Tracking Web Traffic: Setting up Google Analytics

If you, your business, or your organization has a website, one of the best free tools you can equip yourself with is Google Analytics.  The tool is easy to install and provides a wealth of great information about the traffic (coming and going) on your website.  Contrary to the old ‘hit counters’ with little useful information, Google Analytics can arm you with important details about traffic levels, the demographics of your visitors AND more importantly, statistics on the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you haven’t already setup a google account, you will need to have one before you can setup a Google Analytics Account.

Here’s how to create your own Google Analytics account:

  1. Go to http://www.google.com/analytics/
  2. On the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see a blue button that says, “Access Analytics”.  Click on the text underneath the button that says, ‘New to Google Analytics? Sign Up Now
  3. Use your google account to sign in.
  4. Click the Sign Up button in the lower left-hand area to continue.
  5. On the following page, fill in the information for your website:
    • Your website’s URL (example: www.yourdomainhere.com)
    • Account Name (just a reference name to identify your Analytics account – NOTE: This is more specific to your overall account than the website, especially if you have more than one site to track)
    • Time Zone Country (example: United States)
    • Time Zone (example: Eastern Time)
  6. Click Continue.
  7. In the next window, provide your contact information. Click Continue.
  8. In the next window, read the Google Analytics terms of service. If you agree with them, click the Yes box, then click Create New Account.

Setting up your website to track data on Google Analytics

  1. On the following screen (from Step 8 above), you will see a text box with the code your website needs to be able to start tracking data on Google Analytics. Select and copy (CNTL+C) the code.IMPORTANT NOTE: If you do not have access (or do not know how) to edit the code on your website, simply email your web administrator the code you copied in this step and ask them to make sure it resides on each page (that you want to track) of your website.
  2. To insert the Google Analytics code, you need to have access to edit the code of each of the pages you want to track.IMPORTANT NOTE: Many sites are built to read one file for all pages for the footer, so you may be able to insert the code on one file to track all of the pages on your site.
  3. Find the </body> tag at the very bottom, just above the </html> page.
  4. If you see urchinTracker(), utmLinker(), utmSetTrans(), or utmLinkPost() above the </body> tag, you must paste the Google Analytics script above that code. If not, paste it immediately above the </body> tag.
  5. Once you have uploaded the newly changed pages back to your site, Google Analytics can pick up the code and will start tracking data for your website.

Helpful Links for Google Analytics:

Google Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics/

Google Analytics Installation Guide: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66983

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