you get it set up? Read on to find out.

2

Sign In or Create a Google Analytics Account

If you already use Google products such as Google Chrome, Google Maps, Google Translate, or even just Google Search, then there’s a strong likelihood that you already have a Google account.

If this is the case, then you can use this account to get set up on Google Analytics – simple!

However, if you don’t have an account – or if you’d like to use a separate account for managing business matters, such as your website – then you’ll need to set up a new account. You can set up a dedicated account for your business to run your Google Analytics, which can then later be used to easily set up other business tools, such as Google My Business.

Either way, it’s simple to set up an account. The process is just slightly different depending on whether you want to use an existing email (such as your work email), or set up a new Gmail account.

Existing email:

  • Go to the Google Accounts sign-in page
  • Select ‘create an account’
  • Enter your first and second name
  • Select ‘use my current email address’
  • Enter your current email address
  • Click ‘Next’
  • Open your verification email and verify using the code
  • You’re done!

With a new Gmail account:

  • Go to the Google Accounts sign-in page
  • Select ‘create an account’
  • Enter your first and second name
  • Enter your desired username
  • Enter a password
  • Click ‘Next’
  • You’re ready to go!
3

Set Up a Property in Google Analytics

When you start using platforms like Google Analytics, you’re going to hear the word ‘property’ thrown around a lot. But don’t fret – this isn’t anything to do with the house you live in, but instead refers to your website as a whole – although it could also refer to a blog or an app as well. Each property that is set up on Google has a unique ID, which is what makes it distinguishable from other properties.

In order to set up your property (website) on Google Analytics, you’ll need to follow a number of simple steps.

  1. Open Google Analytics whilst logged into your Google account
  2. In the left-hand corner of the screen select ‘Admin’
  3. In the ‘Property’ column press the blue button that says ‘+ Create Property’
  1. Input your property name – make sure this is something easily identifiable
  2. Select ‘Show Advanced Options’
  3. Turn on ‘Create a Universal Analytics property’
  4. Enter the URL of your website
  5. You’ll be presented with an option to set up both a Google Analytics 4 property and a Universal Analytics property – it is worthwhile doing this, as it gets you set up and ready to use these platforms, should you need to in the future
  6. Click ‘Next’
  7. Input the requested information: this includes how many employees are in your business, and how you intend on using the Google Analytics platform
  8. Click on ‘Create’
  9. Agree to the Terms of Service and click ‘Finish’

Once you have added your property to Google Analytics, you’re now ready to move on to getting set up the platform, and importing data from your website.

4

Filter the Data You See in Google Analytics

To see the information that’s most important to your business, you’ll want to create a view. This is easy to do – simply follow these steps:

  1. Select ‘Admin’ on the left-hand menu
  2. In the ‘View’ column select ‘+ Create View’
  3. Select ‘Website”
  4. Type in a name for your view
  5. Select your reporting time zone
  6. Select ‘Create View’

You can also make edits to your view – such as changing its name, or selecting which currency should be used in your reports – by:

  1. Selecting ‘Admin’
  2. In the ‘View Column’ ensure that the drop-down has selected the view you want to edit
  3. Select ‘View Setting’
  4. Make any required edits
  5. Select ‘Save’

You can typically create up to 25 views on each property, although you may be able to create more if you talk directly to Google. Each view can be used to highlight different information, which is especially useful for businesses with multiple departments. For example, members of the finance department are likely to want to see different website information than those in the marketing department.

You can toggle between your view by selecting the ‘all accounts’ box in the top left-hand corner, selecting your account, picking your property, and then choosing the view you want to see.

5

Get Your Google Analytics Tracking Code

For Google Analytics to be able to pull data from your website and feed it into your reports, you’ll need to add their tracking code to your website. This is fairly simple to do, but does require a small amount of knowledge of coding, so you know where the code should be placed.

Before you can include the code in your website, though, you’ll need to get hold of it. To locate your unique tracking code, follow these steps:

  1. If you aren’t already, sign in to your Google Analytics account
  2. Click on ‘Admin’ in the bottom left-hand corner
  3. Select the account you need code for from the drop-down menu on the ‘Account’ column
  4. Select the property you need code for from the drop-down menu in the ‘Property’ column
  5. In the ‘Property’ column select ‘Tracking Info’ and then ‘Tracking Code’
  6. Your tracking code is in the top left-hand corner, and your global site tag is highlighted in a box below
6

Add the Tracking Code to Your Website

Once you have your tracking code, you’ll need to add it to your website. Whether you require your tracking code or your global site tag will depend on the platform you use. For example, a typical custom-built website will require you to manually add the global site tag to each page you want to track. On the other hand, a website platform such as Wix, Shopify, or BigCommerce will usually allow you to simply input your tracking ID, automating its input across your site on your behalf.

Here’s an example of how you would add your tracking code to your Shopify store:

  1. Copy your tracking ID from Google Analytics
  2. In a new tab open your Shopify Admin
  3. Select ‘Online Store’ and then ‘Preferences’
  4. In the Google Analytics section, paste your code

If you have a custom-built website, you’ll need to manually go into each page where you want to track data and add your Global Site Tag after the <head> tag on each page.

7

Adding Google Analytics to a Website: Summary

In this guide, we’ve provided you with the five steps you need to take in order to set up Google Analytics for your own website. Once you’ve completed these steps, it’s worthwhile testing them to ensure that they’ve worked properly. This can easily be done by going to ‘Admin’, then under the ‘Property’ column selecting ‘Tracking info’ and then ‘Tracking code’. On this page you can select to ‘send test traffic’ to your page, and make sure everything’s looking tip-top.

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