Google Analytics: From Setup to Insights

A Tutorial to Installing Google Analytics and Managing Data

At the most basic level, tracking our website data can help us better understand the overall health of our website. Specifically, analytics programs like Google Analytics allow us to analyze and track the following:

  • Overall Site Traffic - Sessions, Channels, Sources/Mediums

  • Demographics - Gender, Age, Location

  • Google Adwords Analytics - campaigns

  • Social Interactions - Network Referrals, Sessions, Social Sources

  • Goal Setting - Goal conversions, Goal completions

By having access to this data, it allows you to learn more about how consumers engage with your site, and it can be used to help plan, execute marketing campaigns, and measure ROI of every marketing campaign.

The biggest challenge that we’ve seen around analytics isn’t acquiring it–that’s the easy part.

The issues are always two fold:

  1. Drilling down to the data that is relevant to your specific business / website.

  2. Turning the data into actionable insights

Analytics reporting allows us to have access to a wide range of different data, reports, and insights. Marketers often get lost in the fascination of having access to all of this data instead of focusing on the data sets relevant to your business.

Once you determine which data sets are in line with your marketing and business strategies, you can use them to help improve your overall website performance. Before you can determine which data is important to your business, you must first ensure that your Google Analytics account is properly set up.

In addition to showing you how to set up a Google Analytics account, we will also show you how to set up a Google Tag Manager account. Once those accounts are created, we’ll instruct you in setting up a property and filtered views in Google Analytics. Lastly, we’ll walk through the steps of creating a Google Analytics tag on Google Tag Manager so you can start viewing your website data!

Google Analytics Setup - Simple Steps For Setting Up Your Google Analytics Account

To create a Google Analytics account, all you need is a Google Account.

Create your Google Tag Manager account

Steps for creating a Google Tag Manager account:

  • In Google tag Manager, click Accounts > Create account.

  • Enter an account name and optionally indicate whether you'd like to share data anonymously with Google and others.

  • Click Continue.

  • Enter a descriptive container name and select the type of content: Web, AMP, iOS, or Android.

  • Click Create.

  • Review the Terms of Service and click Yes if you agree to those terms.

When your new container first loads, you will be prompted with the web container installation code snippet, or to get started with Tag Manager as part of the SDK for your chosen mobile platform. You can install your code snippets now, or click OK to clear this dialog. You can always set up your container first and install the container snippet or SDK later.

For more information, you can read through Google's Tag Manager Help Section.

Create your Google Analytics account

Steps for creating a Google Analytics account:

  • Go to google.com/analytics

  • Click SIGN IN > Analytics.

  • Do one of the following:

  • To create an account, click More options > Create account.

  • To sign in to your account, enter the email address and password associated with the account.

For more information, you can read through Google's Analytics Help Section

Setup Your Website URL as a Property Linked to Your Account

Steps for creating a property linked to your URL and account:

  • Sign into Google Analytics

  • Click Admin.

  • In the account column, use the menu to select the account to which you want to add the property.

  • In the property column, select “create new property” from the menu.

You will only see the “create new property” option if you’ve been given edit permission.

  • Select Website

  • Enter the Website Name

  • Enter the Web Site URL (Properties can only be created if the URL is formatted correctively. Example: Select the protocol standard (http:// or https://). Enter the domain name, without any characters following the name, including a trailing slash (example.com, not example.com/).

  • Select an Industry Category.

  • Select the Reporting Time Zone (This will be used as the day boundary for your reports, regardless of where the data originates).

  • Click Get Tracking ID (Your property is created after you click this button, but you must set up the tracking code to collect data).

New Propery

For more information, see Google's Analytics Section on setting up a property

Create a Filtered View For Your Property

Steps for adding a filtered view to your property:

  • Sign in to Google Analytics.

  • Click Admin, and navigate to the account and property to which you want to add the view.

  • In the VIEW column, click the menu, then click Create new view.

  • Select Web Site

  • Enter a Name (Use specific and descriptive names).

  • Select the Reporting Time Zone (If your Analytics account is linked to a Google AdWords account, the time zone is automatically set to your AdWords preference, and you won’t see this option).

  • Click Create View.

New Reporting View

For more information, see Google's Analytics Section on adding a new view.

Install a Universal Analytics Tag Unique to Your Tracking ID on GTM

Steps for installing your UA code on GTM:

  • In Google Tag Manager, select ‘Create Tag’ and then choose the Google Analytics tag template.

  • Select ‘Universal Analytics’.

  • Configure your tag by naming it. Then add your Google Analytics property ID or your gaProperty variable. Finally, choose the Track Type.

  • Choose your firing triggers. For a basic Google Analytics implementation, select ‘All Pages’. This means that the Google Analytics tag will fire, or execute, on every page of your site.

  • Click Create a tag

For more information, see Google's Analytics Help Section on Tag Manager.

Bear Group’s Google Analytics Setup Recommendations

  • Don’t tie the account to a personal email

  • Use GTM to install a Universal Analytics tag instead of adding tracking code on each page

  • Always set up 3 views for each property (Test, Main, and Raw)

  • Watch videos and read articles to stay up to date on all of Google Analytics’ features

Core Metrics to Monitor in Google Analytics

Although relevant data changes for every business, we recommend you track and report these core metrics.

Bounce Rate 

The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

  • Having a high bounce rate can mean that your landing pages aren’t relevant to your visitors

  • You want to strive for a low bounce rate

  • A well performing bounce rate is usually between 25-50%

Referrals 

Reported when a user clicks through to your website from another third-party website.

  • Referrals can also come from Social Networks

  • Having many referrals is a good sign for your business, but not all referrals are quality referrals

  • Be aware of referrals from spam websites

  • You can increase the number of referrals by creating partnerships with other sites and publishing content that websites can reference

New vs. Returning Users

Comparison of users who have been on your site before and users who are on your site for the first time.

  • Having a large amount of new visitors can be important in building brand awareness, but they often increase bounce rate

  • It’s best to have an equal split of new vs returning users

Goal Conversions 

When a visitor to your site or user of your app performs an action defined as a goal, Analytics records that as a conversion.

  • Using goal tracking is a great tool for tracking events you want visitors to complete, like newsletter subscriptions or whitepaper downloads

  • Be sure to only set goals that are relevant to your marketing and business objectives

  • Reporting on goal conversions and completions can help you determine if there’s any data trends that increase your goal completions

Scroll Depth

Scroll depth tracking allows you to view how far visitors scrolled on your site.

  • Reported by percentages like 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100%

  • Ideally, you want your visitors to be scrolling 100% on any given page

  • This data can help determine the layout of your website pages to be more conducive for goal conversions

  • (Must install separate plugin, see link here

Traffic Sources/Mediums 

A report that provides an overview of the different kinds of sources/mediums that send traffic to your website.

  • Knowing what sources drive the most traffic to your website can help you plan out your next advertising campaign (For example: Did more traffic originate organically from google or directly?)

Overall, Google Analytics can be a huge component of your marketing campaigns and strategies. By setting up Google Analytics, you can help understand how to make the most out of your website.

 


 

How to Evaluate Website
Technology Platforms

Get the whitepaper