Google analytics is one of the best web analytics tools available that allows marketers, advertisers, decision makers and business owners to make data driven decisions made on valuable consumer and market insights.
Here is a quick and simple walkthrough to help you set up google analytics on your website
Disclaimer : The focus of this walkthrough is on doing things right for someone who is probably doing it for the first time, so if this sounds like you, please read ahead. If you want to learn advanced google analytics strategies and implementation, like data import and low level linkages, Links that would help you are at the bottom of the page.
Before we begin, you should know the basic structure of google analytics account.
To begin with, Google analytics is divided into a fundamental 3 tier structure.
Here is what these tiers look like in the actual interface of google analytics
This might be getting a little confusing, so let me explain this in a way that will be easier for everyone to understand.
For better understanding let us take an example of a well known organization; let's say Microsoft corporation.
Within itself, Microsoft has many divisions like Windows, Xbox, Hardware Peripherals, Office Suite, Azure and so on.
Keep reading and all of this will make sense.
Account - This is the main container for google analytics and represents an independent entity like organization. In most of the setups, the account would be the business name that you are working for like Microsoft.
Property - This is an entity that represents a dependent business unit that usually is a product line which is business terms is a profit center. In practical cases a google analytics property would represent a website or an independent subdomain. For example the Xbox website would be a great representation. while Xbox is owned my Microsoft, it has its own identity as a profit center and website.
View - This is your real view. It is the interface that you see, where you get all the cool tools to play around with and customize your data. This would represent an independent product like Xbox console sales or Xbox games sale or Xbox subscription sales. This is a more granular view of an entity in your business that focuses on success parameters of a particular product, service, a content group, support system measurement and so on.
Now with all that in mind, let us create an account for Google analytics and move in specific steps, but before that, here are a few prerequisites for you
A google account that will be used specifically for your business and its websites. You must be logged in with this account before beginning.
A developer or some very basic coding or CMS knowledge (Very very basic.)
Step 1 - Open anaytics.google.com in a web browser. You should see the following page, however if you see a different one, don't worry. Google tends to experiment with and change their interface. Know that they design products for everyone so a similar Call to action will be present.
Step 2 - Enter the business name, agree to the terms and click on next. You can read the terms carefully and choose as per your preference. However, my experience says that sharing data with google is not a problem since your data will already be saved on their server.
Step 3 - Enter the website name, choose the country, time zone & Currency. Ensure that you clock on "Create a universal analytics property". Though this is optional but highly recommended as GA4 property is highly optimized for e-commerce website while a UA or universal analytics property is more suited to a content based, informative generic website. Having both created helps you to have views for both perspectives. There is no harm and you will not be missing out on anything if you do so.
Step 4 - Choose your industry & company size. This is used for benchmarking your performance against similar size players in your industry. Choose your objectives wisely, these signals helps google analytics to configure your tool in ways that makes it easier for you to navigate through the interface and custom-tailors it automatically.
And there you go.
Your basic setup is done.