Track Visitors to Your Site Using Google Analytics

In our most recent article, we discussed the benefits of hiring a web developer to create a professional website for your business. Now that you’ve got your website built, how do you track how many visitors you’re receiving? Read on as we explain how Google Analytics can provide powerful insights into your website traffic.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free to use website analytics service that offers invaluable statistics and basic analytical tools to help refine your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing efforts. The only barrier to entry is the user must have a free Google Account.

How to Install Google Analytics

Google Analytics requires you to paste a small piece of code into a template on your site. This ensures it’s included on every page on your site and accurately tracks each page view.

Getting started with Google Analytics is simple:

  1. Visit Google Analytics
  2. If you’ve already created a Google account, use it to sign in. Alternatively, create a new account by following the instructions.
  3. Click the sign up button and you’ll be prompted to enter information about your website. This includes the domain name and time zone you are in.
  4. Finally, you’ll be presented with a line of code you’ll need to insert into the header of each page of your site.

For further clarification, Google have created this handy video on how the process works:

As practically all modern websites employ a template design, this piece of code will only need to be entered once and it will be included on each page. The tag should be placed in the header template, look out for code that features header.php.

Sound too technical? If you used the services of a web developer, they will be able to assist with placing the line of code. Alternatively, Google have created this helpful guide. Once the tag has been set up, Google will immediately begin collecting data on each page.

How to Read Analytics Data

It’s recommended to give your website at least one week to collect basic starter data. Anything before this point is too small a sample size to consider useful. Analytics delivers literally hundreds of data points you can use to assess your website. In our experience, the key data you’ll want to look out for is:

  • The number of individuals of visited your site (unique visitors)
  • How many of those visitors found your site from searching on Google (search traffic)
  • The other websites that are sending you traffic (referrals)
  • The search terms visitors used to find your website (keyword report)
  • The total number of pages viewed on your website (page views)
  • The sources of your traffic (Sources)

This data can be compared month to month to assess changes you make to your site. It’s a powerful method for reading your A/B testing efforts and the impact of any social media marketing or targeted advertising you carry out.

The Benefits of Using Analytics

The more data a business owner can reference, the less guesswork they face in running their business. If you understand where your customers are coming from and what they’re interested in looking at, it can inform how you position your website in future.

It can even improve your sales strategy by highlighting parts of your website you can iterate upon that will yield higher sales.