Testing and measuring is one of the most important activities a business owner (or practice manager) can do. This applies equally to your website and its performance, but it remains a topic that very few people are interested in. Why you should test and measure your website and online strategy is a big topic. Extracting useful data and actionable tasks is an even bigger topic. However, in response to recent queries, I’ve decided to write up a basic guide on how you can access Google Analytics and access juicy data.
Google offers many tools for its users, and much of it is free and readily available (such as Google search). However there are some tools, that although generally free, requires you to login with a Google Account. A Google Account simply enables you to set up various tools and configure them to your needs. It also enables advanced features within these tools.
For example, with a Google Account, you can not only view YouTube videos, but upload your own, create play lists and comment on other users’ videos. Using Google Docs, you can save your documents and share them with other users (i.e. Google Account holders). Even the search features you use every day become smarter once you are logged in to Google with your Account.
Then there are tools and services such as Google AdWords and Google Analytics that require you to have a Google Account, before you could even look at them. Some of these services can be accessed by multiple users – which makes sense, since you may want multiple people to manage them for your business. For example, you may want your web developer to set up Google Analytics, but grant access to your marketing department to get a feel for how your website is doing. You may also want a search engine optimisation specialist to access the same data so that they could lay out a plan to improve your rankings.
Whether you already have Google Analytics set up or just want to access it, you will need a Google Account. Start here: https://accounts.google.com/
With a Google Account, the email address you nominate becomes your “login ID”. If you have a Gmail email address, then you already have a Google Account – so you can login with your Gmail address and password. Otherwise create your Google Account.
One great thing about your Google Account is that once you are logged in, all of Google’s tools and services (that require a Google Account) will automatically recognise you and your logged in status. This means that even if you login while using YouTube, Google Analytics will recognise you.
Once you have a Google Account, visit https://www.google.com/analytics/. If you are not logged in already, do so with your Google Account. You will then see all websites that you have added in Google Analytics. You will also see those websites that have been added by other users and granted you permissions to view them.
If you are not seeing any websites in Google Analytics, then chances are you have not added any websites yourself or the person responsible for setting up Google Analytics for your website has not granted you permission to view them. Simply ask that person to add your Google Account to the Google Analytics for your website.
If you need to set up Google Analytics for your website, follow the prompts. You will need to insert a piece of code into your website (your web developer can help with that).
If you can see your website at your Google Analytics dashboard, then all is good. Play around, explore, see what is available. It will be overwhelming at the start, but at least now you have access. You can start to make sense of it all as you become familiar with it. That will take time.
Note: If you are PracticePulse client, your website already has Google Analytics set up. We do so, to keep a pulse on all our clients’ website performance. It also means that if you want to access it one day, we simply ask you for your Google Account (email address) and you’re good to go.