How to Use Google Analytics for Beginners

Written By: Stephen Scott
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Google Analytics is one of the best tools out there for analyzing traffic on your website. With a little bit of setup, it will give you an enormous amount of information about who is coming to your site, what they're looking for, and how they're getting there. In fact, it has so much information that it can be overwhelming!

Don't let it scare you away. With just a little training, you too will be able to use Google Analytics like a pro.

Step 1: Set Up Your Account

In order to use Google Analytics, you'll need to set up an account with them. This will provide you with a unique identifier to add to your site. You can only access information about your own site; you can't access information for other sites unless the site owner explicitly grants you access. The only people with access to your information will be people you grant access to.

  1. Go to Google Analytics.
  2. If you do not have a Google account, click Sign Up Now, to the left of the sign-in box. This will take you to a page where you can sign up for a Google account.
  3. If you have a Google account, use your email address and password to sign in.
  4. Click the Sign Up button to continue.
  5. In the next window, provide Google with the URL of the site you wish to analyze.
  6. Give the site an account name that is easy to remember. If you will be tracking multiple sites, this is especially important.
  7. Select the country your site is based in, or the country it is serving. Then select the appropriate time zone.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. In the next window, provide your contact information.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. In the next window, read the Google Analytics terms of service. If you agree with them, click the Yes box.
  12. Click Create New Account.
  13. Google will provide you with a block of code. Copy this - you'll need to insert it into your web site.
Step 2: Insert Google Analytics JavaScript Into Your Pages

You must insert the code into every page you want tracked. If you have a technical person who takes care of your pages, have them add the code for you.

Inserting Google Analytics code for most sites

To insert the Google Analytics code, you need to get into the guts of your page - the HTML.

  1. Find the tag at the very bottom, just above the page.
  2. Do you see the code urchinTracker(), utmLinker(), utmSetTrans(), or utmLinkPost() above the tag? If so, you must paste the Google Analytics Javascript above that code. If not, paste it immediately above the tag.
  3. If you have templates, insert the code into them as well.
  4. Once you have uploaded the pages back to your site, you can begin tracking information!

That's it! Now you can monitor your web site traffic 24/7.

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