Google Analytics is a great tool to use if you want to see exactly where your traffic is coming from and what they do on your website. This tool is free to use and extremely helpful. But it takes time to set up and to make sure you’re getting the most out of your analytics.
Set up the master account on your email.
If a company hires a developer to build its website, and the developer installs Google Analytics using his account, this can cause a lot of problems in the future. If they ever parts ways with the developer, the company has to re-do the analytics account from scratch, which means it loses all their data. This can also happen when an employee sets up the account with his email address and then leaves the company. There is no way to move your website’s profile from one account to another. Not only does this mean you may lose control of your data, but you also won’t be able to take advantage of other Google tools such as Google AdWords.
Set up Webmaster Tools.
If you want to fully understand your data, you’ll want Google Webmaster Tools set up. Even if you yourself don’t plan on using these tools for yourself, it’s best to set up GWT now in case someone else wants to review this data down the line. Webmaster tools tracks data from the time it is installed and can’t be added retroactively. Google has many online forums on how to set up Google Webmaster Tools.
Set up goals in Google Analytics.
Traffic alone does not equal success. Most companies want their website to make money for them, but how? Or perhaps it’s not making money so much as saving money. For example, perhaps your website saves time by hosting important documents for download or forms that your clients can fill out online rather than having an administrative assistant type it all in. Or maybe your site acts as a digital brochure that answers questions you don’t want to have to repeat to each and every customer. Both of these goals can be tracked in GA, even though they may not have a specific dollar amount associated with them.
Set up a dashboard for Google Analytics.
There are so many data points in Google Analytics that it can be overwhelming. Give your brain a break and set up a dashboard with only those data points that you find most important. For me personally, I like to see pageviews, bounce rates, top referring sites, top pages, goal completions (of course).
Set up a regular Google Analytics report to be sent via email.
Once you set up GA, you’re liable to forget about it, so don’t let that happen. Instead of setting up a reminder to visit GA each month, make GA come to you by setting up a regular email containing your dashboard data.