It is imperative to set up Google Analytics the right way. To ensure you gain the data you need, following these steps when setting up your account.

Step 1. Install the Google Analytics Counter in the Correct Place

Once you have created a property for your website, Google will provide you with a website visitor counter code. You need to install this code in the correct place on all your pages.

Find the tracking ID for your account by heading to “Admin” and choosing the right account and property. In the “Property” column, click “Tracking Info” followed by “Tracking Code.” The tracking ID you need will appear at the top of the page.

Copy and paste this snippet straight directly after the <head> tag, replacing GA_TRACKING_ID with your own ID:

<!– Global Site Tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics →
<script async src=“https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=GA_TRACKING_ID”></script>
<script>
 window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
 function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
 gtag(‘js’, new Date());

 gtag(‘config’, ‘GA_TRACKING_ID’);
</script>

 

Be careful to copy the snippet correctly — using a text editor will help you maintain the correct code formatting. If you want to make customizations to the code, be aware that function names are case sensitive and need the right casing and that boolean values need to be free from quotes. Finally, if you’re running other scripts on the same page, check that the current code contains no variables that Google Analytics uses.

You can check that the tracking code is working by heading to your website and confirming that the visit appears in your real-time reports in Google Analytics.

Step 2. Create a Separate Master View

You need several views for your account. At a minimum, you should have a master view, a test view (for testing changes before pushing to the master view), and a raw view (with no changes made in the view for backup). You may also like some additional views, including a staging view, a social media traffic view, and a Facebook traffic view.

The Google Analytics master view should be your first view for the property. This will allow you to view Google Analytics data from when thesince tracking started. The master view needs to enable bot filtering, but it should be free from other filters that you normally apply, such as visits from users in different locations. Like tThis way, you’ll be able to see data about visits that usually don’t appear in reports.

Step 3. Set Up Filters in the Master View

Properly setting up filters in Google Analytics is necessary for ensuring that you see the right data in views. You need filters to exclude internal traffic, referral spam, robots, and spiders. However, if you use the incorrect settings, you’ll end up filtering all the data from your reports. You can avoid this problem by limiting the number of “Include” filters you use, sticking just to those you need, such as a referral spam filter.

Step 4. Configure Event Submission

In Google Analytics, an event is any user interaction with content on your website that is possible to track. A few examples include downloads, clicks on ads, and video plays. Events have the values of category, action, label, and value. To pass events to Google Analytics, you need to include additional code on your website, which you can add either manually or by using Google Tag Manager.

Analytics event tracking works by triggering a tag when an event like a click, a timed interval, or a form submission occurs. To set up an event in Google Analytics, you can either use a trigger and a tag for each event or use the same tag with a regular expression. The following example explains how to set up either type for click data.

Creating the Trigger

If you don’t have one already, start by creating a Google Analytics pageview tag to fire on all your pages. Then, find “Built-In Variables” under the “Variables” menu, choose “Configure,” and check the box next to “Click URL.”

Next, you need to create a trigger for the event you want to track. Find “Triggers” and choose “New.” Under “Trigger Configuration,” configure “Click – Just Links.” In settings, enable “Wait for tags,” set a max wait time of 2000 (this is in milliseconds), and disable validation.

Under “Enable this trigger when all these conditions are true,” set “Click URL.” For separate triggers, choose “contains” and input the link. For a single trigger, input all your links instead. Set the trigger to fire on all clicks. Finally, give your trigger a name.

For separate triggers, you’ll need to repeat the process for all the links you want to track.

Creating Tags for Separate Triggers

When it comes to creating tags, the process diverges a little more. In the case that you’re using separate triggers, you need to create a tag for each of them. Do this by choosing “Tags” then “New.” Find “Tag Configuration” and select “Google Analytics – Universal Analytics.” For “Track Type” use “Event.” Then, set the tracking parameters as follows:

  • Category: Nav
  • Action: Select
  • Label: [name of link]
  • Tag Name: UA – Event – [name of link]
  • Non-Interaction Hit: False
  • Google Analytics Settings: [choose an existing variable or create one for the purpose]

Under “Triggering,” match the tag with the trigger you created earlier. Finally, give your tag a name and save it.

Follow the same instructions to create tags for all your triggers. Once you’re done, publish the container.

Creating a Tag for a Single Trigger

In the case you’ve created just a single trigger, head to “Tags” and choose “New.” Set the “Tag Configuration” as “Universal Analytics” and the “Track Type” as “Event.” Then, use these parameters:

  • Category: Nav
  • Action: Select
  • Label: {{Click URL}}

Under “Triggering,” choose the trigger, save the tag, and publish the container.

Step 5. Configure Goal Tracking

Setting up goals in Google Analytics will let you know how your website is performing and whether it is fulfilling its purpose. Configuring goal tracking analytics is simple: all you need to do is head to “Admin,” find “Goals,” and choose the goal you want to track. Your options are URL destination, visit duration, page/visit, and event.

The most important thing to do is to ensure that the goals you are tracking matter to you. For instance, if you set up a visit duration goal, consider how important it is for users to stay on your site for the amount of time you set as a goal.

Step 6. Configure Ecommerce

If you have an online store, you also need to set up ecommerce tracking in your reports. This will allow you to gather data about sessions, bounce rate, traffic sources, and more to use in conjunction with your sales data.

Setting up ecommerce tracking means editing HTML and coding in JavaScript to add Analytics ecommerce tracking code to your site. Once you’ve done this, head to “Admin” and go to the view where you want to enable ecommerce. In the “View” column, find “Ecommerce Settings” and switch on “Enable Ecommerce.” Click “Next Step” and then “Submit.” You’ll need to repeat this to enable ecommerce for every view where you want to see the data.

Step 7. Set Alerts for Important Events

Finally, you should take advantage of the fact that you are able to receive customized Google Analytics alerts in real time. Alerts ensure you are aware when a specific action occurs. You can even customize your alerts to include combinations of actions or to use segmentation. For instance, you could set up Google Analytics to alert you in the case that visits originating from social media drop week over week.

It’s a lengthy process to set up Google Analytics, but it’s critical to go through these steps in turn to ensure that everything is configured correctly. Only like in this way will you receive relevant data and be able to make changes in the future to customize your reports. This will be crucial for adapting your strategy in a way that will enable your business to grow.