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June 4, 2022

How to Set up and Use Google Analytics

How to Set up and Use Google Analytics

It's a commonly asked question: Is Google Analytics Free?

And the answer is a resounding YES. Although Google Analytics gives you all the information you need about your site and its visitors behavior, there are no costs associated with it at all. So go ahead and set up Google Analytics free right now.

PART 1: Set up Google Analytics

Part 2: Using Google Analytics

Part 3: Adding Your Other Websites

Create Your Google Account

If you already have a Google account, you can skip this section and go directly to Create Your Google Analytics Account.

Otherwise, you must create a Google account before you can create a Google Analytics account.

You will need

  • An email address to associate with your account. You will receive a verification code at this address as part of creating your account.
  • A telephone number that you can use to receive another verification code.

Start Your Sign-up

Create Your Google Account if You Don't Have One

Go to https://analytics.google.com. If you don’t see the screen shown above, you may already have a Google account. If not, try again in an InPrivate (Bing) or Incognito (Chrome) window.

Click the Create Account button.

You will be asked whom the account is for.

Who Is the Account for?

This is your own Google Account

Click For Myself.

You can then choose between creating a new Gmail account or using your existing email.

I always prefer to use my own website-based email address.

Create Your Google Account

Is Google Analytics Free? Yes it is

Click Use My Current Email Address Instead.

You will then be asked to enter identifying information.

Start the Verification Process

Enter Your Details for Your Google Account

Enter your name and email address and create a password.

Google will send a verification code to the email address you entered. You must enter this code in the next screen.

05 Verify Your Google Account's Email Address

Enter the verification code sent to your email address and click the Next button.

You will then be asked to enter a phone number for Google to send a (different) verification code to.

06 Verify Phone Number

Enter your phone number and click the Next button. Google will send a verification code to the phone for you to enter in the next screen.

07 Enter the Phone Verification Code

Enter the verification code from your phone and click the Verify button.

Welcome to Google

You will see a Welcome to Google screen.

08 Enter Personal Information

Enter the personal information requested and click the Next button.

On the next screen, you can optionally add your phone number to your account. I prefer to skip this.

09 Skip Additional Information

Click the Skip button.

One final step. You must agree to Google’s Terms of Service.

10 Agree to Google's Terms of Service

Click the I Agree button.

Account Created

You should now see a screen telling you that your Google account has been created.

11 Google Account Created

Create Your Google Analytics Account

Whether you have just followed these instructions to create a new Google account or you already had one, you can log in to your Google Analytics account at https://analytics.google.com/

But this time, instead of clicking on Create New Account, enter the email address of your Google account and click Next.

12 Enter Your Email Address to Sign in to Your Google Account

Enter your email address and click Next.

The next screen will ask for the password you set up for your Google account.

13 Enter Google Account Password

Enter your password and click Next.

You should then see the Welcome to Google Analytics screen. Now you are going to start measuring what’s happening on your website.

14 Welcome to Google Analytics

Click the Start Measuring button.

The next screen is the start of your Google Analytics account. You start by giving your account a name.

15 Give Your Google Analytics Account a Name

Enter a name for your Google Analytics account. It’s probably best not to use your website’s name, as you may end up with more than one website on this account.

Using your own name is fine.

Then click the Next button to set up your first property (this will be your website).

16 Set up a Google Analytics Property

This will be what’s called a Google Analytics 4 property. This replaced the older UA property, which you can still create (for backwards compatibility) by clicking Show Advanced Options. You will not be doing this.

Give the property a name. It makes sense to use its website name here.

Set up your reporting time zone and currency and click Next.

You will enter your business information into the next screen.

17 Enter Your Business Information

Note that this information has no effect on your Google Analytics. It’s just stuff Google collects for statistical purposes.

Fill it in as best you can and click the Create button.

This will bring up Google’s Terms of Service for Analytics, which you must accept to proceed.

18 Accept Google Analytics Terms of Service

Click the I Accept button.

In the next screen, you control how much emailed information you wish to receive from Google. Again, note that this has nothing to do with your site’s analytics. It just allows you to specify what kind of emails you would like to receive from Google.

19 Communications Preferences

Tick the checkbox against the ones you want to receive (if any) and click the Save button.

Now to start collecting data!

Start Collecting Data

20 Choose Web as Platform

You will be collecting data from your website, so click Web.

The next step is to set up a data stream for your website.

21 Create Your Data Stream

Enter your website’s URL, give the data stream a name (your website’s name is fine) and click the Create Stream button.

This will create your Global Site Tag, which must be copied to your website in order for it to collect and send data to your Google Analytics account.

22 Get Your Global Site Tag

Click Add New On-Page Tag to get the actual code to be added.

23 Copy the Global Site Tag

Click the Copy icon to copy the code to the clipboard, ready to be pasted into your website.

Paste the Analytics Code into Your Website

OK, you’ve generated the code and copied it. Now… how to get it into your website. It has to go before the </head> tag on every page that you want to track. You could do it page by page by editing the html directly but that’s clearly impractical. Here are two easy methods:

If You Have the Thrive Suite

If you have the Thrive Suite, the Thrive dashboard makes it very simple.

(If you don't, I highly recommend it. Check out the Thrive Suite here (opens in a new tab.)

Go to the dashboard and scroll to Analytics and Scripts.

24 Thrive Dashboard Manage Scripts

Click the Manage Scripts button.

This will show any existing scripts and you can choose to add a new one.

25 Add a New Script

Click the Add New button.

You can paste the Google Analytics script into the next screen.

26 Paste the Script

Paste the copied script into the Script panel and click in the Script Label panel to bring up the automatic label Google Analytics.

Leave the Placement as Before </head> and tick both Inserted In check boxes.

Click the Continue button.

This will then show that the Analytics script has been added.

27 Analytics Script Added

Click the Back to Dashboard button.

If You Don’t Have the Thrive Suite

You can also insert the Google Analytics script with the free Ad Inserter plugin.

Install it as you would any plugin.

28 Install Ad Inserter Plugin

Search for Ad Inserter, then click Install Now, followed by Activate.

Then go to Plugins >> Ad Inserter >> Settings

29 Ad Inserter Settings

Click Settings to bring up the Ad Inserter Settings page.

30 Ad Inserter General Settings

Click the gear icon to get into General Settings.

This will allow you to insert code into the header of all pages, i.e., between the <head> and </head> tags, which is where the Google Analytics code needs to go.

31 Insert Analytics Code

Click on the Header tab, then enable header code by clicking on the middle of the three small buttons (the one next to the php button) and finally paste the copied Google Analytics code into the panel.

Click the Save Settings button.

PART 2: Using Google Analytics

Displaying Your Data in Your GA Account

All of the data gathered by Google Analytics is retained in your Google Analytics account and can be displayed directly there.

As before, go to analytics.google.com and log in to your Google Analytics account to display the dashboard.

32 Google Analytics Dashboard

It’s beyond the scope of this training to examine all of the data available from this dashboard.

Once you have some visitor traffic and corresponding statistics, you should go into the dashboard and spend some time exploring it, to get an idea of what’s available.

Displaying Your Data Inside Your Website

It can be very convenient to get a display of (some of) your data directly in the Admin area of your WordPress website and there are plugins to do this.

I’ll detail one of them here and then list others for you to research independently.

Monster Insights

Monster Insights comes from the same stable as All-in-One Search Engine Optimization (AIOSEO), which used to be recommended by Wealthy Affiliate but is no longer. In fact, WA actively recommends against Monster Insights.

I’ve included instructions for its installation and use here because I have it installed on several of my websites and have never had any issues. I find its graphical display useful and it doesn’t affect my sites negatively in any way. It does nag you to upgrade but that’s a minor thing.

Install Monster Insights as you would any WordPress plugin.

Go to Plugins >> Add New and search for Monster Insights.

33 Install Monster Insights

Click Install Now and then Activate.

You should see a Welcome to Monster Insights screen.

34 Welcome to Monster Insights

You can watch the video or read the user guide if you wish.

Click the Launch the Wizard button.

If you have installed the Google Analytics code correctly on your website, Monster Insights will find it and connect to it.

The wizard goes through a series of steps:

35 Select Website Category

Select your website category. Note that this has no effect om your display. It’s just for Monster Insights’ internal statistics.

Click the Save and Continue button.

The next screen will confirm that you are using the free version and ask you to consider upgrading. You will then start the process of connecting to your Google Analytics account.

36 Start the Connection to Google Analytics

Click the Connect MonsterInsights button.

You will then be asked to select the Google account that you want Monster Insights to connect to. You may have just the one, of course.

37 Choose Google Account for Monster Insights

Click to select the account you wish to use.

This will bring up a screen asking you to allow Monster Insights to access this Google account.

38 Give Monster Insights Access Permission

Click the Allow button.

Then you will see a screen that allows you to select the profile (website) that you want to display statistics for. You will probably have just one, but you can have several websites on the one account and I’ll be covering that later in this training.

39 Complete the Monster Insights Connection

Click the Complete Connection button.

Monster Insights will spend a short time finalizing the connection and then show you a screen where you can set up some additional variables.

40 Set up Monster Insights Variables

The only change I make here is to turn off Help Us Improve as it could slow down my site.

Click the Save and Continue button.

The next screen asks which website features would you like to enable?

Standard Analytics & Reports and Enhanced Link Attribution are already selected, along with All-in-One SEO Toolkit and Smart Form Builder.

You should consider what options you want for your site.

Personally, I turn off both All-in-One SEO Toolkit and Smart Form Builder as I will already have them or alternatives installed.

41 Monster Insights Website Features

Scroll down and click the Continue button.

You should then see a screen advising you that tracking is all set up, recommending that you clear your cache if you are using one and nagging you to upgrade.

42 Tracking and Analytics Are Set up

Scroll down and click Complete Setup without Upgrading.

Monster Insights is now installed.

43 Monster Insights Installed

Click the Save Changes button.

Using Monster Insights

Remember that you can still go to your Google Analytics account to see everything that is being tracked on your website.

With Monster Insights installed, you will see a new dashboard summary as soon as you log in to your site’s Admin area:

44 WordPress Monster Insights Dashboard

From this quick but useful overview, you can navigate to

  • Top Posts and Pages
  • New vs. Returning Visitors
  • Device Breakdown

or you can click the Go to the Analytics Dashboard button to see all the reports.

You can also go there directly while in your website’s Admin area. Find the new item Insights in your WordPress menu and click Reports.

45 Monster Insights Reports

Click Reports.

It’s beyond the scope of this training to cover everything that can be displayed here. You will need to explore it yourself, but here are some highlights:

There are eight report tabs to select from.

46 Monster Insights Report Tabs

The Overview Report shows a graphical display and a numeric summary of Sessions and Page Views

47 Overview Report Sessions and Page Views

The above shows the graph for a new site. Here is the same site 30 days later.

47a Overview Report Sessions and Page Views

Once your Google Analytics account has existed for more than 30 days, the full width of the graph will be filled in.

Scroll down to see other graphical information, along with your top posts and pages.

48 Other Graphical Information

Many of these have links that you can click for expanded information.

There are other plugins that you might like to explore also.

Other Plugins for Displaying Google Analytics Data

9 Best Google Analytics Plugins for WordPress in 2022 (seedprod.com)

PART 3: Adding Your Other Websites

Adding More Websites to Your Google Analytics Account

Create New Property

For some reason, Google Analytics calls your website that you want to connect a “property”. Hey, they’re Google, they can do whatever they like, right?

Currently, you can have up to 100 properties per Analytics account.

Here’s how to go about it:

Go to analytics.google.com and log in to your account.

49 Admin

In the left-hand menu, scroll down to the bottom and click Admin (the Gear icon).

This brings up a screen where you can select an existing property from a drop-down or create a new one.

50 Create Property Button

Click the + Create Property button.

This will be what’s called a Google Analytics 4 property. This replaced the older UA property, which you can still create (for backwards compatibility) by clicking Show Advanced Options. You will not be doing this.

51 Create New Property

Give the property a name. It makes sense to use its website name here.

Set up your reporting time zone and currency and click Next.

You will enter your business information into the next screen.

52 Enter Business Details

Note that this information has no effect on your Google Analytics. It’s just stuff Google collects for statistical purposes. You can choose an Industry Category or leave it blank.

Fill it in as best you can and click the Create button.

Now to start collecting data!

53 Start Collecting Data

You will be collecting data from your website, so click Web.

The next step is to set up a data stream for your website.

54 Set up Data Stream

Enter your website’s URL, give the data stream a name (your website’s name is fine) and click the Create Stream button.

This will create your Global Site Tag, which must be copied to your website in order for it to collect and send data to your Google Analytics account.

22 Get Your Global Site Tag

Click Add New On-Page Tag to get the actual code to be added.

23 Copy the Global Site Tag

Click the Copy icon to copy the code to the clipboard, ready to be pasted into your website.

For two ways of adding the Global Site Tag to your website, please go to Paste the Analytics Code.

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Phil Lancaster


Phil is a septuagenarian who has now funded his retirement through internet marketing.

"It's both enjoyable and lucrative," says Phil. "and can literally be run from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Like many others out there, I initially poured money into the bright, shiny pebbles. The one off, brilliant opportunities that promised an overnight income with the push of a button. The only thing they did, besides suck up funds like a vacuum cleaner, money that I couldn't afford, was take up so much time that I ended up depressed as well as poorer. It wasn't until I learned how to build a genuine business (I now have 30 of them) in both affiliate marketing and e-commerce, using the platform and tools that I tell you about on this website, that I turned it all around. I now make a substantial and sustainable retirement income and I want to teach you how to do the same."

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