Friday, August 22, 2008

Google Analytics Explained Part one. The basics of Google Analytics. How to install the tracking code into your website to track your web hits


Google Analytics (GA) is a free website tracking tool provided by Google. It allows website owners to create and install tracking code to put into their websites. The code is automatically generated by the program. The procedure is simple. Go to https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount and click analytics (second blue link near the top right). Next click add website profiles (bottom left blue link). Next enter your website address into the field that you see. You don’t need to worry about entering http:// (hyper text protocol) because that is already done for you. The code will automatically be there for you. Click on the code and then hold down control and hit "a" to select all of the text. After this hold down control and hit c to copy the text to the clipboard. Then go to your website or blog and paste the code into your website. Mine looked like this.


I created notes indicating that the Google Analytics code was starting on my business website. These notes are invisible to end users who will be looking at the website and help me to easily find where I put the code. I installed the code near the bottom of the website after I logged into my FTP server account at baremetal.com. The code was put before the ending tag.

After the code is installed, you can go back to your Google Analytics account and click finish. Now in the website profiles table, you can see your website url and in the sixth column (vertical) you will see that the status changes to updating. Then finally it will have a little green check mark and say completed and tracking. After you see this, you can now click view reports in the column next to the status column (two to the left). There you will see the main tracking line graph, visits online tracking, page views online tracking, bounce rate (how many people loaded your web site and just left—this is bad!), average time on site, maps, direct visits, referring sites, and more. These are all located on your dashboard, which is a floating, semi-transparent window that provides contextual access to commonly used tools in a software program, according to Wikipedia (basically just a simple window that lets you have access to the tools or things that you will need to use throughout the website).

This is how a Google Analytics account is set up. Keep reading more articles by myself on this topic to get a details on how to use Google Analytics reporting tools and other web site tracking tools.

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