Day 20: Install Google Analytics

About half the people reading this guide will have Google Analytics up and running already. If you’re already running analytics software, you can skip today, take a break, or get a head start on tomorrow.

If not, today is an ideal break point to get the plumbing in place.

Why Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a robust platform for tracking your traffic data. Both free and paid plans are available for a range of websites and business sizes.

If you’re operating a company with high volume web traffic (more than 10 million hits/month), you may need to pay for Google Analytics Premium. This tool will give you access to better support and unsampled data — in other words, you’ll see a complete data picture of everybody visiting your website.

Google Analytics premium comes with the following:

  • Processing for up to 1 billion hits per month (vs. the 10 million/month with standard accounts)

  • Faster, same-day processing

  • Service-level agreement around data collection, reporting, and processing

  • Up to 50 custom variables

  • Unsampled reporting

  • Unaggregated report downloads

  • Dediced account management

  • Phone & email support

  • Implementation consulting

  • Live & webinar training

  • 24/7 emergency escalation support

Most small businesses and startups are just fine using the free implementation of Google Analytics. You can find a complete list of features here.

Google Analytics will help provide tools for the following:

Tracking advertising
& campaign performance

  • Advertising reports

  • Campaign measurement

  • Cost data import

  • Mobile ads measurement

  • Remarketing

  • Search engine optimization

Analytics & testing

  • Advanced segments

  • Annotations

  • Content experiments

  • Custom reports

  • Dashboards

  • Real-time reporting

Monitoring audience
characteristics & behavior

  • Audience data & reporting

  • Browser & operating systems

  • Custom dimensions

  • Flow visualization

  • Map overlay

  • Mobile traffic

  • Social reports

  • Traffic sources

& cross-platform measurement

  • Universal analytics (measure digital platforms beyond web and apps), so you can connect offline conversions with online activity

Data collection
& management

  • API integrations

  • Filters

  • User permissions

Mobile app tracking

  • App profiles

  • App specific metrics

  • Crash and exception reporting

  • Google Play integration

  • iOS and Android SDKs

Product integrations

  • AdSense

  • AdWords

  • Google Display Network

  • Google Tag Manager

  • Google+

  • Wildfire

Sales & conversions

  • Attribution modeling & comparison

  • Data driven attribution

  • Ecommerce reporting

  • Goal flow

  • Goals

  • Multi-channel funnels

What Should You Track?

When it comes to web analytics, focus is key. More is not necessarily better. It’s easy to become buried in the world’s biggest data dump.

Focus on reports that drive ROI for your business. If you’re not sure where to start, browse through the videos here.

Here are some helpful pointers for what to start tracking:

  • Goals completed on your website: You specify which conversion goals you want to track. These include free trial (or user account) sign-ups, demo completions, and key pages visited. You can segment these conversion events by web traffic source.

  • Visitor behavior by marketing campaign: You can track performance by implementing custom UTM tracking code. See a crash course from HubSpot here.

  • Referral traffic sources: Pay attention to who’s sending traffic your way.

Today’s Homework

The only way to learn Google Analytics is to try it out yourself and practice. Today, you’re going to get started by taking the first step.

  1. Install Google Analytics. Follow the official step-by-step guide here.

  2. Log-in to Google Analytics. Start poking around. You won’t have any data on your website, but you can at least start becoming acquainted with the website’s functionality.

  3. Watch 3 Google Analytics training videos here. Keep watching the videos consistently, every day — especially as you start to collect more data.

  4. Monitor your referral tracking sources every day.

  5. Once you are feeling comfortable with Google Analytics, set up your goals.

Emily Anderson