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Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics: Set Up and Track Conversions
Do you know how many people visit your website?
Where they come from, which page they spend most of their time on and how many of them are making bookings?
Without these details, it’s pretty much impossible to know how well your website is performing and whether further investment and improvement is necessary.
Google has provided us with a fantastic free tool that can be added to any website to help us monitor it’s success Google Analytics.
Considering it’s free, it’s also extremely comprehensive.
It has vast hidden depths to help us analyse and interpret the data it provides us so we can make educated guesses on what might be causing problems on our site and how we might be able to fix them.
However most website owners only login to see how many visitors they’re getting and log off again.
If this is you, you’re missing a trick.
Looking at this data alone will not tell you anything about how your website is performing.
But worry not.
I have put together a beginner’s guide to installing Google Analytics and setting up conversion tracking. These are the first steps towards finding out how well your restaurant or boutique hotel website is performing and how you can identify any problems too.
(Watch out for my next post in this series which shows you the 6 most important Google Analytics metrics for your boutique hotel or restaurant website.)
First, let’s set up Google Analytics
To access Google Analytics, first you must have an account. Secondly you’ll need to register your website and add tracking code to it.
I’ve broken this down into 3 simple steps to help you.
1) Sign up to Google Analytics
Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/ and click on Sign in, then from the dropdown select ‘Analytics’.
At the next screen, if you already have a Google account (perhaps Gmail, YouTube, Google My Business etc) then you can use the same email you use for that to login. If you don’t, then you’ll need to click on the ‘create account’ link.
If you’ve had to sign up for a new account then once that’s done, just make sure you come back to the analytics link above and sign in from there.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll see the set up screen:
2) Set up your website account
Fill in the Account and Website Name fields. You may want to use the name of your restaurant or boutique hotel.
Then enter the full URL of the website.
Select industry, time zone and data sharing settings before then clicking on ‘Get Tracking ID’:
After confirming the terms and conditions, you will be provided with your tracking code. This is what we need to copy and add to our website.
3) Add the tracking code to your site
If you’re using WordPress, you can install Google Analytics for WordPress and copy the tracking code where indicated in the settings.
However even if a website is using WordPress we still like to manually add tracking code like this to ensure it’s done properly and also to avoid the use of another plugin.
To manually add Google Analytics tracking, paste it into the HTML code just before the closing </head> tag.
Second, Implement Conversion Tracking
Tracking conversions or ‘goals’ is an important aspect of Analytics as it enables us to see how well a site is performing and whether it’s achieving what we designed it to achieve.
There are two ways we can implement conversion tracking:
1) Basic: Where the goal is an end page. Usually a thank you page.
This is the simplest form of goal tracking but it can still offer some really good, top level insights.
- Go to the ‘Admin’ panel
- Under the ‘view’ column go to ‘goals’
- Give the goal a name and select ‘destination’ under ‘type’ then click on ‘continue’
- Under ‘Goal details’ enter the url which in this case is the thank you page, so it would be /thankyou
- Then click on ‘verify this goal’ to test that you’ve set it up correctly.
- Click save
2) Advanced: Goal funnels.
This method sets up the goal step by step, so if you have a clear path of say 5 steps (unique URLs) that lead to a goal conversion, then this method will give you greater insights.
You’ll be able to determine which pages, if any, are responsible for the highest rate of drop-offs, which will help you identify problems on your site much easier.
If you’re not there already, go into the ‘goal’ section in the admin area and into the goal you just set up.
‘Edit’ 2. Goal Details and turn the funnel switch to ‘on’. You will then be able to add in your goal funnel ‘steps’ like this:
Make sure you verify the goal to check it works ok, then click save.
You may have to wait and check back the following day to see your website data in Google Analytics.
If you would like more tips just like this, that help your restaurant or boutique hotel make the most out of your website so it really starts working for you, just enter your name and email below. We’ll send them straight to your inbox.
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