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Internet Income 2.0Lesson #38--ACTIVATING GOOGLE ANALYTICS
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Having laid a thorough foundation in the last two lessons, it's time to activate and get started with Google Analytics.
ACTIVATING GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Your situation should fall into one of these three categories:
1. You have only one Google account (your personal account) and you want to use that account for this project;
2. You have created a brand account for this project under your personal Google account; or
3. You have a separate top-level Google account for this domain (i.e. a top-level account different from your personal account).
How you approach getting started with Analytics is determined by which of the above alternatives describes your situation. If you fall under number 1 above, simply sign into Analytics with your personal account. Analytics will automatically create a "Property" for the current project.
If you fall under number 2 above, you will need to make sure that Google understands you want to activate Analytics for your brand account. Check the photo or avatar at the top right-hand corner of the page when you first arrive at the analytics page. If it doesn't show your brand account, click on the photo or avatar and select the desired brand account. (It may be necessary to add the account again to accomplish this.) Success is indicated when you see the profile photo or avatar for the correct account in the upper right and on the page see the words, Start analyzing your site's traffic in 3 steps, followed by a signup button for analytics over to the right of the three steps.
If you fall under number 3 above, you also need to make sure that the profile photo (or avatar) for the correct account shows to the right when the 3 steps and the signup button are on the page. This may require signing out of your personal account and then signing in under the desired top-level account.
Next, at the time of this writing, you will be asked whether you want to track a website or mobile app. Answer that and the remaining questions on the page and then click Get Tracking ID.
To get your tracking ID, you will need to accept the Google Analytics Terms of Service. When provided your tracking ID, be sure to copy and record this tracking ID in a spreadsheet you use to keep up with the information for this domain or project. Remember that as you create new properties you will be assigned new tracking ID for each property. If you don't create additional properties, this original tracking ID will work for your entire site for now.
Make sure you also copy the website tracking code. (It will be several lines of script code, containing your tracking ID, farther down the screen.) You will need to paste this code into your site to enable Google Analytics to track your site activity.
Adding the Tracking ID to your Site.
If you do not use WordPress, you will need to add the tracking code to the metadata of each website page you want to track. You will need to paste the tracking code exactly as it was provided in the head section of your HTML code on each page to be tracked. It is best to paste this code at the top of the head section of your HTML
If you use WordPress, you can add the tracking code to your site by using a plugin or by directly altering the header.php file of your site. This last method is not recommended unless you really know what you are doing. A mistake in altering the header.php file could disable your site. Plus, changes you make in the header.php file will be overwritten when your theme updates or you change themes. Thus, we do not recommend directly altering the header file.
The other method available for WordPress users involves using a plugin. Two of the popular plugins for this purpose are Google Analytics by MonsterInsights (formerly Google Analytics by Yoast) and Insert Headers and Footers' by WPBeginners. The most noticeable difference between these two plugins is that Google Analytics by MonsterInsights allows you to view your analytics data from your WordPress Dashboard, while Insert Headers and Footers does not. But, this is an illusive advantage. Your data is best viewed from the Google Analytics site itself rather than your WordPress Dashboard. The Insert Headers and Footers plugin has an advantage in that it can be used to make other changes to the head section of your pages when needed. Thus, I recommend using the Insert Headers and Footers plugin at this point as it is simple and yet quite useful. When you become a sophisticated Analytics user and need additional features not offered in this straightforward plugin, you can switch to MonsterInsights or a comparable plugin at that time. It's better to keep it simple for now.
To install the Insert Headers and Footers plugin, go to the plugins tab on your WordPress Dashboard and click Add New. In the search box, search for "insert headers and footers." When you find it, click Install Now and then Activate. After the plugin has been activated, you should have a new link under the Settings tab on your WordPress Dashboard menu, named Insert Headers and Footers. Click Insert Headers and Footers under Settings and paste the tracking code from Google into the Scripts in Header text box. Make sure you scroll down and save your changes. It is also helpful at this point to go to your hosting company's control panel for your website and clear the template cache. (By clearing the cache, you will ensure that all pages served from your domain will immediately contain the new header information containing the tracking code.)
Note that if you have not previously created any properties under this account, the above procedures will have automatically created a property for you with the tracking ID you were provided. Should you need to create additional properties in the future, please recall that each property will have a unique tracking ID, each of which will be provided as the property is created.
It will take a few days for Google to collect enough data for your reports to have meaning. Note that tracking does not include any past data, but begins when you install the tracking ID.
Google Search Console
At some point in the process of signing up for and using Analytics, you will receive a prompt suggesting that you also sign up for Google Search Console. Follow the prompt and its instructions to do so. The Google Search Console, in conjunction with Analytics, is needed for some of the most important tracking features.
At this point, if all went well with the above procedures, you have Google Analytics up and working for your site. You should begin your orientation to Analytics by perusing the menu. Then, find and click Settings in your Analytics Dashboard. (Hint: Look for the orange cog icon at the bottom of the left-hand menu.) Don't change anything yet, but have a look around. Note that there is a link for goals, which will be useful later as you set up your conversion tracking.
Learning More About Analytics
Next, go back to the left-hand menu and click on the Discover link (the one with a lightbulb icon, just above the Settings icon). There should be a link on the resulting page to Analytics Academy. If, for any reason, you cannot find the link, here it is:
Analytics Academy contains a wealth of information on using Google Analytics, presented in easy to use videos and simulations. I highly recommend it. Start with the Google Analytics for Beginners Course. Please also recall The Google Help Center, which can provide help with any specific questions you have. With the background that you have obtained from the last three lessons in this course, along with all the information you can learn on Analytics Academy, you will soon be an expert Google Analytics user and thus well on your way to become a profitable Internet Marketer.
The two lessons before this one, while packed with a lot of information, introduced you to the world of Google Analytics and explained why planning and organizing your Google accounts are important to the proper use of Analytics. In this lesson, we laid out the steps for activating Google Analytics: signing up with the appropriate Google account at http://google.com/analytics, obtaining your tracking ID, inserting your tracking ID into your website, and beginning your orientation to Analytics. By following the steps set out in this lesson, you now have, if all went well, an activated Google Analytics account which is currently tracking activity on your site. To learn more about using this powerful tool, you can go to https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/ and you can get specific help as needed from https://support.google.com/analytics.
In our next lesson, we continue our exploration of the exciting world of Internet Marketing.
by George Little
Copyright 2018, Panhandle On-Line, Inc.
License granted to Carson Services, Inc. for distribution to SFI affiliates. No part of this work may be republished, redistributed, or sold without written permission of the author.
For more information on the Internet Income Course and other works and courses by George Little, see http://www.profitpropulsion.com