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A Dummies Guide to Installing Google Analytics

FOR BLOGGERS

This is my first swaray into the mysteries of the World Wide Web. I'm not pretending to be an expert, i don't know jargon, i don't have a marketing degree and i'm not a web developer. I have a passion for design and a full time job.  I'm learning as i go and developing my business and website. I'm going to share honest stories and developments here and provide some useful free content along the way.

A Dummies Guide to Installing Google Analytics

Andy Fawcett

Hi and welcome. How are you? You look great! Now that the small talk is out of the way i'll get into it. Obviously i can't see you but what would you say if i knew that you had just come from Facebook link and are based in the UK? How did i know? Is this man a witch, shall we burn him? Calm yourself, there shall be no hobbling this day. This is the power of analytics.

A-dummie-analysing-google-analytics

Today i would like to discuss analytics and tracking of traffic to a website.  As noted in my previous post to the business blog (how to theme a blog), i am a beginner blogger and web-business owner. I'm learning as i go and documenting my efforts, be it a failure, success or indifference.

Now as a new website and blog, i am currently trying to divert and attract as much traffic as possible to the website, i'll discuss my various efforts on social media and advertising in a later blog.  Now a lot of excellent blog experts state to concentrate on developing original and useful content first, I think it is essential to be able to track your growth and statistics.  A sprinter wouldn't just run as fast as they can without recording their times along the way would they.

So what do you wanna know?

The things i want to find out about my website:

  • How many people visit?
  • Where do my visitors come from?
  • How are my visitors getting to my website?
  • Which pages are the most popular?
  • What blog content is the most popular?

So why do I need to know this?

As i have noted on multiple occasions, i am learning and in addition to research research research i believe in trying and seeing what works. My knowing my audience I can start to tailor content or products specifically and improve enjoyment for you, my potential customers.

Accessing the Squarespace Metrics from the side bar.  I've included a snapshot of my weekly traffic, as you can see i'm not getting a lot of traffic currently but it is increasing, which I hope to continue

Accessing the Squarespace Metrics from the side bar.  I've included a snapshot of my weekly traffic, as you can see i'm not getting a lot of traffic currently but it is increasing, which I hope to continue

Use the Tools you Already Have

Many hosting sites have inbuilt software. I use squarespace for my webdesign and i love it, one of the great things about squarespace is the beginner functionality and associated apps. Metrics is one such useful tool which you could use to track your traffic. Initially I was just using the inbuilt tracker to record visitors etc.   Squarespace Metrics is accessed on the squarespace sidebar. 

Now i like the simplistic outputs of the squarespace metrics. Simple yet informative. It can be used to tell your daily visitors, weekly visitors, no of pages viewed.  I've included a snapshot of my weekly traffic, as you can see i'm not getting a lot of traffic currently but it is increasing, which I hope to continue.

squarespace-metrics-snapshot-for-new-blog

Time to Upgrade to Google Analytics

So my website is through squarespace with email hosting via gmail.  If this is similar to you, then you have a google account, therefore you have already achieved step one of the upgrade.

First, why upgrade to Google Analytics? 

Paul Koks at Online Metrics writes a great post called 25 Reasons to Use Google Analytics, its definately worth a read, but for me the main reasons are:

  • It's Free
  • Easy to Setup
  • Realtime Reporting
  • Its linked to my already existing google account

In researching i really plan to start using the other tools within google analytics and I'm interested in the campaign tracking features and testing. 

How to Set-Up Google Analytics

So i know i want to use it. How do i set it up?

This is actually a lot easier than people make out.  So i am assuming now you have a google account. 

google-analytics-register-your-property-screenshot
  1. Go to google.com/analytics.
  2. Then register your property. This is done by clicking on the Admin tab and then completing the required fields.
  3. Scroll down and click the "Get Tracking ID" button.
  4. Now the bit that scares everyone, embedding the code into your webpages. Click on the Tracking Code tab. In here there is a box of Jargon, that you are anything like me, could be an alien language to you. Don't worry. it will look something like this:

<script>

  (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
  (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
  m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
  })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

  ga('create', 'UA-67906685-1', 'auto');
  ga('send', 'pageview');

</script>

5. SImply copy this and then embed it on every page you want to track. Embed means that the code (computer language) will become part of your website. People won't see the text. To embed on squarespace there is a tab on the settings of each page called "advanced", you simply copy (Ctrl+C) and past (Ctrl+V) directly into the area. 

Boom you have set up Google Analytics.

How to Use Google Analytics

I used this awesome video from Powered by Search called Google Analytics Tutorial for Beginners 2014 to get an introduction into the functionality of Analytics.

So onwards and upwards.  I'm off for a lovely cup o tea and to play with my cats for a bit. i hope this has been useful and in the future, i plan to come back and hopefully show y'all how to use analytics.

If you found this useful please share it.

Feel like i missed something or there is much better way of doing things then please comment below.

 

Love n stuff

Andy @ DesignUntapped