Back in the early days of the web, a visitor counter was added to the website to show how many times the website had been visited. This information is as interesting as the number of likes your latest photo has received on Instagram. But today, instead of using the easily manipulated visitor counter on a website, a better solution is Google Analytics. With Google's analytics tool, you can also see lots of other useful information about visitors to your pages. The data is anonymous and you will only see numbers and cannot be directly linked to specific visitors. Google Analytics tells you, for example. Where they came from and how long they have been on your website. Google Analytics is free, but still one of the most powerful analytics tools there is. In this quick guide, I'll show you how to set up Google Analytics on your website.
You'll need a Google Account, and access to manage your website. When using WordPress, you only need access to the admin panel. On other platforms, you will need either the Google Analytics add-on or the rights to edit the homepage tag.
Click on the"Sign up" button on the right-hand side.
2. Add your website to Google Analytics
Next, you can add your website details. Fill in the information as follows:
Account name: For example, the name of your company or association.
Website name: the name of your website. You can later add more than one website under the same account.
Website URL: first select the correct prefix from the list and fill in the rest of your website address.
Subcategory: select the category that best describes your site from the list.
Reporting time zone: select the time zone that suits you.
Next, take a close look at the "Data sharing settings" section. I recommend you read what all these points mean in practice. It's up to you to decide which of these points you want to tick.
Here are brief explanations of the different points:
Google products and services: helpdevelop Google products and services. Example: by sharing data with Google products and services, Google can better identify and remove erroneous ad traffic related to, for example, click fraud.
Benchmarking: you can compare the performance of your website with other websites in your industry.
Technical support: you give Google Technical Support permission to view your Google Analytics data and help with problems.
Account experts: Google experts can see your Google Analytics data and suggest various improvements.
Finally, click on the "Get a tracking number" button.
3. Tracking ID
If you went straight to the Google Analytics default view, you can find your tracking code in the Administrator settings. (bottom left corner of the wheel image) Administrator -> Tracking information -> Tracking code.
If you use WordPress as the basis for your website, go straight to step 4.
Paste this code snippet between your site and the tags. Once the code has been saved, Google Analytics will have access to your site's data. The Google Analytics dashboard will be updated with new information over time, so you won't see the change immediately.
4. Enabling Google Analytics on your WordPress website
Adding Google Analytics to your WordPress website is really easy, thanks to powerful plugins. The only hard part is finding the right add-on to do the work for you. I'll show you a couple of popular options and you can decide for yourself what you want to use on your WordPress website.
Both add-ons are very popular and work in almost the same way. So install whichever one you like. I myself use the Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights more often.
Adding a tracking code:
Install and activate the add-on
You will end up in the "Setup Wizard", which will guide you further.
Copy your tracking number. (Not the whole code snippet, just a short code that looks like UA-XXXXXXXX-X )
Paste the code into the appropriate box in the Setup Wizard.
The default settings are generally the best.
Finish the installation and return to the WordPress control panel.
With both add-ons, you can track visitor numbers and other analytics directly from the front page of your WordPress dashboard.
Overview of the public, i.e. general visitor numbers
How many visitors are there to your website? Google Analytics gives you very dynamic data about the kind of traffic your website is generating. In the audience overview you can see in graph form how many visitors have been to your website at any given time. This graph can also be saved in different formats and presented in presentations, for example. The overview also shows you who are all new visitors and who are all so-called "new visitors". Returning visitors.
Real-time universal premium
How many people are looking at your website right now? From the real-time feed, you can see how visitors currently reading your pages are behaving. You can see which links they click on and how long they stay on your website. This information is anonymous and it is not practically possible to link it to the identity of the visitor. At the same time, you can see which parts of the world traffic comes from.
One of the most important features of Google Analytics is the "Acquisition" tab. In the overview of the acquisition, you can quickly see where visitors can find your website from all over the world. This information is important because it will help you improve the effectiveness of your website.
Direct: Direct transport. The visitor has typed the address into a browser or used a bookmark, for example.
Social: Social media. Traffic from all the different social media services.
Referral: a link from another website. For example, a link to a partner on their website or a business directory.
Paid Search: search advertising. Traffic from Google search advertising.
Organic Search: traffic from search engines.
See which subpages visitors are visiting. You can also see which routes visitors take to get to certain pages. The information on this page will help you find out how well your internal linking is working.