Introduction to Google Analytics

So you’ve got your shiny new website up and running, it looks really professional and is something you can be proud of – but how is it performing? Is it getting as many hits as you’d hoped and who’s looking at it? In order to build your reputation and make the most of the money, time and effort you’ve set aside for online marketing, you need to get smart, and into the hearts and minds of your guests.

The best way to do this is to get some insight into how users are finding and interacting with your site – which is where Google Analytics comes in. Now whilst the word ‘analytics’ may sound quite intimidating, this need not be the case. Google Analytics is a user-friendly tool designed with beginners in mind – it’s not just aimed at SEO-trained professionals. Used in the right way, it can help you create a clear picture of how your site is performing and see what works and what doesn’t. Best of all, it won’t cost you a penny.

How to set up Google Analytics
Setting up your account is simple, and we’ve broken it down into six easy steps for you to follow.

Step 1: Create Google account
First of all, you need to register a new account with Google (if you don’t have one already, that is). This is completely free and gives you access to most of Google’s main services, including Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, YouTube and Google Plus – you can open your account with just a few personal details here.

Step 2: Create a Google Analytics account
Once you have registered with Google, you can head on over to Google Analytics here and create your account.

Step 3: Setting up your account
Enter the name of your website, your web address and select ‘Travel’ from the ‘Industry Category’, as well as the time zone relevant to you.

Step 4: Data Sharing Settings
The Data Sharing Settings will already be pre-populated with ticks, so make sure you are happy with everything here and click on ‘Get Tracking ID’.

Step 5: Accept terms and conditions
This will then open up the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement. Select your country, make sure you are happy with the agreement and click ‘I Accept’.

Step 6: Get the tracking code
You will then be presented with the code which you need to copy and paste into your website in order for Google Analytics to begin tracking your site.

The way to do this depends on how your website is built – here is the official Google page on installing code.

To make it even easier, we recommend you head to YouTube and watch a step-by-step video on how this is done on your specific platform. Take a look at the links below for some of the most popular systems/platforms on the market:
If you are using something (a different platform) different to what we’ve (the ones) mentioned above, then have a search for it on YouTube or Google it – there will almost certainly be a step-by-step guide available. Check out these other useful resources below to assist you with your Google Analytics set-up:
What can Google Analytics do for me?
So you’ve installed the Google Analytics code into the background of your website – but what next? You can now begin to customise the service to suit your specific needs, but in a nutshell, you will now be able to:
  • See all visits to your site
  • Track how users got to your site
  • Find out which countries your visitors are from
  • Monitor how users interact with the pages on your site
  • See which visitors spend the most on your website
  • Analyse if users are finding the most relevant information
One of the best things about Google Analytics is that once you set it up, you can tailor the information it gives to be most relevant to you and your business. For example, you may have put a Valentine’s Day special offer out there and want to see the most common ways users have found you and whether or not they are engaging with the rest of your site. Knowing this kind of data will then enable you to learn quickly what works best and highlight areas of your campaign you could improve upon.

Google Analytics provides data on real-time traffic and shows exactly when users are interacting with your site, right down to the month, day and time. This allows you to target potential guests when they are most likely to show interest. In having access to all this data, you will then be able to:
  • Spot pages which are perhaps not getting much traffic, so that you can improve your content or replace them with new, more efficient pages
  • Discover which other sites are sending traffic to you
  • See which pages users are visiting before they make a booking or give you a call
  • Discover which pages generate the most revenue
  • Observe how seasonality factors affect your site visits and business performance, enabling you to develop marketing ideas and offers that generate more sales in low season
  • Compare your site’s performance between the different quarters of the year

Once you have all this information and have begun to paint a picture of what works and what doesn’t, you can then make any necessary tweaks to your site and formulate a more effective marketing plan. For example, if you notice that you seem to be getting a lot of traffic from a specific website on Monday afternoons and Friday mornings, you may want to bear that in mind when you consider where and when you place your next advert. It can also allow you to choose the best times to target social media.

You can use Google Analytics to display how users from different countries are interacting with your site, allowing you to tweak the way you market yourself to different territories.