Tracking website data via Google Analytics requires that you input a personalized code into the metadata of html pages on your website. This code tracks how visitors interact with each page, providing valuable information for your business.
Why Do You Need Google Analytics Code?
The Google Analytics tracking code tracks visitor data. The code allows Google to see when your website was visited, who visited, what keywords they searched, what page they landed on and how long they spent on each page. You can track if your visitors came from a web search or phone search, and where in the world they visited you from.
Google Analytics code can also track your online advertising. You can find out what keywords people typed to find you and which words or website pages were more likely to result in a phone call. You can then determine which of those calls turned into customers.
With the code, you can tailor your product offerings, learn how to better convert visitors and make changes that can improve your business.
Getting a Google Analytics Code
Getting the Google Analytics code requires you to have a Google Analytics account. Both the account and the code are free.
Create a Google Analytics account by visiting the Google Analytics website and registering. If you already have a Google account through Gmail, you can sign in using that information. If not, follow the steps to create a log-in.
From there, you are prompted to input some basic information about the website you'd like to monitor so that you can create a property, Google's term for a specific website that will be tracked. The information you need to provide includes a name for your account, your website name and URL, the industry that applies to your website and the time zone you're in.
Submitting this information takes you to a page with a tracking ID to include in your website’s tracking code. This ID traces visitor data back to your particular website.
Your property is created after you click the "Get Tracking ID" button. You must still add the tracking code to your website's pages to collect data.
Placing Google Analytics Code
Once you have the tracking ID, paste the tracking code snippet provided by Google into the metadata of your website. Paste the tracking code snippet after the <head> tag on each page of the website.
Putting the code in the wrong place in your metadata or typing the code in incorrectly will result in inaccurate or no tracking. You may not notice that your website is tracking improperly, so verify that you entered the code correctly.
Verifying Google Analytics Code
Once the code is entered into your metadata, make sure it is properly tracking data by visiting your website and viewing the real-time reports in Analytics.
With real-time reports, you can view activity on your website as it happens. You can see who is on your website and what pages they are interacting with. To view a real-time report, sign into Google Analytics and navigate to your view. Open Reports and click "real-time."
If you don't see any data in the report, double-check the tracking code.
Leslie Bloom has worked in upper-level management positions in both publishing and the mental health field. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications, including Metro Magazine. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.