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Getting Started With Google Analytics

October 22nd, 2010 | | Analytics, Basic SEO Tips

Getting Started in Google Analytics

When taking on an SEO client, or PPC for that matter, Analytics is a useful tool to determine how well each strategy is working.  Through Analytics, you can see your bounce rate, time on site, entrance sources, top landing content, and more.  You can see where your traffic is coming from and segment your audience in several ways, such as: language, region, and dayparting.   A company can save some serious time and money by using Analytics to optimize its site and marketing strategy.   Having said that, you now know why it’s important to make sure that your clients have Analytics, and that you have access to it!

Setting Up Analytics

If the client doesn’t already have an account:

To create an analytics account you can go to www.google.com/analytics.  Or, if you have an Adwords account, you can create one from your account.  It’s beneficial to link your Adwords and Analytics accounts, not only for PPC but also for SEO.  You can see trends in keywords, goals, and landing pages.  Sure, the same things won’t always work for PPC and SEO but it always helps to recognize trends in PPC and consider how you can utilize the data to better your SEO, and vice versa.  If you choose to sign up for an account through the Analytics homepage, you’ll want to use the same login for Analytics and Adwords that way you can link them easily in the future.

To sign up through Adwords, go to the Reporting tab and click on Google Analytics.

You will be taken to a page prompting you to signup for Analytics.

If your client already has an Analytics account, you can take the same steps to link the Analytics and Adwords accounts but you must have access to both.  Ask your client to take the following steps in order to grant you Analytics Access:

1.  Click Edit Profile

    2.  Click User Manager (Scroll To the Bottom)

    3.  Click Add User

    4.  Enter the user’s email address, last name, and first name. The email address must be a Google Account.

    5.   Select the Access type for this user: View reports only, or Account Administrator, which allows the user to edit account settings

    6.  Select the profiles to which this user should have access. Reports for profiles that are not selected will not be available to this user
    7.  Click Add to move these profiles into the Selected Website Profiles list

    8.  Click Finish to create the new user. They can now log in using their Google Account email address and password.

    9.  If a company invites you to Adwords but not Analytics, you will see this notification when attempting to link accounts:You will need to be granted access before you can link the accounts.

    Analytics Tracking Code

    After the account is created, you will receive tracking code, which will need to be put in the header of every page.  If for some reason you don’t get the code as soon as you sign up, you can go back and retrieve it by clicking edit profile and then clicking check status at the top left hand corner of the page.

    Once your code is in place, there are three ways to check tracking:

    1. Check the ‘Status’ column of your website profiles’ Overview page
      Google Analytics will itself check to see that the tracking code has been installed correctly on the home page of your site – once you’ve created a new profile, the Tracking Status will display a warning icon, “Tracking status unknown,” until the system detects the code. These are the different status Icons:
    • Waiting for Data
      The tracking code has been detected on the home page of your website, and Google Analytics is aggregating the data to populate into your reports.
    • Tracking Unknown or Not Verified
      The tracking code has not been detected on the homepage of your website, so please verify that you have installed the code correctly.
    • Receiving Data
      The tracking code is working properly and data is being populated into your reports
    1. Did you use an editor?
      If you used a WYSIWYG (“What you see is what you get”) editor such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, make sure that you don’t see the code when you’re viewing your page in a browser. Some such editors will attempt to place the code as text on your page – try to use the “source” view when you’re pasting the code to your web pages.
    2. Always check the ‘View Source’ option
      Once your page is live, select View Source from your browser’s menu and look for the code. To view source code, go to the site, right click and select view source code.  You can then use the ‘Find’ tool to quickly locate your code. The Google Analytics Tracking Code should be immediately before the </body> tag of your page, and should look exactly as it was provided to you.  You should see your account number in the code.

    Analytics Profiles and Filters

    You should set up at least two profiles.  One that is completely unfiltered, and one that has any filters or goals that you specify.  You can always add more but you always want to keep one that is untouched because you can only have one Analytics account and you don’t want to accidentally mess something up that you cannot undo.

    To block certain traffic, such as your agency or company, you can block IP addresses, domains, and subdirectories.  To do so, click edit profile and then click add a filter.

    There you can choose what you want to exclude.  If you’re not sure what your IP is, www.whatsmyip.org, a nifty little tool that will give you your current IP.

    After following all of these steps, you should have a functioning Analytics account.  For more help, check out http://www.google.com/support/analytics/?hl=en.  Or, to make your Analytics account even more useful, check out Jen’s post about setting up goals in Analytics.

    Amy is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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