Analytics is key to perceiving the value of any web project. Whether you are building an online store or creating a marketing campaign, knowing how well it is performing is the only way to know if your efforts are worth it. (Want to dive in even more? Grab our Google Analytics freebie.)
How to Set Up Analytics
These days, it’s relatively easy to set up Google Analytics on your website. The basic steps include:
- Creating and logging into your Google account
- Logging into Google Analytics
- Generating and grabbing the Google Analytics ID script for your website
- Putting that script into the header or footer code of your website
If you are using WordPress for your online store, you can also use a Google Analytics WordPress plug-in to insert the ID script and start generating analytic data.
When Should You Set Up Google Analytics for Your E-Commerce Store
We recommend you install Google Analytics from the beginning. When we launch websites and online stores for our clients, we set up from the day of the launch or even right before that. We want to gather as much data as we can from the start.
It’s easy to think “Well, I won’t have much traffic in the beginning,” but without Google Analytics, you can’t compare how you’ve grown or how well marketing efforts are performing if you don’t have a baseline from the start.
Are There Other Analytics Plug-Ins I Should Use?
Google Analytics is the gold standard. You’re going to get robust information, more data that you probably need, and it’s free to use. We recommend that above all. Some other options may include:
- JetPack – This is an enhanced plug-in for WordPress websites and shops. The benefit of this is that you can see your stats right there in your WordPress dashboard and it can give you a quick idea of how you’re doing. However, you won’t receive as much data as you will with Google Analytics.
- UnBounce – We use this one for clients with landing pages who want to see how their marketing efforts are performing with those landing pages. One of the benefits is the A/B testing information.
- HubSpot or Marketo – These are next-level marketing campaign driven platforms that can help give you an overview of your campaign is doing, including specific information about certain webpages, blogs, ad campaigns, social media, etc. These are more for those looking to create integrated campaigns.
What Happens Once I Set It Up?
The key to making Google Analytics work for your shop is reviewing and learning from the data. We create packages of reports for our clients, breaking down the data into digestible and actionable steps. It can get complicated, so here’s where you want to start:
- Users – This is each individual person or computer, that comes to your website.
- Pageviews – This is the number of pages a user has viewed per visit to your site.
- Sessions – This is the number of visits from a particular user. (For instance, if a user leaves your website, and comes back later, this results in 2 sessions.)
The goal of all of this is to help you make decisions and changes. For instance, some things to watch for:
- Where are people always leaving your website, without a sale? How can you improve that page?
- Where are people spending the most time?
- Which products are getting the most views? Are these resulting in sales? If not, how can you improve those product pages?
- Are there certain products that people return to and buy? How can you promote those more?
Analytics can get overwhelming fast, but don’t let that stop you. This is going to be your greatest asset in making sure you are finding and converting the right customers. All the information you need is just there waiting for you so get it set up and start reviewing.
Eager to make Google Analytics work for your business? Click here to go to our Freebies page and grab our free PDF called “Implementing Your Google Analytics Strategy”.)