Best Guide to Setting Up Your Google Analytics Account
Are you aware everything about how to effectively set up your Google Analytics account?
Should you choose, great and amazing to hear! You are an Analytics Ninja right?: -)
If you don’t, this can be a great chance to dive a bit deeper to the world of Google Analytics.
And to get really up to speed with all the opportunities that are out there.
Within this very detailed write-up I share the 31 steps you should take into account to correctly set up and configure your Google Analytics account.
So that you collect the most relevant, accurate data and insights for your business.
It contains both technical and marketing centered tips that are related to the administrator part of your Google Analytics account.
Further, this article is usually fully packed with workable and additional readings on each subitem.
Three main reasons for posting this Google Analytics Settings Guide with you:
I actually haven’t found a guide that comes close to this one yet.
I love to share what I have learned in the past.
I have challenged myself to write a very long, but qualitative blog post.
Grab an easy chair and enjoy reading!
For your convenience, listed here are direct links to the main sections in this article:
Five Steps Analytics Framework
Google Analytics Account Structure
Google Analytics Account Set Up
Google Analytics Home Set Up
Google Analytics Look at Set Up
Five Methods Analytics Framework
Let’s start with an overview of five steps you should look at from implementation to optimization.
Implementation: technical set up of Google Analytics to track and measure everything correctly.
Configuration: set up of features in a Google Analytics account.
Reporting: set up of your custom reports and dashboards to monitor how things move.
Analysis: analysis of the performance of your traffic channels and website.
Testing & Optimisation: A/B tests as well as other optimization efforts to improve the performance of your website.
I have talked about the Google Analytics implementation in the past. Now it’s time to dive to the configuration part.
Installing your Google Analytics tags correctly is a must and a good start.
Keep in mind that you need a correct set up of your Google Analytics account as well in order to get the maximum out of your Google Analytics data!
You may also read:
How to build Google Analytics Dashboard
Google Analytics Account Structure
Each Google Analytics account is usually linked to at least one home. And each property is usually linked to at least one reporting view.
Please notice an example below:
Amount of accounts per Google Analytics account login is currently limited to 100.
Amount of properties per account is currently limited to 50.
Number of views per property is currently limited to 25.
Contact Google if you (are an agency and) require higher numbers.
But you don't need it?
I have noticed too many accounts with lots of properties and views that are not definitely used or collect useless data.
Tip: you can set up user permissions on the account, property and look at level.
Google Analytics Account Set Up
1 . Account Settings
The account settings page will be the first item that shows up in the administrator interface.
There are two easy ways to obtain your account ID:
You can find it within the account settings page.
It is shown in the LINK when you are logged in to your Google Analytics account. Example: https://www.google.com/analytics/web/?hl=en#management/Settings/a50199940w82132191p85051646/.
In cases like this the account ID equals 50199940.
With this page you can:
Make account name.
Choose your data posting settings (on what level do you like to share your data with Google? ).
Review and accept the data processing change.
Delete your Google Analytics account.
Take your time to set this up in the most appropriate way.
Read this articleif you are concerned about data safety.
2 . User Management
The larger the number of users inside your organization, the more important this feature will probably be.
You don’t need every employee to get the rights to edit and delete stuff in your Google Analytics account.
First of all you need to understand the different user access ranges:
Four permissions are available:
Manage Users: Can manage account users. Does not include Edit or Collaborate.
Edit: Can perform administrative and report-related functions (e. g., add/edit/delete accounts, properties, views, filters, goals, etc ., although not manage users), and see report data. Contains Collaborate.
Collaborate: Can create personal assets and share them. Can collaborate on shared resources e. g. edit a dashboard or annotation. Includes Study & Analyze.
Study & Analyze: Can see report and settings data; can adjust data within reports (e. g., filter a table, give a secondary dimension, develop a segment); can create private assets, and share them, and see shared resources. Cannot collaborate on shared assets.
A couple of things to note here:
If you give someone a base permission within the account level, this permission is also established on the property and view level. By way of example if you give Peter Edit rights within the account level, you can not lower them to Collaborate on the view level.
The same counts regarding property rights regarding view rights.
Here is an easy way how you can control the individual user permissions from the account tab:
After you click on User Management (Account level), you can click on an user’s email.
Doing so results in the following display screen:
This is great! Now you have full control over the permissions of this individual user within the account, property and view level.
Two more things to mention:
You can only add email addresses that are signed up with a Google account.
You can notify new users by email.
Consider user permissions extremely seriously(! ).
Don’t provide higher accessibility levels to someone than is necessary.
Only provide Edit privileges to experienced people in your organization.
Get rid of users who shouldn’t have access anymore.
3. All Filters
Filters are extremely useful in Google Analytics. They help you to control the data getting stored in your reporting views.
On the account level you can create new and change or delete existing filters. Besides that you can choose on which reporting views the filters ought to be applied.
There are two filter types (predefined and custom):
Predefined filters allow you to filter on common such things as:
Exclude company IP addresses.
Exclude specific hostnames.
Custom filters allow you modify the data that is in fact collected in a lots of different ways.
I recommend to learn my guest write-up on Google Analytics filters on Online-Behavior. comif you want to learn more about this specific topic.
It clarifies everything you ever need to find out on this topic.
Our in-depth guide on regular expressions will come in handy as well. Regular expressions are very important in the Google Analytics account set up process.
Learn regular expressions first; this will be a huge help in constructing powerful filters.
Test your filters in a separate view first; there is no way back.
Always keep an unfiltered raw data view.
Use filters for long-term segmentation purposes.
Use segmentsfor ad-hoc analysis.
4. Change History
The Change History review provides a record of activities over the last 180 days.
Please notice and example below:
Date: date and time of the activity.
Changed by: email address of Google Analytics user who else performed the activity.
Alter: all details about the game.
You can filter (A to Z or Z to A) on each column of data. And there is a search container to seach on a particular term.
The “Change History” feature brings context to another level. It helps you to understand settings adjustments - which often affect the data - even when they were not noted elsewhere.
Check this tab at least once every month.
Copy and export the data to another environment (Excel) at least every 180 days - to prevent losing this data.
5. Trash Can
The trash can was introduced at the outset of 2015 and can save you from a lot of pain.
If you accidentally get rid of a Google Analytics account, property or look at, you can restore it within 35 days. This is especially helpful if relatively a lot of people have edit privileges and the chances of something going wrong along with your data grows.
You need edit permission to access the trash can.
The user who designated an entity regarding deletion is proven next to the enterprise.
When you restore an account, property or view from the Trash Can, all settings and configurations are preserved.
Data is not really processed while an entity is in the trash can.
After 35 days the entity is lost and cannot be restored
Well, I hope you don’t have to use it, but it might come in handy at a certain point in time.
Google Analytics Property Set Up
6. Property Settings
Like I already explained, a Google Analytics home is connected to a Google Analytics account.
In the property settings you can find quite a few things to set up.
The basic things include:
You can look up the tracking ID.
You can edit the property name.
You can set the default URL and View.
You can select the best fitting market for your business.
You can delete the property.
Then, if you hit the advanced settings link you see:
Select this choice to allow your manual URL tagging to override AdWords auto-tagging.
Please make sure you know what you are doing if you select this option!
Simply refrain from selecting this option if you are unsure about the technical impact.
You might be interested in reading my marketing campaign tracking guide as well.
This features allows you to improve the website experience of your visitors within a much deeper way. Rather than the least, to make a bit more money.: -)
By setting up this feature you enable Demographics and Curiosity reporting, Remarketing, GDN Impression Reporting, and the DoubleClick Campaign Manager integration.
Read this post on Google Analytics Demographics & Interests Reports if you want to learn more about this feature.
Enhanced link attribution might be a powerful feature in these three situations:
There are multiple links on a page that every have the same destination.
There is one page element that has multiple destinations.
Here you can learn the way to set up enhanced link attribution.
Webmaster Tools Settings
Last but not least, Internet marketer Tools.
I recommend every single webmaster to set up Internet marketer Tools.
Connecting Google Webmaster Tools to your Google Analytics account, gives you tremendous, additional ideas for free.
You need to be the owner of a verified website in Webmaster Tools to make this work.
First log in to Google Webmaster Tools and make the connection since shown below:
There is also the option to set this up directly through the Google Analytics interface.
The last step includes selecting the view (profile) you wish to connect to Internet marketer Tools.
After you have finished this step you can find the reports below the AdWords reports in Google Analytics:
Start with defining the essential property settings.
Constantly set up and connect a Webmaster Tools account; there is a wealth of extra knowledge you dont’want to miss.
Advertiser Features and In-Page Analytics are optional, but in some cases very useful.
Ask you tech guy or woman if you need several help here!
7. User Management
I use already talked about this item from an account level viewpoint.
There are two distinctions if compared to the account level:
You cannot click-through on an email address and arrange the permission from there.
From here you can only grant accessibility on the property level.
In my experience it is the most easy to offer new users accessibility from the account or view level tab.
If you want to change accessibility of a particular user, it’s most easy to do this on the account tab.
Once again, be careful with user permission levels; for a lot of people Read & Analyze access will do.
7. Tracking Info
Like the name already suggests, this tab includes settings directly or indirectly related to tracking.
Here you can find the univeral tracking code you should install on just about all pages of your website.
You can also find the current position of your tracking code: receiving data is usually working correctly or not (yet).
Implementing tracking codes works a bit differently if you work together with Google Tag Manager or another tag management system.
It is over and above the scope of this article to explain about General Analytics in relation to GTM.
Keep in mind that you just have to provide the “UA-code” in GTM to get things up and running up.
Some additional information on PHP and Dynamic Content Implementations is usually provided here as well.
If needed, come together with your webdeveloper to put things up in the correct way.
Simply said the user-ID helps you to track website users accross multiple devices and browsers.
It sounds like paradise, but in actuality it isn’t that easy to set this up.
For many website owners it is impossible to get this to work. You will need specific information out of your website visitors first before you can collect useful data.