Those who run a website usually want to know how many visitors are actually accessing the site. A lot of online website builders often provide their own statistics tools. This article will tell you why we nevertheless recommend using Google Analytics.
What exactly is Google Analytics?
Analytics is a free web analysis service from Google, which allows you to make a statistical analysis of your pages. Some examples of what you can see include:
- how many people visit the site daily,
- real-time stats that tell you the number of visitors at any given time,
- from which other website they have come (by means of referring links),
- which search terms have been used (e.g. in Google or Bing),
- which content they view,
- from which country they come and much more information.
The search terms used by visitors in order to find your website are especially interesting. Based on this knowledge, you can try to employ interesting search terms to optimize your search engine performance and thus move further up in the Google search results.
A little side note: unfortunately it has become less likely to see the actual search term someone uses these days. If your visitors are logged into their Google account when searching, Analytics will not show the search term they have used. They will instead be shown as “not provided” in your stats. The reason is that when they are logged in, the search goes through an encrypted “https” connection that does not pass on the search term.
Why Analytics is better than most other internal analytical tools
If you only run a personal website or blog, it is usually irrelevant which web analysis you use. It is a different matter if you use the website commercially and therefore rely on visitors.
Even if you do not necessarily wish to conduct the analysis yourself, I would still strongly recommend integrating Analytics into your website, so that you can, where required, provide access to a search engine optimizer at a later stage. This ensures the future security of your web statistics.
Of particular interest are the search terms (keywords) that are used in order to find your website – and how relevant these keywords are to you. Relevance can be determined, for example, by means of the following data: length of stay on the website and number of pages accessed per visit. If the numbers are higher than average for certain keywords, this indicates relevance.
Furthermore, it is possible to define certain goals – a typical goal, for example, would be the submission of a contact request or an order. This can also be evaluated with Google Analytics (more information on setting it up here).
This is quite a contrast to the standard analytical tools usually offered by website builders. Not even Jimdo, for example, offers such an in-depth analysis, even though their data is collected with Google Analytics. Luckily, however, it is not difficult to integrate the “proper” Google Analytics.
A step-by-step guide to adding Google Analytics to your website
1. If you already have a Google account you can skip this step.
You first need a Google account to use Analytics. To get one, follow this link.
2. Now register at www.google.com/analytics, by clicking on Sign up now.
3. Then click on Sign up and complete the data.
4. You will be directed to the following page. Now copy the tracking code displayed to you by Google Analytics. Please note: this code must be on every single page you want to track. With website builders there is usually a dedicated spot for tracking code so that you only need to add it once for the entire website.
Optional: If you don not want Google to track your visitors’ IP-address you must add this extra line (highlighted in bold). This gives your visitors better privacy.
I hope you found this tutorial useful! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment!