Does your company have a website? According to a survey from Clutch, there is a high chance it does. The survey showed that no less than 70% of small businesses in the States have websites. And when it comes to middle-sized and large companies, that percentage is much higher, reaching 99% in some domains.
Having a website, though, inevitably implies its professional optimization and management if the owner wants it to be an effective business tool. And that’s where web analytics tools come on the scene.
In the following article, we will take a closer look at how to set up Google Analytics if you’re just getting started. Consider this text as a step-by-step guide on Google Analytics for beginners.
Is Google Analytics Free?
Yes, it certainly is. That’s why Google Analytics is, without a doubt the most popular web analytics tool today. To use it, you need to know how to install Google Analytics correctly, and that’s where small-business owners face certain difficulties as the procedure may seem a bit complicated for them. So, let’s take a closer look at the installation process.
Google Tag Manager Installation
Google tag manager is an essential tool that eliminates the complex manual process of deploying tags. It allows adding, editing, and monitoring marketing tags without writing the code. To set up and start using GTM, two basic steps are required:
- Create an account: Whether you already use other Google services or not, you need to create a new Google account as GTM requires a separate one. To do that, go to tag manager and follow the standard procedure. During the process, you’ll also need to choose the container type – (Web/iOS/Android/AMP).
- Insert the code: As soon as you’ve filled in the form and clicked on the Create button, the system will give you two sets of code and the instruction on how to insert them into the <head> and <body> of the pages of your website. That would be the final step of GTM installation, after which you can deploy tags. You can find the full guide to the GTM installation here.
If you want to use Google Analytics and Tag Manager simultaneously, the first thing you need to do is to remove GA code from your website; otherwise, the data will be duplicated.
Also, consider creating a variable for the Google Analytics ID. It will save you some time in the future as you won’t have to search for the ID whenever you create a new GA tag.
For more detailed information, check out this instruction on how to deploy GA with GTM.
Among its useful features, Google Analytics offers so-called event tracking. The feature allows measuring all kinds of visitor interactions on the website. It includes:
- clicks on links both internal and outbound
- email subscriptions
- interactions with contact forms
- media download
- detailed interactions with video content
- measuring the rate of conversion based on order placements, phone number clicks and calls
Event tracking can be automated with Google Tag Manager.
Google Ads Manager
Just as Google Analytics is designed to measure different efficiency parameters of a website, Google Ads intends to promote a website in general and services/products in particular.
The reason Google Ads has become the most popular advertising platform on the Web is quite simple: it offers the most cost-effective marketing methods for businesses of all sizes.
To start using the service, you don’t need a special Google Ads account, all you need is a regular account in Google. Google Ads settings are rather tricky, though. For a campaign to be successful, some crucial preparatory steps must be taken.
The most important step is to research your target audience. Your ads should reach customers of a certain age, gender, occupation, location, interest, and other factors depending on the service or product you promote.
Such research can be quite time-consuming. The good news is, though, that you don’t have to spend a single dollar at this point, just your time and efforts. Moreover, you are allowed to use Google Ads to research some of those factors prior to starting the actual ad campaign. All free of charge.
Ad group setup
An ad group is a set of ad variations and keywords aimed to promote a specific service or product. One group is normally linked to one product. So if you promote several services, for example, you need to create a separate group for each one of them.
A set of keywords is the most important element of an ad group and determines the success of a whole ad campaign. As you set up a group, Google Ads keyword planner will display basic advice on choosing the right keywords. If you want to stop the Google Ads campaign, you can simply delete it. For more detailed instructions, click here.
Starting your first ad campaign is an exciting experience. Although you’re unlikely to avoid mistakes, we still don’t recommend hiring experts for your first GA campaign, especially if you’re a small-business owner. Firstly, you may not afford it at the moment, secondly, even though your first ad campaign might not end up successfully, your involvement in the process will help you understand how online advertising works. And that knowledge will come in handy in the future whether you’re going to run the next ad campaign by yourself or with the help of an expert.
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