How to Set Up Google Analytics for Your Website

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding how much traffic your website is getting, where it’s coming from and how people are interacting with your content. Website owners can use this data to understand what areas of their site need improvement such as improving click through rates or increasing conversions per visit. The Google Analytics setup process isn’t difficult but does require some work upfront to set up the tracking code on all pages you want tracked.. It also requires an investment into having analytics in place before any significant marketing strategy takes off

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks how visitors use your website. You can set up Google Analytics for your website in just a few minutes. Read more in detail here: google analytics sign in.

When you create a company website or blog, your main aim is to attract visitors who will hopefully turn into paying clients later on.

Google Analytics (GA) enables you to track the metrics that drive these objectives while also providing a variety of other useful information. This data may have a huge impact on your marketing tactics and decision-making.

This post is for you if you’re new to Google Analytics and don’t know how to set it up for your website. Set up Google Analytics properly in 5 easy steps by following our step-by-step instructions!

Why Is It So Important to Set Up Google Analytics Properly?

If you rely on your GA data to make critical business and marketing decisions (as many companies do), the consequences of inaccurate or misleading source data due to a setup error could be disastrous. 

For many, the difficulty is that after you’ve begun collecting data, it’s tough to notice setup problems. Webmasters have been known to unintentionally place two tracking codes on a website, resulting in statistics being reported twice and techniques being implemented under false pretenses.

It might be difficult to notice anything is wrong unless you are also monitoring traffic via other external sources, such as Webinomy. 

Even then, recalibrating your whole GA system and attempting to make sense of your now-tainted historical data may be a lengthy process.

GA is a very effective data collecting and analysis tool that may provide game-changing results. However, because of its intricacy, a lot of things may go wrong very quickly. 

That’s why getting the setup right from the start is so important!

Before you set up Google Analytics, there are a few things to think about.

There are a few things to consider before diving into the technical process of installing GA on your site. You’ll need to think about the version you’ll use and if you’ll do things manually or not.

Google Analytics 4 or Universal Analytics?

There are two different variants of GA:

  • Universal Analytics (UA) is a “legacy” version of Google Analytics.
  • GA4 (Google Analytics 4) is a newer version of the product.

During the setup process, Google will ask (and, in fact, recommend) that you establish a GA4 property (more on what that means later). However, since the UA vs. GA4 argument is still a touchy subject in the digital marketing world, Google currently permits users to construct UA properties.

So, how does this affect your setup? 

If you’re new to Google Analytics, Google recommends that you utilize GA4. However, if you’ve used UA before and want to continue with what you know, that’s OK as well. 

But, before you make that decision, keep the following in mind:

  • Unlike UA, GA4 lets you gather and measure data for both websites and applications on the same domain. 
  • Page views (along with all other metrics) are tracked as “events” in GA4. This isn’t to say they aren’t being measured; it simply means they are being measured in a different way.
  • GA4 allows for unrestricted data collection, whereas UA does not. If your website receives a lot of traffic (or you expect it to in the future), this could be a problem. GA4 also has a number of sophisticated free capabilities that are only accessible in the commercial version of UA and might be useful in the future.

Is it Necessary to Use a Plugin?

You can use a plugin or a module to set up Google Analytics if you’re using an external content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal. This might be an enticing alternative for bloggers who just want to get their site up and running as soon as possible with the least amount of technical knowledge.

Many of these plugins, however, can come with limitations. For example, Monster Insights — one of the most popular and well-known GA plugins for WordPress — only supports UA properties (more on this later), so you won’t be able to track app data with GA4.

It’s also worth mentioning that the free versions of these plugins are often aimed towards “newbie” bloggers. If you want to expand the size and reach of your website, you’ll need to do more in-depth research and analysis. 

As a consequence, depending on a free plugin may result in some friction in the future. When you upgrade from the free edition of Monster Insights, it might cost anywhere from $99 to $799 each year.

While plugins might help with some of the hard work when it comes to integrating GA to your site, there’s a lot to be said about understanding how to do it yourself. You’ll probably get more use out of the tool, and you’ll probably save money in the long run.

In 5 Easy Steps, Learn How to Set Up Google Analytics

Let’s go into how to set up Google Analytics and manually add it to your site now that we’ve covered some of those points. 

Create a Google Analytics account in the first step.

Your GA account is where you’ll keep track of all of your GA activities. However, you must first check in to your existing Google account before you can create one (e.g. the account you use to access your Gmail, etc.). You’ll need to establish a Google account if you don’t already have one. 

Go to the Google Analytics homepage and click “Start for free” in the upper right-hand corner after you’ve authenticated into your Google Account.

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You’ll be sent to the account creation page, where you’ll be required to fill out the three areas below:

1. Giving the Account a Name 

Note that you must enter an account name rather than a property name in this area (which is covered in the next subsection). As a result, the real domain URL should not be included here.

Of course, you may name your account anything you like, but it’s best to keep it simple and use your company’s name. If you’re going to create many accounts for various domains (or subdomains), it’s a good idea to separate them for ease of use (though this isn’t required since each account has its own unique ID).

If you have an ecommerce site with subdomains for various areas (for example, paulsguitars.co.uk for the United Kingdom and paulsguitars.com for the United States), you may call them Paul’s Guitars (UK) and Paul’s Guitars (US), respectively.

You’ll also be asked to establish your data sharing settings, which govern what Google does with the information you provide. Make sure you read these rules well and only pick the choices that you are okay with.

2. Fill in the information about your property. 

The next step is to define your property. Any online asset you own, such as a website (www.yourshop.com), a blog (blog.yourshop.com), or an app, is referred to as a “property” in Google Analytics. It’s vital to keep in mind that your GA4 account might be linked to many of these properties.

Let’s imagine you want to keep track of everything – your website, blog, and app — from a single account. In this scenario, your property name would be “yourshop.com” (i.e. the parent domain). 

You would use “blog.yourshop.com” if you simply wanted to monitor one of these properties, such as your blog.

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You’ll be prompted to choose your preferred time zone and currency as well (these can be changed later if needed).

Note: You will be required to create a GA4 property in this step. Although Google does not advocate it, you do have the advanced option to modify this and create a UA attribute.

For the sake of clarity, the setup procedures for individuals who choose the GA4 property option in this section are covered in the rest of this article.

3. Provide your company’s information.

The last step in setting up your GA account is to enter some basic information about your company, such as:

  • Your line of work (e.g. shopping, finance, sports, etc.)
  • the size of the company (by number of employees)
  • Your goal is to (i.e. what you plan to use Google Analytics for)

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Click the “Create” button when you’re finished. After reading and accepting Google Analytics’ terms of service, you’ll be taken to your GA dashboard.

Step 2: Create a Data Stream

When you initially open your GA4 dashboard, you’ll be asked to create a data stream. This is essentially a portal into GA for the data you collect from your site (which we’ll go over in the next step). 

Make sure you’ve chosen the right account in the upper left corner and the correct property in the Admin dropdown menu before you start (this page will look slightly different if you have created a UA property).

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Information about the website

Select the “Web” option once you’ve found the correct property. You’ll be asked to enter your domain URL and give your data stream a name.

You’ll also have to choose which web protocol you want to use (i.e. HTTPS or HTTP). Check to determine whether your site has a valid SSL security certificate if you’re not sure which protocol you’re utilizing. 

Otherwise, your site will be HTTP. You may also put your URL into a web browser and verify the security status at the beginning of the URL.

Note: Make sure you’re using the right protocol; otherwise, your data may not be accurate. If you choose the incorrect one by accident (or your protocol changes later), you may modify it in the Admin settings.

Measurements that are more accurate

Along with the “basic” metrics like page visits, scrolling, and outbound clicks, Google automatically assigns additional upgraded metrics to track in GA4. By tapping the little “Settings” symbol in the bottom right corner, you may turn these metrics on or off (and obtain a more detailed explanation of what each metric is).

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If there are certain items you want to measure (or don’t want to measure), you may choose or deselect them here. You have the option to change your preferences at any time. More information on these metrics can be found in your GA4 dashboard’s “Setup Assistant” feature.

You’ll be given a unique measurement ID and a unique stream ID after you select “Create stream,” as seen below.

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Note: You’ll need Google’s Firebase software to set up a data stream for your Android or iOS app. The data stream setup page will walk you through the technical steps of how to use this program to configure your app.

Step #3: Begin gathering information from your website.

As previously stated, your data stream serves as the entrance to your GA4 portal. However, you’ll need to add an Analytics tag — a little bit of code — to your web pages to actually gather the data and transmit it there.

This may be done in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences and the structure of your site.

Websites that are hosted by a CMS:

If you built your site using a CMS-hosted “build-it-yourself” tool like Wix or Google Sites is a web-based application that allows you, the setup procedure is already included into the software. However, depending on who your CMS supplier is, the specific methods will vary significantly.

Wix, Google Sites is a web-based application that allows you, WordPress.com, and WooCommerce users:

A “G-” ID will appear in the upper right corner of the data stream page you generated in the previous step (see below).

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This “G-” ID must be entered into the appropriate area in your CMS. Follow the internal instructions of each of those providers to learn how to achieve this:

Wix

Google Sites is a web-based application that allows you

WordPress.com

WooCommerce

All other CMS-hosted websites should use the following URL:

If you’re using another CMS, such as Weebly, Shopify, GoDaddy, or Squarespace, you’ll need to use the CMS’s custom HTML function to copy and paste the whole global site tag.

Your global site tag can be found on your data stream details page, under the “Tagging Instructions” section, just like the “G-” ID.

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You’ll be given a little bit of JavaScript code, similar to the one below, when you click on it:

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This is your site’s global tag. Your CMS will provide you with a clear advice on where to copy and paste this content, so make sure you read it carefully.

Self-Constructed or Custom-Built Websites

The data collecting setup is significantly more laborious if you (or your web development team) developed your own website.

Using the same process as the previous section, select your global site tag (the small piece of JavaScript code in the “Tagging instructions” section). You will need to copy and paste this tag onto every one of your site’s pages, placing it in the header (“<head>”) section of each page’s HTML code.

When doing this, take additional precautions to avoid mistakenly pasting the code twice on the same page.

Additional Options

There are two alternative methods for manually adding tags to your website:

Using Google Tag Manager as a first step

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a standalone application that lets you set up and manage tags for Google Analytics, Google Ads, Floodlight, and a variety of other natively supported third-party tags. If you’re conducting sponsored ads across different networks, this option may make it easier to keep track of and manage all of your tags in one location.

It’s a good idea to read Google’s “Considerations before you install” page before getting into GTM. This will help you determine if GTM is appropriate for your requirements at this time.

The installation and setup of GTM also entails a high level of technical expertise. As a result, Google recommends enlisting the help of a developer for this task, particularly if you are unfamiliar with coding.

If you wish to continue, Google’s step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring GTM may be found here.

It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t have to decide whether or not to utilize GTM right now. You may always establish a GTM account and then convert your current GA tags into it if you start working with various advertising channels in the future.

2. Making use of the “G-” ID

You can copy and paste your measurement ID into the relevant field on any other platform or service that accepts a “G-” ID by going into your data stream details, selecting your measurement ID in the top right corner, and pasting it into the relevant field on your chosen platform/service.

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Configure Your Setup (Step 4)

One of the most important features of GA is that it allows you to tailor your data collection and analysis to better reflect your company’s objectives. Many businesses, for example, consider a “conversion” to be a paid purchase. 

A conversion, on the other hand, may be defined as a user downloading an ebook, filling out your Contact Us form, or enrolling in a free course. This adaptability may help you improve your analysis and reporting.

Here’s how to set up these settings.

Click the “Configure” button on the left-hand side of your GA dashboard.

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You’ll be sent to a page where you may customize custom events, conversions, and audiences.

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Make Your Own Events

When a user interacts with your site in a pre-defined manner, GA triggers an event. A “page view” event is triggered every time someone visits your page, for example.

By default, GA4 already collects data on a wide range of these events. Many are automatically collected, while others you will have already selected or deselected during the “Measurements that are more accurate” set up in Step #2.

As a result, you’re unlikely to need to add any more. If you’re certain your desired event doesn’t already exist, you can create one (or modify an existing one) by going to the menu and selecting “Events,” then “Create event.”

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For your event to be successful, it must match specific criteria that you will establish. To guarantee that you accomplish this properly, it’s strongly suggested that you follow Google’s detailed, step-by-step instructions.

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When you’re finished, click “Create” in the upper right corner to save your event.

Make a list of your target audiences.

Because audience segmentation is so important in marketing, you may find it useful to establish your own bespoke audiences. To do so, go to the menu list and select “Audiences,” then “New audience.”

You may either let Google develop audiences for you based on current user data, acquisition techniques, or demographics, or you can construct your own from start.

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There are many different identifiers and parameters to choose from, allowing you to create a custom audience. Let’s imagine you wish to use Google’s pre-set “Demographics” template to generate an audience for a certain social group.

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Simply fill in the required parameters and IDs in the informative boxes and click “Save.” You may also set up a trigger to alert you when a new user joins the audience.

Make Your Own Conversions

A conversion isn’t always the same as a purchase, as we discussed earlier in this step. To create your own, go to the menu bar and select “Events,” then search for the event you want to mark as a conversion. 

If you wish to designate a course signup as a conversion, for example, you’d use “course sign up.” Set the toggle bar to “on” under the column header “Mark as conversion.”

To double-check that this succeeded, go to the “Conversions” tab in the menu and look for your event in the “Conversions” list.

If you can’t find the event you’re looking for, then you can create a new one using the process described above, under “Make Your Own Events.”

Step #5: Double-check your setup

Wait 15 to 30 minutes after you’ve finished the setup to make sure you’ve set up GA correctly and placed the Analytics tag on your website correctly. Then, in the upper left corner of your GA4 dashboard, go to “Reports” and view the “Realtime” report.

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If everything is set up properly, the “Users right now” card should update with a new count of users every 15 seconds.

All other reports take between 24 and 48 hours for Google to analyze the data, so you won’t be able to view any user behavior or acquisition statistics until then. If you still don’t see any data after this duration, go to Google’s troubleshooting area.

What Will Happen Next?

It’s critical to start leveraging the value of your data once GA has been successfully installed and you’ve started collecting data.

As previously stated, the information gathered by GA may be used to:

  • Give you more (and more accurate) information about how your website is performing.
  • Make future marketing (and commercial) choices with this information in mind.
  • Increase the value and capabilities of your day-to-day operations.

Check out our in-depth guide to utilizing Google Analytics as a marketing tool for additional information.

GA, on the other hand, can be used in conjunction with a variety of other tools, including Webinomy. This integration brings together various technologies in one place, allowing for more insight and value.

Using Webinomy and Google Analytics

Let’s look at how GA may be combined with other tools for improved performance analysis using Webinomy as an example.

  1. Checker for On-Page SEO. This tool provides in-depth on-page SEO recommendations for your content, based on Google Analytics metrics (such as bounce rate, time on page, and load time) to identify potential page/user experience issues.
  2. Audit of backlinks This is a useful tool for analyzing your backlink profile and identifying any potentially harmful connections. When used in conjunction with GA, the Backlink Audit provides users with more accurate backlink toxicity scores.
  3. Insights into Organic Traffic Organic Traffic Insights is a useful tool for marketers since GA does not give complete keyword data. Connecting GA, on the other hand, gives extra data for further in-depth analysis.
  4. Reports I’ve Written This popular reporting tool combines data from a number of Google products, including GA, to make client and internal reporting as simple as possible.
  5. Analyzer of content. You may perform more accurate content audits in terms of page metrics when you connect GA with this tool. This might assist you in prioritizing your post-audit actions.
  6. Dashboard for SEO. This tool, when used with GA and GSC, provides a real-time, very accurate picture of your site’s search engine performance.
  7. Keeping an eye on your brand. When used with Google Analytics, this tool allows you to measure referral traffic from branded mentions with backlinks, helping you to better understand the traffic effect of your media partners.
  8. Audit of the location. GA gives page view data, as well as information on orphaned pages and pages with a sluggish load time, when performing a site audit.
  9. Calendar of marketing events. If you’re running UTM campaigns, you can use the Marketing Calendar tool to add these GA tags and track their performance.
  10. Tracking of one’s location. On any device, you may use the Position Tracking Tool to keep track of daily keyword ranks. To help with this, you may import keywords straight from Google Analytics.

As you can see, GA is a powerful tool on its own, but when combined with other powerful tools like Webinomy, the possibilities expand significantly.

Last Thoughts

For any business of any size, Google Analytics is a critical digital marketing asset. It is, however, extremely powerful, so it should not be taken lightly.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of GA:

  • Make sure you follow the steps outlined in this article to set it up correctly. If you have any questions, you can always refer to Google’s internal support documentation. It’s also a good idea to stay away from any technological updates you don’t completely comprehend.
  • If at all feasible, enroll in the Google Analytics Academy’s beginner’s course (as well as the other courses available in this resource). This will increase your tool confidence and knowledge, allowing you to analyze your data more effectively.
  • Integrate your account with other reliable programs, such as Webinomy, after it’s been set up. You’ll be able to completely use your data and improve your digital marketing skills as a result.

Check out our in-depth tutorial for additional information on integrating Google Analytics with Webinomy.

Google Analytics is a free service that allows website owners to collect data about their visitors and track how they use the site. The “How to Set Up Google Analytics for Your Website” will teach you how to set up your own account with Google Analytics. Reference: how to set up a google analytics account 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google Analytics free for website?

A: Most of the time, a website has Google Analytics on them. There are some websites that do not offer this service for free because they have decided to use another analytics system.

How do I set up a Google Analytics account?

A: There are a few things that need to be done for this. First, you will need an e-mail address where your account is registered. Next, go ahead and sign up at https://www.google.com/analytics/. Make sure the Activities tab on the left of their page has been selected as well as make note of your website tracking url (it should start with https://).

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