Today’s technically driven society has forced many businesses to change the way they operate. I am writing to tell you about an exciting web analytics tool that is surprisingly unknown by many. Google Analytics is a free service that can serve as one of the most beneficial additions to your agency’s operations. Google Analytics purpose is to enable users to access detailed statistical information regarding visitors to a website. No matter the intricacy of your website, it is extremely useful to be informed on the amount of people who are visiting your site, geographic locations of visitors, different modes of transportation into the site, and what visitors are doing once they access the site. Imagine having daily, weekly, or monthly summaries of statistical data at your finger tips to help identify how and when people are using your website. If serving your customers in the finest way possible is of high priority to your agency, Google Analytics is for you.
So how does Google Analytics collect all of this data? The answer is fairly simple.
HTTP requests of the visitor: these requests always contain details about the browser and the computer making the request, such as the hostname, the browser type, referrer, and language.
Browser/system information: more in-depth details concerning visitor information is gathered in order to form your custom reports. These reports sort information such as traffic sources, visitor screen resolution, demographics, technology, devices, Java and Flash support, etc…
Cookies: cookies are used to define and monitor user sessions. Google Analytics sets or updates cookies only to collect data required for the reports.
Adding your website to the service is very simple:
- Start by simply going to the Google Analytics homepage. The top-right side of the homepage gives you the option to either Sign in, or Create an account.
- After clicking Create an account, you will be directed to sign up (located on the right hand side of screen).
- You will now need to input a name for the new account as well as to paste the Website’s URL into the box. After choosing your desired time zone and reading through the terms of service you are ready to create your account.
- It is your choice in defining the outline of your domain search. Choosing a single domain will be best suited for single custom-built website tracking. You will need to copy and paste the code on each page you want to track. Paste the code immediately before the closing tag, or speak with your Webmaster regarding content generation.
- If you are using a platform such as WordPress, you only need to add the code once to your template.
- Click Save.
You have now created your account with Google Analytics! Your homepage should look just like this.
Congratulations on your account set up! Data will start to funnel shortly. Start familiarizing yourself with some of reporting methods Google Analytics has to offer, as well as any custom reporting combinations that could be beneficial to your site. More articles related to this topic will be posted in the future, so I would encourage you to gain an understanding of the product to fully grasp upcoming posts. I hope this free service serves you well!