Internet Marketing

How to Set Up Google Analytics in 5 Easy-to-Follow Steps

Google Analytics — it’s a powerful and free website analytics tool that more than 50% of websites use.

Getting started with Google Analytics, however, can pose a challenge — especially if your businesses is new to digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). This guide for how to set up Google Analytics makes the process easy, though.

Keep reading to learn how to set up your Google Analytics account!

If you’re looking for immediate assistance in setting up Google Analytics, use our Google Analytics consulting services. From account setup to goal creation, this service provides a complete solution to getting started with Google Analytics.

Call us at 888-601-5953 or contact us online to learn more now!

Need help setting up Google Analytics?

Get help with our Google Analytics consulting services

1. Create (or sign in to) your Google Analytics account

Learning how to add Google Analytics to your website starts with an easy first step: Your account.

  • Go to Google Analytics
  • Choose one of the following options:
    • If you have an account already, click “Sign in to Analytics”
    • If you do not have an account, click “Start for free”

If your business needs to create an account, you can use an existing Google account.

A screenshot of the Google Analytics homepage

While you have the option to use your personal or work-specific Google account, consider setting up your Google Analytics account with a company-specific one that everyone can access.

With this approach, you reduce some common issues when original account owners deactivate their account or change employment.

2. Build your account in Google Analytics

Now that you have access to Google Analytics, you can create your first account — you can have up to 100.

A screenshot of how to create an account in Google Analytics

Get started by following these steps:

  • Choose “Admin” from the Google Analytics homepage
  • Select “+ Create Account” from the “Account” column
  • Pick the “Website” or “Mobile app” option

If you selected “Website,” go ahead and:

A screenshot of creating an account in Google Analytics
  • Enter the following information
    • Account Name
    • Website Name
    • Website URL
    • Industry Category
    • Reporting Time Zone
  • Update your data sharing settings
  • Click “Get Tracking ID”

If you’re setting up Google Analytics and choose “Mobile app,” follow these steps:

A screenshot of creating a Google Analytics account for a mobile app
  • Enter the following information:
    • Account Name
    • Reporting Time Zone
  • Update your data sharing settings
  • Pick your Firebase Project
  • Click “Connect App”

If you’re connecting a mobile app to Google Analytics, you will need to use the same Google account that manages your Firebase Projects. For quick reference, Firebase operates as Google’s app developer platform and serves as a critical component in linking your mobile app data to Google Analytics.

3. Set up your website or property in Google Analytics

Next, you want to create a property for your account.

You can get started with these steps:

  • Tap “Admin” from the Google Analytics homepage
  • Select “+ Create Property” from the “Property” column
  • Choose “Website” or “Mobile app”

For websites, follow these steps for setting up your Google Analytics account:

A screenshot of creating a website property in Google Analytics
  • Add the following information:
    • Website Name
    • Website URL
    • Industry Category
    • Reporting Time Zone
  • Click “Get Tracking ID”

For mobile apps, use these steps for setting up your Google Analytics account:

A screenshot of creating a mobile app property in Google Analytics
  • Choose your Firebase Project
  • Click “Connect App”

If you want, you can create up to 50 properties per account.

A car dealership with websites for each of its locations, for instance, may use this feature. Other franchise businesses, like restaurants or landscaping companies, can also benefit from compiling multiple properties under a single account.

4. Build your property’s reporting view

With your property created, you can move on to creating reporting views, also called views.

A screenshot of how to add a reporting view in Google Analytics

Start building your first view with these initial steps:

  • Select “Admin”
  • Choose your Account from the “Account” column
  • Pick your Property from the “Property” column
  • Select “+ Create View” from the “View” column
  • Choose one of the following options:
    • “Website”
    • “Mobile app”
    A screenshot of adding a reporting view in Google Analytics
  • Add your reporting view name
  • Choose your reporting time zone
  • Click “Create View”

When it comes to setting up Google Analytics, you can create up to 25 views per property.

Next, you want to update your view settings:

A screenshot of how to add and modify a reporting view in Google Analytics
  • Click “Admin”
  • Select your Account from the “Account” column
  • Choose your Property from the “Property” column
  • Pick your View from the “View” column
  • Click “View Settings”

Once you reach the “View Settings” menu, you can update the following:

A screenshot of reporting view settings in Google Analytics
  • View name
  • Website URL
  • Time zone
  • Default page for multiple URLs
  • Exclude URL query parameters
  • Currency display
  • Bot filtering
  • Linked Google Ads account
  • Site search enabled or disabled
  • Query parameter
  • Site search categories

Once you create your view, you can finally learn how to add Google Analytics to your website.

5. Add your Google Analytics tracking code to your website

Now that you have your account, property, and view created, you can get Google Analytics on your site.

This process of setting up Google Analytics involves three steps:

  1. Finding your Google Analytics ID
  2. Adding your global site tag to your website
  3. Verifying your website’s global site tag works

Grab your Google Analytics ID by following these instructions:

    A screenshot of how to find your Google Analytics tracking code ID
  • Click “Admin”
  • Choose your Account and Property from the “Account” and “Property” columns
  • Select “Tracking Info” from the Property column
  • Click “Tracking Code”
  • View your tracking code beneath the “Tracking ID” header
A screenshot of where to find the Google Analytics tracking ID

Get your global site tag on your website with these steps, starting in the “Tracking Code” menu:

A screenshot of the global site tag in Google Analytics
  • Copy the contents in the “Global Site Tag (gtag.js)” box
  • Paste your copy into the <head> tag of every page on your website
  • Upload your updated pages to your website

Check your website’s global site tag works by following this process:

  • Click “Realtime” and then “Overview” in Google Analytics
  • Visit your website in your Internet browser
  • Check the number of active users in your Realtime report
A screenshot of verifying a Google Analytics tracking ID

Depending on how much traffic your website receives, you may need to check the details of the Realtime report. For example, you can look at the number of users on specific pages, as well as active users by location.

Once you complete this step, you’ve finished setting up Google Analytics!

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3 additional features worth setting up in Google Analytics

Now that you know how to set up a Google Analytics account, you can take advantage of other features in the platform. From user permissions to custom goals, Google Analytics offers a variety of features that can help you make the most of your data.

1. USER PERMISSIONS

If multiple people need to access your Google Analytics account, you want to set user permissions.

User permissions allow you to specify how certain people can view and interact with different accounts, properties, and views. For example, you may need full access because you manage the data, while someone in another department may need only to view the data.

Google Analytics makes it easy to set user permissions by offering four:

  • Manager Users
  • Edit
  • Collaborate
  • Read & Analyze

Before you set any permissions, review the features of each in-depth so you can choose the best ones.

If you’re ready to add permissions in Google Analytics, follow these steps:

A screenshot of how to set user permissions in Google Analytics
  • Click “Admin”
  • Choose “User Management” in either the Account, Property, or View column
  • Select “+” and pick “Add users”
  • Add the user’s email and select their permissions
  • Click “Add”
A screenshot of how to add a user to Google Analytics

When setting up this part of Google Analytics, remember these two rules:

  • Parent permissions inherit: Account-level permissions automatically pass to the view-level
  • Child permissions supersede: View-level permissions override account-level permissions

It’s also helpful to remember that while you can add more permissions at deeper levels, like property or view, you cannot limit permissions. For example, say User A has Edit permissions at the account level. You can’t limit their permission to Read & Analyze at the property level.

The good news is that you can continue to update user permissions as needed.

2. GOALS

While you can set up Google Analytics without creating goals, they are essential to using the platform.

Goals help your business track and measure the performance of your website, as well as the actions of users. Whether you’re an ecommerce store looking to earn more online sales or a brick-and-mortar business trying to increase online leads, you can (and should) create goals in Google Analytics.

In Google Analytics, you can choose from four goal types and create up to 20 goals per view:

  • Destination
  • Duration
  • Pages/screen per session
  • Event

Get started on creating your first goal by following these steps:

A screenshot of how to create a goal in Google Analytics
  • Click “Admin”
  • Choose your preferred View from the “View” column
  • Select “Goals” from the View column

Next, go ahead and complete these steps:

A screenshot of the setting up a goal in Google Analytics
  • Click “+ New Goal”
  • Choose one of the following options:
  • Name your goal
  • Select your Goal slot ID
  • Pick your goal type: Destination, Duration, Pages/Screen per session, or Event
  • Add the Destination, Duration, Pages/Screen per session, or Event trigger
  • Choose a monetary value for the goal, if desired
  • Click “Save”

While optional, you can also verify a goal before saving it.

Goal verification helps you see how many conversions a goal would have generated based on the past seven days of data. This feature can double-check your work, like your goal type and triggers, and ensure you’re tracking the right data and actions.

If you have issues setting up Google Analytics goals, use Google’s goal-setup troubleshooter.

3. GOOGLE ADS

If your business uses digital advertising, link your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts.

Even if you don’t advertise online often, this proactive step can save your team time in the future. Plus, it ensures you set up everything in Google Analytics at the start, which provides a solid foundation for your web analytics.

Linking these two accounts provides a few additional benefits too, including:

  • View your ad and site performance in Google Analytics
  • Access your Google Analytics goals and ecommerce transactions in Google Ads
  • Add your Google Analytics metrics, from bounce rate to pages per session, to Google Ads
  • Use your Google Analytics data to create remarketing campaigns

If you want to learn how to set up your Google Analytics account to Google Ads, follow these steps:

A screenshot of how to link Google Analytics with Google Ads
  • Log in to Google Analytics
  • Click “Admin”
  • Choose your Property from the “Property” column
  • Click “Google Ads Linking” in the “Property” column
  • Select your Google Ads account
  • Add a title for your link group
  • Turn on the link group for select views
  • Click “Link accounts”
A screenshot of the configuration menu for linking Google Analytics and Google Ads

If you ever need to, you can also unlink your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts from each other.

FAQs about getting started with Google Analytics

Do you have additional questions about getting started with Google Analytics? Browse our FAQ:

WHAT IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service platform provided by Google. The web-based service allows users to track, view, and report critical website metrics and dimensions, ranging from page views to traffic sources to user demographics.

WHY USE GOOGLE ANALYTICS?

Setting up Google Analytics for your business offers several advantages, including:

  • Get immediate, transparent insight into user behavior on your site
  • Use actionable data to improve your site’s user experience
  • Access tremendous amounts of processed and filtered data
  • Make informed decisions about your digital marketing strategies

The fact that Google Analytics is also free-to-use makes it even more valuable, especially for smaller businesses. You don’t have to pay to access or use Google Analytics. Instead, you can start using it in your online marketing strategies, like SEO, right away.

IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS FREE TO USE?

Yes!

The free version of Google Analytics offers your business a variety of features, including:

  • Up to 200 views per property
  • Up to 20 custom dimensions and metrics per property
  • Google Ads, AdSense, and Google Search Console integration

Companies, however, can use a paid version of Google Analytics, called Google Analytics 360.

“Companies can use Google Analytics for free, or purchase Google Analytics 360 for additional features.”

With Google Analytics 360, you get all the features of Google Analytics, plus:

  • Up to 400 views per property
  • Up to 200 custom dimensions and metrics per property
  • Unlimited data
  • Ad Manager, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, and Campaign Manager integration

In most cases, your business will not need the full features of Google Analytics 360.

Generally, large enterprises can take advantage of Google Analytics 360 and benefit from it. In comparison, small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) can take care of all their needs with the free version of Google Analytics.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SET UP GOOGLE ANALYTICS?

Depending on the size of your website, you can set up Google Analytics in under 30 minutes.

The most time-consuming step of getting started with Google Analytics revolves around adding your tracking code to your website. This process can take a tremendous amount of time because you must copy-and-paste the code onto each page.

“You can set up Google Analytics in less than 30 minutes, depending on the size of your website”

If you have a development team on-hand, though, they can potentially speed up this process.

WebFX, for example, offers services that include setting up your Google Analytics account. Our consulting services for Google Analytics, as well as our SEO services, for instance, take care of the entire process for your team.

WHAT CAN GOOGLE ANALYTICS TRACK?

Google Analytics can track a massive amount of data, including metrics and dimensions.

For reference, metrics measure your data, while dimensions describe your data. A city, for instance, is an example of a dimension, while the city’s population is an example of a metric. Usually, in Google Analytics, dimensions occupy rows and metrics columns.

A few of the most common metrics and dimensions monitored in Google Analytics include:

  • Bounce rate
  • Time on page
  • Page views
  • Location
  • Device
  • Conversion rate
  • Pages per session
  • And more

If you’re new to Google Analytics and what it can track, take advantage of Google’s Analytics Academy.

You can learn about the platform’s different features and tools, plus develop a better understanding of metrics and dimensions. You can even use the courses to get certified in Google Analytics. All this new information can help you approach your online marketing strategy better and improve its success.

HOW DELAYED IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS DATA?

In Google Analytics, you can access data in the Realtime report immediately. The processing latency (or time to update) of Google Analytics, however, is 24 to 48 hours. Websites that receive more than 200,000 sessions per day and use the free version will only have their data refreshed once a day.

HOW FAR BACK DOES GOOGLE ANALYTICS KEEP WEBSITE DATA?

In Google Analytics, you can store up to 10 million hits per month per property.

Any data associated with cookies, user identifiers, or advertising identifiers can remain in Google Analytics for 14 to 50 months — the default setting is 26 months. You can also set the data not to expire at all.

“Google Analytics can keep cookie, user identifier, and advertising identifier data for 14 to 50 months.”

If you want to update your data retention settings, follow these steps:

  • Log in to Google Analytics
  • Click “Admin”
  • Select your Property from the “Property” column
  • Choose “Tracking Info” and then “Data Retention”
  • Select a preferred duration from the “User and event data retention” dropdown menu
  • Click “Save”

Once you change your settings, the updates will take effect within 24 hours.

Learn more about how to use Google Analytics for your website

Now that you know how to set up Google Analytics for your website, are you ready to do more with it?

As a certified Google Partner, WebFX can help your business make the most of Google Analytics. With our Google Analytics consulting services, you can receive fast, actionable analysis of site data. Plus, our award-winning team can take care of setting up goals, segmenting audiences, and more.

Learn how we make getting started with Google Analytics easy by contacting us online or calling us at 888-601-5953 today!

Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebFX can improve your online performance.