What is Google Analytics? And how do I set it up?

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Whether you’re new to marketing or have been in the biz for a while, chances are you’ve heard of Google Analytics.

In fact, it doesn’t take long until you run into an article telling you why you need Google Analytics on your site, and that you needed it yesterday. You might be thinking how exactly do I integrate Google Analytics into my website? With the plethora of content management systems out there, unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint to integrating Google Analytics into your website.

Luckily, many of the most common website platforms offer step-by-step guides on setting up Google Analytics on your website.

In this post, we will collect that information for you and present an introductory guide on integrating Google Analytics into your website across the different content management systems as well as provide helpful links where you can learn more about how Google Analytics functions across these content management platforms.

Before we do that, we will discuss what Google Analytics is and why it is a valuable tool for your business.

What is Google Analytics?

Before going into setting up Google Analytics, let’s first talk about what Google Analytics is and why is it important.

Understanding why you need Google Analytics will be essential background information to setting it up on your website.

Google Analytics isn’t that complicated at the surface, it’s just a free analytical tool offered by Google that monitors your website traffic across different metrics. Things get much more complicated from there, of course. But let’s keep things simple for now.

Google Analytics provides many insights into the overall health of your website. Think of your website as the central hub for your business. At some point along the buyer’s journey, your customers will inevitably check out your website. Google Analytics provides a holistic view of your marketing effectiveness and allows you to set goals for future campaigns.

Why is Google Analytics Important for SEO and Marketing?

Google Analytics is so vital for SEO and marketing simply because of the breath and depth of the data it can provide for you.

For example, one of the most helpful tools in content marketing is knowing how people discover your business. Google Analytics offers data on the various means by which customers discover your website. These means could include direct visits where users type in your website address directly, clicking on a link on a mobile application, etc.

Google Analytics also tracks more indirect ways of people discovering your website such as organic search results (also known as unpaid search results), visits that came from social media platforms, email or paid search results using programs like Google AdWords. By discovering where the most visits come from to your business, it can allow you to shape future marketing goals in areas where you may be lagging. Beyond this  information, Google Analytics can also shape your content marketing strategy in other ways too.

Within the site content section of Google Analytics, you can discover essential pieces of information with subsections called All Pages, Landing Pages, Content Drilldown and Exit Pages.

In the All Pages sections, you can look at all pages viewed on your website within a specified date range. You can break the data down in this section by sorting it by pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on the page, entrances and bounce rate

The Content Drilldown section will show how well organized your site is, and how well people are interacting with your content when navigating through your site.

Landing Pages can track which pages on your website are most popular in terms of conversion rate, that is, the page customers land on before starting the process of leading to a conversion.

Finally, Exit Pages are the final pages viewed before a visitor navigates away from your site.

This information may seem overwhelming but hopefully you are starting to see the value of Google Analytics. One last piece of information Google Analytics can provide is information about your audience. For example, Google Analytics monitors demographic information, geographic information, mobile traffic and referral traffic. Looking at who your audience is and how they come to visit your website provides you with ideas on how you can tailor your content to fit your audience’s needs.

How to set up Google Analytics for WordPress

Now that we have provided a brief overview of what Google Analytics is and why it is important for your website, let’s dive deeper into how you set up Google Analytics for your website.

Integrating Google Analytics into WordPress is part of the WordPress premium plan. However, you first need to set up an account with Google Analytics. If you already have a Google Analytics account, go to Settings in your Google Analytics account and click Create Account to create a new analytics profile. Fill in the Account Name, Website Name and Website URL fields. The website URL field is the field where you enter your WordPress URL.

You will then be prompted to select your Data Sharing Settings. By default, all four data sharing settings are selected. They are all recommended so once you set those settings and agree to the terms of service, look for the Tracking ID on the next page.

The Tracking ID often appears in the following format: UA–90363941–1. Copy it, and navigate to Tools, Marketing and Traffic on your WordPress.com settings. By pasting that ID into the Google Analytics Tracking ID box and clicking save settings, your website will start sending data to Google Analytics.  For more information on this process, check out this link from WordPress.

How to set up Google Analytics for SquareSpace

SquareSpace follows a very similar format to WordPress in terms of integrating Google Analytics.

However, its process consists of only three steps.  In order to connect Google Analytics to your website, click Settings and then click Advanced from SquareSpace’s home menu.

Click External API keys and in the Google Analytics Account Number box enter your Tracking ID. Once you click save, the process is done. However, it may take up to 24 hours for your website to fully integrate Google Analytics. If you still have questions on SquareSpace, follow this link from their website.

How to set up Google Analytics for HubSpot

Integrating Google Analytics into Hubspot requires a few more steps compared to SquareSpace.

In your Hubspot account, click the settings icon in the navigation bar. On the left side of the page, navigate to Website then Pages.

Click the Choose a domain to edit dropdown menu and select the domain to add the code to. To add the code to all your HubSpot-hosted domains, select All domains.

Click the Integrations tab. In the Tracking integrations section, select the Integrate with Google Analytics checkbox.

In the text field, enter your Google Analytics tracking ID. Click save and you are done. Follow this link for more information on Google Analytics and Hubspot.

How to set up Google Analytics for Wix

Finally, to add Google Analytics to Wix go to the Marketing Integrations tab.

Go to Google Analytics and then click Connect. At the top right click connect Google Analytics. Paste your Google Analytics ID and select the IP Anonymization to ensure that Google does not save your visitors’ IP addresses.

Click Save and you are ready to go. Follow this link for more information on Google Analytics and Wix.

Going Forward

Now that you have this information, you are ready to start integrating Google Analytics into your website.

You’re tracking some great info, now it’s time to put that data to work. There are a ton of metrics and data points that Google Analytics can provide, but you’ll find it gets overwhelming pretty quickly. Check out our post on the 4 essential Google Analytics dashboards you need to be tracking.

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