In session 39 of A Marketing Podcast I walk through setting up Google analytics and claiming your Google business as part of your marketing platform setup. Ensuring that you can monitor and review your website’s traffic and interactions with various content and campaigns is imperative in understanding how your marketing is performing throughout the year.
Creating A Google account
In order to setup the various Google services available to us, we need to have a Google account created.
I recommend creating a new account for your business in order to separate your personal access and information from your business access. This is more important if you work in a small business that has multiple employees. By having a business specific account your can provide access to your employees without worrying about access to personal content. You can alink your personal email/Google account to your analytics and AdWords and other accounts later if you wish.
To create a new account visits google.com (you’ll be redirected to the regional version of google for your location)
Click on the sign in button and then the sign-up link. Simply enter the required details and continue the signup process.
That’s it – pretty easy!
Setting up Google analytics
Now that you’ve created your google account you can begin setting up the various services Google provides that will help us with your website and marketing monitoring and reporting.
Let’s start with setting up Google analytics.
GA is the Industry leader in analytical data for your website. Plus it’s free to install and use. There simply is no better alternative for those of you getting started out, as well as experienced marketers. There are higher level analytical tools for larger sites and for deeper dives into integrations with other systems and so on and so forth. But for your website, Google Analytics is the way to go.
Creating a new account
In order to start tracking and viewing your website’s analytics, you n eed to create an account within Google analytics.
Setting up google analytics starts once you’ve logged into your new account.
Navigate to: google.com/analytics
Then click on admin then select create account. If you don’t have any accounts yet you’ll see a big button, if you do then the create new account button will be at the bottom of your accounts list.
Enter your account name. I use the full name of the website – so A Marketing Podcast. Then enter the website name I use A Marketing Podcast Website. These are the Account name, and Property name for later reference.
Update the various other fields on the creation form such as timezone and industry. And also select the data sharing settings you’d like to use. totally up to you!
Then click get tracking code! and you’re done.
Installing your tracking code
The best place to put your new tracking code is right after the body tag. If you’re using a wordpress site, or most other Content Management Systems, you can obtain plugins to make it easy to put your tracking code into your site.
Another option is to use the Google Tag Manager system. You’ll need your website developer to help implement the tag manager code. But once in place, you can manage tags and codes (for things like Ad-words) without requiring help from your developer. Something to consider.
Once your code is in place and GA can see it you’ll get a verified notice in the property management section of your new account. You can find that section by going to the admin section, selecting the account, then selecting the property, and clicking on Tracking Info.
Setting up Google analytics views
Within your account are properties, and within your properties are views. Views allow us to try things out and filter data to obtain different results in data sets.
I like to create three views for every property I create. These are:
- Master View – the main view for viewing my sites analytics
- Test View – the view to try out new filters before applying to the master view
- Unfiltered View – the view that I don’t touch in order to have a complete data set.
Views make it easy to filter data to remove known bots (a simple check box) as well as spammy traffic such as share buttons redirects, and people bouncing off your website for various reasons.
Most importantly, views are where we create our goals. Goals are Google analytics name for conversions.
There are many different types of goals that you can create in Google analytics, such as account creation, content views, downloads, purchases, signups, and more. GA provides some templates to make creating your first goal easy. You can also create custom goals.
For your first goal, I recommend creating a signup goal. This is the goal that tracks a form submission (although it doesn’t strictly require the submission of a form).
Signup goal creation
Click goals on the view you want to track the goal on (i recommend the master view).
Select Sign up in the template section. Then choose destination. Then enter the destination pages url (only the part after the main domain).
If a signup relates to a certain amount of revenue you can add it at this point as well.
Now for the fun part – to ensure that someone has submitted the form that indicates a signup, choose the funnel option, and add the URL of the form page. GA will only track this goal if the user goes through the page with the form and arrives t the destination page.
You can click verify to see if the goal returns any conversion – if you’ve had your analytics running for a period of time you may see some goals. However, if you’re just starting out you wont.
Click save and you’re now tracking signups on your website! too easy!
Dashboards in Google Analytics
For users new to Google Analytics I like to promote the use of dashboards. Setting up google analytics dashboards is pretty simple and you can even search and install dashboards shared by other users to streamline the process.
Once in Analytics navigate to “Dashboards” top left, then click on +new Dashboard. Then click the “Import from Gallery” button and you’ll be presented with a library of saved dashboard templates. Do a search for small business marketing, and try a few dashboards until you get one you like.
The idea of dashboards is that you are able to get a summary of the main elements of the analytics platform without having to navigate through each section.
Dashboards also allow for comparisons to be done on data through the use of widgets. For example, comparing the abandoned funnels data with the conversion rates to see if there is any correlation between abandoned funnels and the conversion rate.
This comparison is handy if you’re testing a new funnel and goal combination. If abandonments are correlated to conversion rate in a negative fashion you know the funnel and the conversion needs adjusting, whereas if the abandoned numbers don’t seem to affect conversion rate, then you would focus on fixing some of the reason for abandonment knowing that overall the conversion rate is steady.
Claiming and completing the setup of your business on Google
Part of your small business’s online presence is how you appear in search. Google Business allows you to improve the way in which your business is shown, as well various other insights.
Visits google.com/business to get started.
Sign in with your google account and start the business claiming process.
Step one is to enter your business name and see if Google already has your business in their directory. If they do you can select it to pre-populate your business information, make any required changes, then click next to continue the process.
If your business is new, or not in the Google directory, you simply need to enter all the related details.
You’ll then have two options to verify your ownership of the business. Those are an automated phone call to a land line or mailing of a postcard that will include a verification id.
Once you receive that contact navigate to the URL mentioned and enter your code to complete verification of your ownership of the business.
Once setup you can enter further details as well as get insight into analytics relating to traffic related to your business page within Google.
Another major advantage to having your business setup is Google reviews. You’ll not only be able to direct customers to a certain page to enter receives, but you’ll also be able to read, and reply to reviews as they come.
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