This guest post written by Cynthia Reese.
If you are running a small online business or managing a hobby website or even a large popular portal, you would need metrics to track visitors and analyze the site traffic and various parameters necessary for the ever evolving and competitive online environment. The tracking and analysis is a major part if the overall digital strategy and ensuring that your website remains competitive and visible in the congested virtual arena.
There are a lot of free and paid tools out there that enable you to track visitors and traffic and Google Analytics is one of the most popular ones. It is a free tool that can provide a range of answers and solutions for your online queries based on the data generated. It is the lighthouse that guides you in reaching the target market and ensuring that traffic and revenue keeps coming in. It can help you in refining the keywords, finding out if the new design has clicked with the audience or just keeping a track of the geographical breakdown of the website visitors.
So how do you start with Google Analytics and how to enable it on your website? Let’s find out:
1. Setting up the Analytics Account and addition of code:
You would need to set up a Google analytics account. This can be done by following the steps on this link: http://www.google.com/analytics/.
Once you have created the profile, you would need to generate the unique script that will be added to your website code. If you are using a blogging platform like WordPress or blogger, then the code can be added once in your theme and it will be enabled throughout the website.
If you are using a custom solution for the website, then you may need to add the code in the master template or on each page. The web developer would be able to guide you in this.
2. Metrics and Data:
Once the code has been placed, you can go to the “View report” option in your Analytics Account and from here you can select the various types of data available for analysis. These include visitors (broken down into geographic, languages, frequency of visit, operating systems and browsers used), traffic sources, content and specific pages, goals and ecommerce (if you are selling on the website)
You can choose what metrics you want to track and what data you want to be visible.
3. Customizing the Dashboard and Settings:
You can customize the Dashboard to show which reports you want to view and then this can be drilled further down. You can chose the type of report and then add it to the Dashboard. You can also choose the dates and time ranges for the data analysis and review.
Google Analytics provides you with various graphs and charts to view the data in detail and these can be used to create custom reports which can be pretty useful. You can also share the reports generated via email and export them as PDF, XML, CSV or a TSV file.
So, as you can see it is pretty easy to set up and use Analytics. So why don’t you try it out and improve the user experience on your website.