How to Get Started With Google Analytics

Analytics help you find out what brings visitors to your small business website. With that information, you can better design your site to give visitors what they are looking for--and turn them into customers. Here's a primer on linking your site to Google Analytics and getting the most out of the data it gives you.

By Nathan Segal
Thu, January 10, 2013

CIO — Marketing is one of the great challenges for online businesses. How do you get people to view your Web pages? How do you get them to come back? What do your customers like the most about your product or service? How do you get them to buy?

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This is where analytics come into play. Analytics let you track corporate websites, blogs, sales pages, catalogs and much more for metrics such as how visitors use your website, how they arrive, what keywords they use and what subjects interest them. The challenge is to use this information to attract prospects, keep them coming back, ensure that they stay on your site for long periods of time and, ultimately, make them customers.

For this article I'll use the popular Google Analytics tool on my travel blog and hobby site Travels With Nathan. The Google Analytics version I use is free, though Google offers a premium version. You can sign up with Google or purchase it from one of several authorized Google Analytics resellers.

How to Install Google Analytics

The first step to getting started is to sign up for a Google Analytics account.

Google Analytics Signup Page
The Google Analytics signup page.

Since I've already created an account (originally for Gmail), I was taken to a page to verify my settings and ask for backup information in case I lose access to my account.

Google Analytics Account Verification Page
The Google Analytics account verification page.

After that, the page below comes up. This gives you basic information about setting up Google Analytics on your website(s), along with a Sign Up button on the far right.

Google Analytics Overview Page
Here you'll find basic information about setting up a Google Analytics account.

Once you sign up, you go to this page to enter information about your site for tracking. Note that you can set this up for a website or an app.

Google Analytics Setting Up Tracking
Here's where you enter the information about the website or sites you want Google Analytics to track.

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