This checklist will help you:
- Track your progress through a basic Google Analytics setup
- Identify specialty and advanced set-up options, such as Ecommerce setup and integration with AdWords, AdSense and Google Search Console
- Identify custom tracking that may be required to more completely track your website so that the data is complete enough, meaningful and useful
Option 1: Install the Google Analytics Code Snippet directly on your site
The original method – antiquated but still works
Install the Tracking Code on all pages your website before the closing </head> tag.
Option 2: Install Google Analytics tracking using Google Tag Manager
Our recommended and preferred method, we don’t install Google Analytics without Google Tag Manager, unless there’s a technical barrier. Read more about the benefits of Tag Management.
Install Google Analytics within Google Tag Manager Google has provided a Google Analytics in Tag Manager setup guide. If you are interested in hands-on instruction, perhaps this course might be of interest to you.
Check that data is being collected. Look at reports in Google Analytics by logging into Google Analytics. In the Home tab, click on the hyperlink containing your Google Analytics account number (starts with ‘UA’) and your website URL. Look at your Real time Reports, which show data immediately
- No data in non-real time Standard reports? If you set up the account today, the date range defaults to the last 30 days. Click on the date range shown and select today’s date. Click [Apply].
- Still no data? On most days, data will appear within a couple of hours, but has been known to take a full day. Check back later. If you still don’t have any data, either the code is not on your site or you may have problems on your website interfering with code collection. Ask your website developer to take a look using these debugging tools or contact us for help if you don’t have tech support available.
Set up Goals to track your site’s and your visitors’ successes.
- Click on the [Admin] tab and, if you are an Administrator, you’ll see the link to set up “Goals” in the middle of the page. You have 20 goals for the profile you have just set up.
- Not sure what to set up as goals? Think about the reason your website exists. What do your visitors want to do? For example, If you have a contact form or email newsletter signup form, set the confirmation pages up as goals.
The above are the steps we feel are the mandatories for all websites. Depending on your situation, here are some other areas you should setup to get maximum benefit from Google Analytics:
Setup Ecommerce Tracking – If you sell products on your website, you’ll need to add additional coding on your website to track product SKUs sold, orders and revenue. Review Google’s detailed ecommerce tracking instructions
Track social activities on your YouTube channel or your Google+ page. Click on the “Social Settings” tab and add your website domains that you have social plugins on, as well as your YouTube channel and other.
Integrate AdWords data – If you advertise on AdWords link your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts.
Integrate AdSense data – If your website hosts ads from the AdSense network, import your revenue and activity data into the Google Analytics standard reports by linking your AdSense and Google Analytics Accounts
Special Situations – Custom Coding
What else might you need beyond the basics listed above? Google Analytics tracks a lot ‘out of the box’. However, if you have the following situations on your site, additional custom coding or custom Google Tag Manager configuration may be required:
- Accordian-like on-page expansions, dynamic forms, modal windows, mouseovers or any other rich media client-side interaction where a click does not cause the URL in the address bar to change.
- Downloads (PDFs or other documents)
- Mail-to links
- Clicks on links to other websites that you want to track – partner sites, social netswork
Contact us if you require assistance implementing any of the above.
Once set-up is reasonably complete, start slicing and dicing your data to optimize your content, campaigns and keywords.