Google Analytics: what it is and how to do the initial setup

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If you reached this article, you probably already have a website and perhaps already have Google Analytics installed on your pages. But if you’re new to this tool, it’s time!

Although today is almost a rule have Google Analytics set up, you can still find many companies that do not exploit the potential of this tool.

In this article we give the importance of a periodic analysis and how to start this practice.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is the monitoring and analysis tool for websites and applications most used in the world. Some of its advantages are: easy to set up, integration with other Google services, such as AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools , and a very complete free version.

With properly installed tool, you can monitor who’s profile visits your site, the most accessed pages, conversions, devices, cities and many other data. Below, check out some reasons to start using the tool.

3 reasons to use Google Analytics

Certainly there are a thousand questions that you do every day on your business or your blog, and many of them can easily be answered simply by opening the Google Analytics.

Data on your page traffic , location of your visitors, source channels and real – time information of what is happening on your site are a fraction of what can be seen in the tool.

Track your audience’s behavior is important on many levels, but we will point out here some examples relevant to any business:

1. Understand the best time for your actions

Know the days of the month, week or even the time your visitors to engage more with the site.

With this data in hand, in addition to program actions can also know what not to do at times of peak, as a site upgrade that will reach most of its members.

2. Find causes for abandoning your site

Analyze the bounce rate . That is, how many of your visitors leave your site without even interact with it.

If you sell a service and your website is not generating sales, you already know that something is wrong, but analyzing this data, it is easier to understand if the problem is on the page or on the product itself.

3. Understand which devices used by your visitors

Today it is essential that your pages are optimized for mobile devices. This is even one of the questions that can hurt you in the search results if you do not agree with Google’s guidelines.

But beyond that, you may need to invest more in mobile over time, or even that for your business, make more sense to develop applications for mobile or actions and not for desktop.

Analyzing your traffic through the Analytics can know which device has been most used by visitors to access your site.

How to use Google Analytics: the basic settings

google analytics

First, you’ll need a Google account. Give preference to one that only you have access, and is for professional use, since you should use it as the site exists.

Then you can just access the homepage of Google Analytics and click create an account.

The system itself will indicate the next steps. After clicking the “Sign up” button and fill in the requested data, you will receive a tracking code.

google analytics

The code must be entered on every page of your site. Usually in html page the code is added before the closing tag </ head>.

The insertion site may vary if your site was done in WordPress , for example, you can get an option to place the code in the header, or even install a plug -in to facilitate the process.

Ready! Now you must wait 24 hours for your data to start being collected.

If you want others to use Analytics, no problem: you can grant such access later. To give access to other users, go to “Administrator”, select the desired account and click “User Management”.

“Add permissions for” insert your Google email user to add and select the permission is granted. Click “add”.

Remember that the tool brings numerous possibilities and the more well-configured it is more structured data it will be able to collect.

Thus, a great idea is to deepen both in setting and in the analysis and reports that it is able to generate.

Google itself provides a YouTube channel and a specific page to learning with tips and courses on the service offered by them.

Have fun with Analytics

This is the time to meet and get acquainted with the tool interface. Even with the basic configuration possibilities are enormous.

Stir in all sections, check out the sidebar from cover to cover and, if possible, study about the advanced settings and reports customized. They will make your life much more practical – and full (almost as good as pizza and chocolate).

Ah, of course, enjoy cool to collect information about your business and get ready for action.

A cool tip is to pay attention to the dimensions – major and minor – the reports. They allow numerous combinations and can provide exactly the information you need.

To learn more, also read the post  6 tips to get more out of Google Analytics .

google analytics

Give a chance for insights are recurrent in their daily lives. If you do not acknowledge a problem and its cause, such as coming up with the solution?

Data are reliable basis for decision making when, and well analyzed, are consistent – and consistently takes time.

You may see some mismatched results to analyze your information in short periods of time, but an hour to another, you recognize a pattern and can visualize outliers and insights.

Consider this analysis tool as another ally to come up with new ideas and solutions. Even when things go well we can find different niches and optimization opportunities.

As research material, keep an eye on Occam’s Razor , a super blog specializing in web data written by the evangelist in Digital Marketing Google’s Avinash Kaushik.

And to further deepen their analysis and understanding the key opportunities for improvement, know the eBook “Web Analytics in practice” .

Bonus: the 4 most common mistakes in Web Analytics

After setting up your Google Analytics account and explore various features of the tool, be careful not to fall into common errors Web Analytics and stay focused on the data that really matter.

So below we have an excerpt from the eBook “Web Analytics in Practice” which features the main pitfalls for those just starting to measure results and analyze improvements. Check out:

Focus on vanity metrics

Many people are impressed with some common Internet Number: number of pageviews, impressions on Twitter, number of ‘likes’ on Facebook, views on Youtube, etc.

This type of metric usually do very well for the ego. Responsible Marketing earns credit and admiration in the company and everything seems perfect. Missing, however, an essential point: how much it contributes to sales? After all, selling is the only activity that brings money into the company, everything else is spending.

The  vanity metrics  do not say anything because, besides not indicate how the  Digital Marketing  effectively contributes to the generation of business opportunities also do not show how the company should optimize your actions.

60,000 pageviews not say if the site has been visited by 100 or 60,000 people, two very different cases that would require different types of improvement (increase vs. range make the content more engajador, for example). More importantly, the number does not say how many of these people have become Leads or customers, which are actual results for the company.

Similarly, a large base of followers on Twitter does not mean that all these people actually read and access content that your company publishes. Still less that they become customers after that.

Of course overall it’s good to have a large audience, but care is needed. The goal of your company is not talking to a lot of people but sell and have customers. If your actions are not taking this path of no use.

Make hasty decisions due to incomplete metrics

Yes, the idea of ​​a good system of metrics is to allow your company to make decisions on top of that and achieve performance improvements.

The only problem is that not all the metrics are what appear to be and can become a major pitfall if your company make hasty decisions.

An example where this is clear is being too rigid and only consider how important traffic sources that generate good conversion per visit.

If, for example, a potential customer finds out the company on Twitter and, after several visits on different days, makes the conversion from a direct access (by typing the address in the browser) would not be 100% correct account for this conversion in ” bucket “of direct traffic.

In this case, the number of visits is also important, as they often converting a Lead comes only after several visits to the site.

Focusing on optimization ahead of time

Optimization in general, whether in Adwords, SEO, Landing Pages, titles of posts, Call-to-action, etc., only bring results when there is a significant volume for that particular item.

For example, what is the point spending 10 am to optimize a Landing Page which has only 50 hits per month? If the conversion rate is 6% and you can move to 12% (which is not easy …), the number of Leads generated by that page go from 3 to 6 monthly Leads. Certainly not compensate for the investment made.

Therefore, focus first on increasing the volume of the channels and then think about the optimizations.

Do not act upon metrics

Although preach caution before making decisions, it is no use to measure all this if your company is not acting.

If your keywords are not well positioned on Google, we need to act on optimizations and content production. If your Twitter profile is not growing and attracting customers, you need to change your usage policy.

The process of analyzing and measuring the digital marketing efforts is laborious. Not worth doing it if your business is not willing to work in corrections and opportunities.