Have you been putting off setting up your Google Analytics account because it just seems too complicated? Have you searched for a simple guide to Google Analytics, but seem to just be more frustrated with all of the choices? Do you want an all in one guide to help you set up your account and gives you the top reports and how to leverage them to improve your business? As a fellow mompreneur, I understand that sometimes all you need is enough information to get the job done, not a college-level course. Well, congratulations, you’ve found it. In this post, I’ll cover how to set up your Google Analytics, explain some of the top current standard and custom reports, and how to leverage them to improve your online presence.
How to Set Up Your Google Analytics Account
We’ll start this guide to Google Analytics Reporting with the foundation. Go to Google Analytics and choose to set up a new account. Note* You will need a Google account to run Google Analytics. Next, enter the applicable new account information for the website in the applicable boxes.
Once you set up your initial account and website, you will have the option to set up up to 49 additional sites under this account. We will cover that later in the article.
Next, you’ll need to set up your data sharing settings (i.e. Benchmarking, etc).
Guide to Adding Your Google Analytics Tracking ID
Once you have agreed to Google’s terms and conditions, you will be redirected over to the dashboard. Choose “Admin” from the left menu to find your tracking code.
On the Admin tab, you’ll see the option “Tracking Info” under the second column. Once you click on it, a menu will dropdown. Click on “Tracking Code”.
The Google Analytics tracking code will need to be installed on each page that you want Google Analytics to measure and report on its activity. There are two ways to install the ID, which is determined by your website platform.
With the Tracking ID
Some platforms have non-coding options for adding the tracking id. For example, if your website is on WordPress, you can use a Google Analytics plugin (such as MonsterInsights) to allow you to easily install your tracking code on your entire website without knowing any code. Another platform, WIX, has the option built-in to its premium level accounts by following the instructions below:
- Log into your Wix.com account, choosing “My Account”.
- Next, click “Manage Premium” and then choose the “Domains” tab.
- Now, click Manage for the appropriate website.
- Under the Domain Summary, click on “change” next to the Google Analytics field.
- Paste your tracking id into the field.
With HTML Code
For websites built with HTML files (or if you choose to work with code on your WordPress site), you can add the tracking code directly to the header source code. To install the Google Analytics tracking code, you copy the Global Site Tag HTML coding from Google Analytics and paste it after the <head> and before the </head> tag in your header file or on each page between the <head> and </head> tags. Your header.php file should be found under your theme’s folder if you are using WordPress.
A Simple Guide to Google Analytics Reporting
Now that you have the boring part taken care of, it’s time to have some fun. Okay, it’s fun if you are like me and like data. If not, this is still a little fun because it helps you improve your sales. Everyone likes making more money, right?
Google Analytics Standard Reporting
There are several standard reports that you can leverage to quickly get a handle on your activity. These are some of the most useful. Especially when first starting out.
Real-Time Reporting – Overview: This standard report displays visitors who are currently on your site. But why is this an important stat to know? This assists you in determining if you should run a major update, push out a new article, add a popup, or a dozen other things you might want to wait until there are fewer or more people on the site.
Acquisition – Channels and Source/Medium: Analyzing where your traffic is coming from gives you the ability to improve marketing strategies, pivot social media activity, and streamline efforts. For example, if you notice more organic searches compared to ads, reduce your ad spend (or look into changing your strategy) and up your efforts with content around applicable keywords.
Acquisition – Social Overview: Tracking social media traffic helps you decide where you should focus your social media efforts and modify strategies as needed.
Behavior – Speed Suggestions: I love this report because it helps me improve my user’s experience without manually checking each page and multiple browsers. This report is found under Behavior.
Audience – Mobile Overview: Use this report to ensure your site is performing as expected on mobile devices. This gives you the reporting you need to make corrections to your site and improve your user experience.
You may be thinking, “with all of the amazing standard reports, why would anyone need to create custom ones?” Simply put, every business is different, so their reporting needs are unique as well. Creating your own reports may also seem hard, but once you have a little practice, you can quickly build the reporting strategy custom-built for your business.
To create custom reports, it takes a few steps. From your main Google Analytics dashboard:
- Click on “Customization”
- Click “Custom Reports”
- and finally, click on “new custom report”.
Customer Acquisition Custom Google Analytics Report
If you’re looking for a simple report that highlights the sources/channels that are adding the largest chunk of sales to your online store, create the powerful custom Google Analytics report below.
This allows you to use metrics like % New Sessions, Average Order Value, Conversion Rate, and Revenue to review the exact information needed without all of the other data getting in the way.
Search Traffic Custom Google Analytics Report
Since organic traffic is a high priority for ensuring profitability, knowing the differences between your organic and paid traffic is vital to pivoting or improving efforts. Create the custom report below to identify and review how paid and organic customers interact with your site. This can be achieved by analyzing sources and applicable keywords being used to locate your site.
Time / Day Custom Google Analytics Report
Another easy, but valuable custom Google Analytics report is the time and day report. It will allow you to view your website’s most active days and times. This helps you discover when your target market is typically active online. This can drive social media post timing and email strategies.
For instance, if your tribe is the most active on Tuesday nights, set up your weekly email blast or live videos accordingly. Why not link your YouTube live video to your website and have it start during your most active time? This will help drive viewership.
Email Assessment Custom Google Analytics Report
I am a firm believer that your email list is one of the most important assets of any business. Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat could be gone tomorrow and with them, your followers. But if you have your tribe’s email address, you’re still in business. And tracking and analyzing how effective your email campaigns are is a must. Create the following custom report to quickly see how well your email marketing is performing. You will need to also use a tool like the custom URL tool from Google to track your campaigns.
Referrals Custom Google Analytics Report
If you use referrals, you should be tracking how your referrals are performing. Simply create the custom Google Analytics report below and make sure your referral efforts are paying off.
Arranging multiple views/tabs grants you the capability to quickly view your referrals and isolate the top referrals bringing sales to your business.