Once an analytics account has been created you can add one or more ‘profiles’ during setup – either for the same digital website or for other campaigns or websites that you may want to track. As you create a profile, Google analytics tool will provide you with the code ‘snippet’ that will need to be embedded or added to your website. Google analytics also helps this tracking process by providing some other code snippets which are dependent on the type of technology you have used in your website.
The most important part of installing Google Analytics (GA) is the code snippet is added to every page of your website or landing pages – ideally you will have a common include file in the ‘head’ section of every page, so that the GA code will automatically be added throughout the site. Also it’s very important to confirm that all pages have the GA code added – including any landing pages or pop-ups that use a unique URL, or any confirmation or thank you pages that are displayed once a user fills the online form or sales checkout have been completed.
Google Analytics tool can be very flexible in tracking different user activities on a website – some of this tracking requires more advanced coding on one or more pages of a website, but the typical options that can be used and should be considered are:
you can add filters to different profiles for the same website, such as tracking visits that exclude (or only come from) your own office location, based on an IP address. These visits may skew the overall results if internal use of the site is heavy.
if your website visitors are likely to interact between different domains that you own, or sub-domains of your site, then you can track this activity through Google Analytics.
the use of goals is an important way of tracking user interaction with your website, such as submission of an enquiry form or newsletter request, or above average interaction of the site. Up to 20 goals can be tracked within an analytics profile.
if you want to track clicks to external websites or files (such as PDF downloads) where you can’t add analytics code, then Event Tracking can be set up to record the number of clicks on each link.
this is essential for retail websites, so that product purchase information can be tracked and recorded against marketing activity to provide ROI data.
if your site uses a search function which can be tracked in analytics, you will need to set this up to display usage of the function and the search terms being used.