How To Set Up & Use Google Analytics
Analytics is a vital tool for every website owner. While many site owners add analytics tracking to their site – very few set up their account well enough to measure vital data.
In order to know how to grow your business you need to first understand where the traffic is coming from, which sources drive the most revenue / traffic and which pieces of content perform the best. While Google stop sharing keyword data within Google analytics years ago, if you set up search console you can pull that keyword data into analytics.
There are other important metrics you should be reviewing in analytics and I’ve included them within this guide. I’ve also included some easy to implement reporting dashboards to help you find that important data easily.
- Session duration
- Bounce rates
- Pages they visited
- Traffic sources (social media, search)
- User affinity/interests categories
- Demographics such as gender and age
- Devices they are using including browser/operating system
- The location of the user including country and city
With custom configuration you can collect other information such as plays/clicks on content, path to purchase funnels, contact form/goals among others. Here is how does Google Analytics measure SEO?
How to Setup Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are some of the most critical site monitoring tools a webmaster has at their disposal. They provide tons of data of data on what is happening with important aspects of SEO on the website that makes it possible to strategize moving forward.
However, the biggest problem has been that you often had to log into two different accounts to get the information. But since 2016, you can now connect Search Console to Google Analytics and analyze consolidated data without having to log into separate accounts. Here is how it is done:
Submit Your Site to Google Search Console
You need to have submitted and verified your website in Google Search Console. If you have already done that you can move to the next step. If not check out this video below on how to submit your website to Google Search Console.
If you have already set up Google Analytics, you can go on to verify ownership of the website using Google Analytics as long as:
- You are using the asynchronous version of the tracking code
- The tracking code is placed in the <head> section of the page
- You have edit permissions for the Google Analytics property
If you are using this method you will have to install Googled Analytics directly and not use the tag manager. If you will be using tag manager follow the instructions below.
Google Tag Manager
If you will be using Tag Manager, all you need to do is install the container snippet on your page.
Note that you will need to have manage permissions for the website’s Tag Manager container.
HTML File Upload
You could also prove ownership of the site by uploading a verification code inside a HTML file.
Once you have downloaded the file you can upload it to the website where it will be accessible from the root.
Note that the file should not be removed as Google will be periodically checking the file for verification.
You can also use the HTML tag to verify your website if your CMS allows you to add custom meta tags. This may be very convenient if you are suing CMSs such as WordPress as there are many plugins you can use to add the verification tag.
This is the recommended way of verifying your site since it does not need hosting, your website or another dependency to verify. Using DNS and Search console, you will add a TXT record to the DNS records to verify the site.
This is the best way of verifying as it means you cannot lose verification when the site is down or the snippet is accidentally deleted. As such if you have access to DNS records you should definitely verify using this method.
Linking Google Analytics with Google Search Console
Choosing Analytics Property
Here is how to link Search Console with Google Analytics.
Log into the Google Analytics property and then click on the Admin tab. Click on the cog and the Property settings to select the property you want to integrate.
Choosing Search Console Property
A new screen will pop up on the right of it with the details of the selected website. Scroll down and then on the Search Console tab click on ‘Adjust Search Console’.
The Search Console settings will present as below. Click the button ‘Add’ link.
You should see all the websites in the Search Console Account in your Google Analytics. Find the website not already linked to another Analytics Account. Mistakenly linking an already linked account will mean that the integration with the other Analytics property will be automatically removed.
Click on the property you intend to integrate and then click save. Click on the ‘OK’ prompt to confirm.
Head to the Analytics homepage and refresh it. You should see whether the Search Console Property has been integrated into the Google analytics Account.
How to Find Google Search Console Data in Google Analytics
Once you have integrated Search Console with Google Analytics you can have all your Search Console data right in Google Analytics.
To find this data click on scroll down and click Acquisition
On the following men click on “Search Console”.
You can now find information on:
You can get information on what pages people from the different traffic are going to when visiting your website. Simply click the page URL and you should see what search queries are bringing in traffic to a given page.
You get the information on which countries are bringing in traffic to your website. Simply click on the country and you see the queries bringing in traffic to a given page.
This report will tell you what devices visitors to your website are using whether it be desktop, tablets or mobile phones. All you need to do is click on a Device category and you will have information on the most visited pages according to device.
The queries report gives information on the search terms that are bringing in the traffic on the website. You can also get the average ranking positions on the SERPS for given terms.
How to Track Revenue and Leads in Google Analytics
The most important metric for a business is revenue which only comes from the leads you get. To track leads and revenue you need to set up goals in Google Analytics.
Goals are the activities that have an impact on the revenue of the website which makes them very critical to track. Goals typically depend on what you are trying to accomplish. For instance some common goals that you could track for your business include:
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Session duration
- Leads (contact forms)
- Phone calls
- eBook downloads
Every goals that you set needs to have some monetary value to the business such as a newsletter subscriber being worth $1, a phone call $40 and a new lead worth $30. By assigning a value it is possible to understand the value of different channels and marketing efforts.
How to Set Goals In Google Analytics
Create a New Goal
Click on the Admin tab which will open the page with the three columns: View, Property, and Account.
Look for the heading ‘Goals’ in the ‘View’ column and click on it
On the goals page scroll down and then at the bottom of the page click on the ‘New Goal’ button.
Choose Goal Setup
Google Analytics comes with preconfigured templates that are: Inquiry, Acquisition, and Revenue
On the Goal setup tab click on the Custom radio tab and scroll to the bottom and then click on ‘Continue’.
You will get a prompt to enter a name for your goal and select its type. Find any name that will make it easy to remember what you are tracking and then click on Destination as the type. Click on the button titled ‘Continue’.
Fill in Goal Details
You can add in your labels to make it more specific what conversion you are tracking. The details start out broad and get more specific and include the category, the action, and the label.
- Category – usually includes general terms being tracked such as File, Video, or Outbound link.
- Action – What the visitors are doing on the site includes things such as Share, Play, Submit or Download.
- Label – Smaller details you need such as specific poll answers or colors of the items.
You should then select ‘Yes’ to ensure that Event Values are transferred to Goal values too. This will ensure that you can go back to the information and see the marketing campaigns, medium/source or channel that generated the visit or action.
With the goal details set up you can create a Goal for the macro conversion and then head back to the beginning and click ‘Acquisition.’
Enter a Destination goal as the Goal type and then drop in the URL for the confirmation or Thank You page that someone lands on after they submit their information.
Do this to customize the last step.
Enter in the URL path for your confirmation page without the root domain. As such “https://example.com/thanks” should be simply: “/thanks”:
Now hit Save and you are done.
Once you have setup your goals, Google Analytics will start recording data.
View Your Data
Once you have your goals set up, go to the main reporting tab of Google Analytics and click Conversions > Goals > Overview to start.
How to Set Up Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking
If you are a seller of digital or physical products you need to track that using custom codes embedded in the shopping cart. With such tracking you will be able to get important information such as:
- What pages are getting the most conversions?
- What products are the most valuable?
- How people re arriving at the important pages
Such information will make it possible to determine the most effective pages of your website, so that you can optimize your sales funnels.
For instance you could discover that one page is getting a very good 20% conversion rate as compared to another which is getting 5%. This may drive the decision to either tweak the poorly performing page or to spend less on that page while doubling down on the better performing landing page.
To get the important data from Analytics you will need to enable ecommerce reporting by switching On the E-Commerce set up on the Main Website Profile Information.
You will then have to add a customized tracking code to the shopping cart system. This will collect data on how and when purchases occur. How to implement this will depend on the shopping cart and hosting provider. It can often be done through hand coded HTML, a separate module on the CMS or through server side inclusion.
Integrate Analytics with Google Ads
Integrating AdWords with Google Analytics can provide some important information on the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns. It also gives you critical information including what visitors do when they are on the website and what keywords convert better among many others.
This is a simple integration as all you need to have is an AdWords account and a Google Analytics account that have the same email address. All you need to do is log into your AdWords account and from the Reporting tab select ‘Google Analytics’ and then select the account you need to integrate from the list.
Here is the step by step on how to do this:
Ensure that you have associated a Google Analytics account with your website. Ensure you have the admin rights to the Google Analytics account you intend to integrate
Log in into the Google AdWords acc and click on the tab ‘Tools and Analysis’ and click on ‘Google Analytics’ from the menu.
Click on the tab ‘Admin’
Click on the domain you intend to integrate with Analytics
You can then link the Google Analytics to the Google AdWords account. It is always recommended to let Google auto tag your links.
Once you have done that you can activate Google Analytics integration with the Google Ads account.
To accomplish this go to the ad group or campaign or/and keyword tab on the Google AdWords account and then click the ‘Settings’ button. This will make it possible to select all the metrics you want to analyze.
Link Google AdSense with Analytics Account
If you are running AdSense, it may be important to link it with Google Analytics so that you can have all the information in one place for ease of comparison and analysis. Here is how to integrate AdSense with Google Analytics.
Choose Analytics Property – Log into Google Analytics and click on the tab ‘Admin’. Now click on the ‘Property’ you intend to integrate with AdSense and on the options provided click on ‘All Products’. Go to the tab ‘Unlinked Product’ and Under the ‘AdSense tab click on the button ‘Link AdSense’.
Configure AdSense Link – Select your publisher ID and account type. Click on the button ‘Continue’ and proceed to the next step.
In the next step click on the dropdown and choose the Analytics View. Click on the tab ‘Enable link’ to link Analytics to AdSense.
Check the Status – Once you have linked head to ‘Admin > Property > All Products’. It should indicate the status of the linking status as below.
Connect AdSense Account – Log into AdSense and head to “Home then Settings then click on Access and authorizations. Now click on Google Analytics integration” section. On the list of properties, click on the one you want to link and follow the process above to integrate Analytics and AdSense accounts.
View AdSense Reports
You can now check out all your AdSense data such as ad impressions, and eCPM directly from the Google Analytics account. In your Google analytics account head to ‘Behavior > Publisher’ tab. You can get your publisher referrer report, pages, and earnings overview right from analytics.
Create Your Own SEO Dashboard
There is a lot of data that you can get from Analytics but sometimes it can be difficult to glean important information from all that data. Sometimes all you need is a pie chart or bar graph of all the critical data rather than all that information.
Thankfully, Google Analytics allows you to present information in an easily digestible format through the Dashboard interface. The Google Analytics Dashboard is basically several widgets that compile the individual reports into one view that you can easily share, access or print. With a dashboard you can reduce the time spent on analyzing SEO metrics which will release more of your time that you can use for doing other important SEO work.
Some examples of dashboards that you can create include:
- Organic visits over a period of time
- Most successful keywords by conversions
- Top landing pages from organic search
- Pages per visit for organic keywords
Google Analytics also allows you to download dashboards by other SEOs and integrate them into your own Analytics. Some good dashboards you can download include: