What is Google Analytics? The complete guide to setting it up

John Morton

  | Published on  

May 26, 2021

Whether you're new to marketing or have been in the biz for a while, chances are you've heard of Google Analytics.

In fact, it doesn't take long until you run into an article telling you why you need Google Analytics on your site, and that you needed it yesterday. You might be thinking how exactly do I integrate Google Analytics into my website? With the plethora of content management systems out there, unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint to integrating Google Analytics into your website.

Luckily, many of the most common website platforms offer step-by-step guides on setting up Google Analytics on your website.

In this post, we will collect that information for you and present an introductory guide on integrating Google Analytics into your website across the different content management systems as well as provide helpful links where you can learn more about how Google Analytics functions across these content management platforms.

Before we do that, we will discuss what Google Analytics is and why it is a valuable tool for your business.

How to set up Google Analytics on Wordpress

How to set up Google Analytics on Squarespace

How to set up Google Analytics on HubSpot

How to set up Google Analytics on Wix

How to set up Google Analytics on Webflow

What is Google Analytics?

So what is Google Analytics anyway?

Google Analytics isn't that complicated at the surface. It gets a bit more complex once you do a few levels deeper but at a base level it's just a free analytical tool offered by Google that monitors your website traffic across different metrics.

Google Analytics provides many insights into the overall health of your website.

Think of your website as the central hub for your business. At some point along the buyer’s journey, your customers will inevitably check out your site and interact with your content. Google Analytics provides a holistic view of your marketing effectiveness and allows you to set goals for future campaigns.

Why you need Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an extremely robust and powerful tool. Did I mention it was free?

Over 56 percent of websites use Google Analytics so you are in good company. Google Analytics allows you to access a wealth of information including:

  • The amount of traffic your website gets overall
  • Where your traffic is coming from
  • Traffic to individual pages
  • Demographics of your visitors
  • How long visitors spend on your site

And a heck of a lot more.

Google Analytics isn't just a great platform for tracking overall site traffic though, it's a critical tool to use in measuring the effectiveness of your SEO and content strategy.

Why is Google Analytics Important for SEO and Marketing?

Google Analytics is so vital for SEO and marketing simply because of the depth of the data it can provide for you.

Google Analytics allows you to perform in depth source tracking, meaning you can view data based on where it came from. Want to see the top performing pages from organic search (ie Google)? Done. How about the top pages referred from Facebook? Easy.

Google also has a series of helpful filters and dashboards to get you started. Here's a quick breakdown.

Within the site content section of Google Analytics, you can discover essential pieces of information with subsections called All Pages, Landing Pages, Content Drilldown and Exit Pages.

In the All Pages sections, you can look at all pages viewed on your website within a specified date range. You can break the data down in this section by sorting it by pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on the page, entrances and bounce rate

The Content Drilldown section will show how well organized your site is, and how well people are interacting with your content when navigating through your site.

Landing Pages can track which pages on your website are most popular in terms of conversion rate, that is, the page customers land on before starting the process of leading to a conversion.

Finally, Exit Pages are the final pages viewed before a visitor navigates away from your site.

This information may seem overwhelming but hopefully you are starting to see the value of Google Analytics.

How to create a Google Analytics Account

First head to the Google Analytics information page here and click the big 'Start for Free' CTA.

This will prompt you to log into your Google Account.

You'll be prompted to give your account a name. I recommend going with the name of your business name.

Next you'll be asked to add a property, I recommend the same as above. Google Analytics refers to websites 'properties'. One account can have many properties, though for most cases you'll just need one property (unless you have multiple sub domains or sites for example).

Lastly you'll be asked to provide some info about your business to personalize your experience and that's it!

Well, it's not totally it. You've set up the account but you're not tracking anything yet. In order to do that you need to place the Google Analytics tracking tag on your website.

To find that, click the gear icon towards the bottom left which will take you to the admin panel. Then, in the middle column look for Tracking Info:

And select Tracking Code which will reveal your unique Google Analytics tracking code which, when placed on your website, will send data back to your Google Analytics account.

You could paste this in the <head> section of your website, but if you are not a developer or HTML expert don't worry - most website platforms provide an easy way to add your Google Analytics code which we'll detail next.

How to set up Google Analytics for WordPress

Integrating Google Analytics with Wordpress can be a bit tricky, fortunately there are plenty of plugins that make it simple.

The most popular option, by far, is the Monster Insights plugin which makes it easy to integrate your Google Analytics account and view the data in your Wordpress dashboard.

The alternative is to use the Headers and Footers plugin to paste the Google Analytics tracking code across your website.

These two are the most popular options, though there are plenty of plugins available for Wordpress that you can try as well. All that matters is that you find a solution you are comfortable implementing and one that works.

How to set up Google Analytics for SquareSpace

SquareSpace is far easier to integrate with Google Analytics as they do much of the 'heavy lifting' for you.

Its process consists of only three steps.

In order to connect Google Analytics to your website, click Settings and then click Advanced from SquareSpace’s home menu.

Click External API keys and in the Google Analytics Account Number box enter your Tracking ID.

Once you click save, the process is done. However, it may take up to 24 hours for your website to fully integrate Google Analytics. If you still have questions on SquareSpace, follow this link from their website.

How to set up Google Analytics for HubSpot

Integrating Google Analytics into Hubspot requires a few more steps compared to SquareSpace.

In your Hubspot account, click the settings icon in the navigation bar. On the left side of the page, navigate to Website then Pages.

Click the Choose a domain to edit dropdown menu and select the domain to add the code to. To add the code to all your HubSpot-hosted domains, select All domains.

Click the Integrations tab. In the Tracking integrations section, select the Integrate with Google Analytics checkbox.

In the text field, enter your Google Analytics tracking ID. Click save and you are done.

Follow this link for more information on Google Analytics and Hubspot.

How to set up Google Analytics for Wix

To add Google Analytics to Wix go to the Marketing Integrations tab.

Go to Google Analytics and then click Connect. At the top right click connect Google Analytics. Paste your Google Analytics ID and select the IP Anonymization to ensure that Google does not save your visitors’ IP addresses.

Click Save and you are ready to go. Follow this link for more information on Google Analytics and Wix.

How to set up Google Analytics for Webflow

To add Google Analytics to your Webflow website click Project settings then Integrations to get to the Integrations page. Under the Google Analytics section enter the tracking id provided in your property's tracking code settings in Google Analytics.

Click Save changes and publish and that's it!

Check out Webflow's complete instructions here for more information.

Going Forward

Now that you have this information, you are ready to start integrating Google Analytics into your website.

You're tracking some great info, now it's time to put that data to work. There are a ton of metrics and data points that Google Analytics can provide, but you'll find it gets overwhelming pretty quickly. Check out our post on the 4 essential Google Analytics dashboards you need to be tracking.

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