Set up Google Analytics

The Right Way to Set Up Google Analytics 2020

Your heart races as you sit there, staring at your computer with sweaty palms and bated breath. You are painfully aware that your website could benefit from the powerful, FREE, digital marketing tool that is Google Analytics, however, the dread of setting it up seems daunting and is going to once again keep you from taking your site to the next level.

Well, fear not! We here at 4B understand all the apprehensions that come with analytics induced anxiety which is why we have come up with an easy step-by-step guide to setting up Google Analytics like a pro! So take a deep breath, let us help you alleviate your worries, and soon you will be monitoring and analyzing your website’s traffic in no time!

Before we take a swan dive into the tutorial, we want to assure you that we aren’t handing out some untested directions that we regurgitated off of a Google search. This is the same process that we use for our clients here at 4B. It usually gets more complicated from here, but this is the foundation that we rely on. Feel a little better knowing that you are in some safe hands? Of course you do!

Now, first thing is first: you’re going to need a Google Account if you don’t have one already. So go ahead and get that account set up if you need to. We can wait.

Step 1: Setting up Google Analytics

Alright, now that you have a Google Account, you’re going to create a Google Analytics account by simply signing up on the Google Analytics page.

Once you’ve logged in, click Sign Up to set up your NEW ACCOUNT. Now, just follow these short, simple steps as directed:

  1. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRACK: Select “Website”
  2. ACCOUNT NAME: this will be your business name (i.e. 4B)
  3. WEBSITE NAME: this will be the name of your website (i.e. 4B.com)
  4. WEBSITE URL: this will be your actual website address (i.e. www.4B.com) BE SURE TO SELECT “HTTP://“ or HTTPS:// whatever is appropriate
  5. INDUSTRY CATEGORY: Select the MOST appropriate category for your business.
  6. REPORTING TIME ZONE: Select the Country and the Time Zone where your business is located

WOOHOO! You have now set up your Google Analytics account and have been gifted with a highly important TRACKING ID NUMBER (the set of numbers that look like UA-000000-1) and TRACKING CODE (the block of code under Website Tracking that begins with <script> and ends with </script>)

Universal Analytics ID and code

Step 2: Adding Google Analytics to Your Site

These codes are unique to your website and should be added to the heading of every page on your site. We recommend setting up Google Tag Manager in order to add these codes to your website, which you should go ahead and do right now.

Installing Google Tag Manager on Your Site

Adding Google Tag Manager to a Shopify Site

Adding Google Tag Manager to a Squarespace Site

Adding Google Tag Manager to WordPress

Adding Google Tag Manager to Wix

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Let’s shed off some more self-doubt, and move on to the next step!

Step 3: Verifying Google Analytics Setup

It is time to ensure that we have set up Google Analytics properly, and for what it’s worth, I am absolutely CERTAIN you set it up swimmingly!

Google Analytics Realtime Menu Option

  1. On your Google Analytics dashboard, click REAL-TIME on the left-hand menu.
  2. In the drop-down, click OVERVIEW
  3. Now, open up another tab (Command + T for you Mac users; Ctrl + T for PC users) enter the URL for your website and go to the homepage.
  4. Head back to your Google Analytics dashboard which will still be on the real-time page.
  5. Wait a minute…

If all went well, you should now see at least one visitor (this would be you) on your page.

SUCCESS! Look how far you’ve come! You’re on your way to running analytics like a pro! Take a victory lap, and when you get back, let’s set up some filters, and views and refine this mutha. Onward, my digital marketing friends!

Step 4: Setting Up Filters in Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics was a breeze, eh? Well, why stop there? There are some extra steps you should take to ensure your account is stellar and right now we are going to focus on creating “views” in Analytics so that you can get more accurate data.

Creating a New Filtered View

Setting up a filtered view in Analytics will ensure that you are getting that prized accurate data every good digital marketing pro strives for.

A filtered view will remove any internal traffic (you and your company’s employees) and any spam traffic (the fake visitors, bots and other BS traffic that will skew information and muck up your site’s performance…so it’s obvious now why we set one up, huh? Yup.)

Now, there should ALWAYS be at least two views: your filtered view (what we are setting up now) and a regular view (the initial view) that is pristine and untouched. Info that is going to be captured will start when the filter is activated and you won’t be able to retroactively add or remove the filters at a later time.

Now, let’s go ahead and get the filters fired up!

  1. Head over to the ADMIN section in you Google Analytics Account (this will be the little Wheel/Gear looking icon on the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu…this one)

2. Once you click the ADMIN icon, it will open up a page for you that looks like this.

  1. Click on the blue CREATE VIEW button over in the top right.
  2. Under REPORTING VIEW NAME, name your view (we usually will just name it “Filtered View” followed with the date that the view was set up.)
  3. Select your business’ Time Zone
  4. Click CREATE VIEW

Congrats! You’ve just set up a filtered view! Now let’s….

Filter Out That Internal Traffic

The easiest way to do this is as follows:

  1. From the ADMIN menu, under the CREATE VIEW column, click on FILTERS

2. Click +ADD FILTER

  1. Choose CREATE NEW FILTER
  2. Under FILTER NAME enter something like “Office IP ADDRESS” or “My Home IP ADDRESS” (whichever location of the IP address you will be excluding)
  3. Under FILTERED TYPE choose CUSTOM.
  4. Make sure the EXCLUDE button is selected.
  5. Under the FILTERED FIELD dropdown, select IP ADDRESS
  6. Enter your IP ADDRESS in the field (you can get this info by Googling “My IP Address”)
  7. Click SAVE

Show the Full URL in Google Analytics

Now, when you are looking at your reports for data, your freshly minted Google Analytics account won’t be showing the full URL by default. Having that full URL is will help you figure out if that site visit came in to yourdomain.com vs. blog.yourdomain.com .

In order to get around this default behavior, you will need to set a new filter. Adding this filter is rather painless, but you need to make sure you enter the information listed below correctly.

 

  1. From the ADMIN screen you are going to go to FILTERS then select +ADD FILTER (this part is becoming second nature to you now, huh?)
  2. Under FILTER NAME, put in something simple like “Full URL Filter”
  3. Under FILTER TYPE select CUSTOM then click ADVANCED
  4. For FIELD A, select HOSTNAME from the dropdown and put (.*) in the text field
  5. For FIELD B, select REQUEST URI from the dropdown and put (.*) in the text field
  6. For OUTPUT TO, select REQUEST URI from the dropdown and put $A1$B1 in the text field
  7. Your setup should look exactly like this now:

8. Click SAVE

Make Sure All of Your Page Visits are Consolidated

Of course, showing full URLs is a must in any report, but there is still a chance we could get some inaccurate data as some platforms will show that a URL will have a forward slash (one of these “/” guys) at the end of the URL, where others do not.

This confuses poor Google into thinking that there are TWO different URLs even when they are the same one. ARRGGHHH! So in order to remedy this, you will need to create a new filter (I know, I know…another filter) to add trailing slashes.

Once again, just follow these steps accordingly and everything will be coming up aces!

  1. From ADMIN to FILTERS, select +ADD FILTER
  2. Under FILTER NAME, title this one something along the lines of “Add Trailing Slash to All URLs”
  3. Select CUSTOM, then click ADVANCED
  4. For FIELD A select REQUEST URI from the dropdown menu
  5. In this text field you will need to enter the following regex text as-is: ^(/[a-z0–9/_\-]*[^/])$
  6. For FIELD B leave it empty and make no changes
  7. For OUTPUT TO select REQUEST URI from the dropdown menu, then enter $A1/ in the text field.
  8. It will look like this when entered correctly.

  1. Click SAVE

 

WHEW! And just like that, your filters have been set!

Step 5: Connect Google Search Console

We are almost there! The last step of this entire journey is to get your Google Search Console up so that you can link it to your Google Analytics view. If you’re feeling a little fatigued, take a stretch, think of calm blue oceans, look at a pic of a cute puppy, and once you’ve centered yourself, let’s go ahead and head on over to Google Webmasters Tool because we are going to…

Setup Google Webmaster Search Console

  1. Sign-in to Google Webmaster Tool with your Google username and password.
  2. Under ADD PROPERTY, select WEBSITE from the dropdown menu.
  3. Enter your FULL WEBSITE URL (and be sure to note whether or not your website uses www. or not, and enter it correctly in this field) then click ADD
  4. On the new page, click on the ALTERNATE METHODS tab
  5. Select the GOOGLE TAG MANAGER button then click VERIFY
  6. If all went well (it no doubt did) your site will be verified with Google Search Console.

Connect Google Search Console to Google Analytics

Follow these steps now, and you will be successfully connected:

 

  1. Let’s head back over to Google Analytics.
  2. Click the BAD REFERRERS AND KNOWN BOTS REMOVED view for your website. This is going to take you to your Analytics dashboard.
  3. On the left side, you will see ACQUISITIONS. Go ahead and click that.
  4. Click SEARCH CONSOLE under the ACQUISITIONS tab.
  5. Now click QUERIES under SEARCH CONSOLE
  6. Click SETUP SEARCH CONSOLE DATA SHARING in the next window.
  7. On the next page, it directs you to, scroll to the bottom and click ADJUST SEARCH CONSOLE
  8. Click EDIT under the SEARCH CONSOLE heading.
  9. Select your Search Console site and then click SAVE.

WE ARE ALL SET!
Wow! Look at you! You’ve come a long, long way from when we first started! Now we strongly recommend following up all of this by setting up a Google Search Console account so that you will get the maximum benefits, but other than that you have now successfully set up your Google Analytics and you are a Noob no more! Per Aspera ad Astra!


Reading a marketing book

Marketing is Actually a Subset of Digital Marketing...

…Or at least I am fairly certain it is. Look, I know what you’re thinking…in this day and age, it seems to be fashionable to make bold, outlandish statements that can be easily proven false. Attention is the new currency, and it can be a totally manipulative hack to grab your attention by simply making a BS claim just to earn a click. Well, let me assure you that my intentions in this article are just, and I ask that you give me a few minutes of your day so that I can make the case that marketing is, in FACT, a subset of digital marketing and not the reverse. Now is this a hill I want to die on? Eh, probably not, but at least hear me out.

Digital Distribution is Generally a Critical Component

Okay, let’s start with the basics. (Cue cheesy 70s public information film music) The dictionary defines marketing as, “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” Digital marketing is basically any form of marketing that exists online. You’re probably thinking, “well, doesn’t that make digital marketing a subset of marketing then?” You would think so. But let’s dig a little deeper and think about marketing prior to the digital age.

Ever since the first commercial aired for a watch in 1941, the ideal marketing mediums for decades had been tools like billboards, flyers, radio and television commercials, or ads in magazines and newspapers. These were some of the primary methods when I was a kid back in the totally radical 80s of the last century.  Who could forget such advertising gems like Wendy’s, “Where’s the Beef?” catchphrase or Domino’s Avoid the Noid campaign? And don’t even get me started on those Motown-singing California raisins! Pure genius! But while these 80s pop culture footnotes were everywhere and being repeated at work or on the playground ad nauseam, the companies churning them out had to be relatively in the dark when it came to understanding their return on investments. Within these distribution channels, segmentation of your audience was fairly sophisticated given how basic these mediums were. Want to engage unemployed people? Run ads for your trade college during Price Is Right. Want to sell Jane Fonda aerobics videos to moms? Run your message on a commercial break for ThirtySomething. Trying to sell Dad a new home computer? Get that ad in the evening edition of the paper. That’s not even considering segmenting by geographics.

There is a massive advantage digital mediums have over traditional mediums; digital can be inbound and targeted in places where everyone is already spending a disproportionate amount of time…online. We have a working generation that grew up without newspapers and the next generation joining the workforce grew up without over-the-air or cable television. These are your audiences and their analog experience is generally secondary to their digital experience.

Let’s take a look at Facebook as an example. Facebook isn’t simply a tool used explicitly to connect old casual acquaintances and weaken democracy (heavy sigh); it’s a platform where businesses hire marketers to target and tap into prospective consumers. Go ahead, log into your Facebook account right now, take a look at the first ten things that pop up into your feed and chances are, somewhere nestled in between the memes, the misinformation and the minutiae of your elementary chum’s everyday life, you will see targeted ads that are tailored specifically for you! Based on how you react to certain posts and behave on websites that you’ve visited, Facebook is able to pinpoint your interests accurately and deliver ads that you are most likely to engage with.

Digital Marketing Is More Than Just Message Distribution

With message distribution based on the audience’s affinities and behaviors rather than being based on the broad preferences of the platform’s users, businesses are able to affordably get the maximum return on their ad spend using reporting, tracking, monitoring, and analysis. In this case, Facebook’s AI is likely doing some of the marketing for the marketer, attempting to learn from the audience who’ve seen and been active with a brand’s ad(s) to extract better results from the campaigns.

Facebook is merely a single example and if you’re a marketer you probably already know that. Thanks to our modern abilities to house, manage, and leverage the insane amounts of information about any given American and their behaviors, marketers can use these digital platforms to communicate finely-tuned, personalized messages to our audiences where and when they are most likely to act on them.

It will probably escalate, too. What if every digital billboard changed on your way home, precisely when you approached it, to remind you that it’s been a couple of weeks since your last Arby’s Beef N Cheddar? And you’re going to get that ad because the marketer already knows when, where, and how many times you need to see that messaging before you take action.  That future seen in Minority Report is probably coming, or is it already here?

Now when you are propagating a message that isn’t easily measured or cannot be measured at all, is that really marketing? It kind of sounds just like advertising (and there IS a difference between marketing and advertising, but that is a subject for another time.) Just like traditional marketing, digital marketing is entirely data-driven; it’s all about measuring the research and optimization of a message. Chances are pretty likely that you’re not getting any solid marketing feedback without it being viewed as a digital measurement.

There’s a simple, sure-fire way of measuring whether or not your business’ advertising, PR and marketing programs are even effective and that measurement is basically this: are you making more money or not?

Of course, this bottom line is really only evident at the end of the journey and in order to arrive at this destination there is a long, hard road you must travel. Have you ever seen one of those “iceberg illusion” graphics that vacationing celebs love to post on their Instagram page? You know, the ones where there are two parts to the iceberg: what people see (the tip of the iceberg above the surface) and what people don’t see (the giant mass just below the surface.) Well, marketing is much like that iceberg: the small tip represents the profits, and that giant mass just below the surface represents all of the strategies that were put into it. A healthy bottom line is, of course, the raison d’être of any business, but in order to get there, you have to put in a lot of hard work, persistence, dedication and other iceberg illusion buzzwords.

If you’re sending postcards, are you making sure your site is getting visits from the zip codes you sent the postcards to? Are you tracking calls from a unique number that exists only on that postcard? Are your branded searches increasing on Google and Bing? Is your click-thru rate increasing on non-branded searches?  Let’s face it, it is next to impossible to prove the value of your hard efforts when you are still in the dark ages of marketing. The emergence of digital measurement has caused archaic methods of untraceable marketing to go the way of the town crier in a tricorn hat. If you aren’t tracking at least some of these digital metrics, it’s likely you aren’t measuring the important key progress indicators, and, in fact, aren’t actually doing marketing. You’re probably doing advertising on par with sign twirling and crossing your fingers, hoping that it’s effective. Hope is a fantastic campaign slogan for effective leaders, but it is NOT a marketing plan.

Aren’t The Research Tools of Yesteryear Still Marketing?

Cocoaine vintage adOf course they are, but many of those libraries and focus groups and much of that front end research are experienced online. Unless, Science forbid, the world has been reduced to a post-apocalyptic society where the remnants of humanity live in a dystopian wasteland without internet and computers, marketing technology will continue to advance and evolve with great leaps and bounds. We’ve come a long way from the days of full-page ads for Burnett’s Cocoaine hair tonic in The Saturday Evening Post, or biplanes scrawling out a message in the sky to buy Lucky Strike cigarettes. Nowadays, in the post-digital revolution world where just about everything is done online, there is virtually no separation between marketing and digital marketing.

Your audience data collection, research, distribution, and measurement are probably all taking place in a digital space because they simply must. Marketing IS digital marketing.

Well, there you have it. I think I have done an adequate job making the case that marketing is a subset of digital marketing, even if it was just by stating that marketing has come out of the dark ages and into the age of enlightenment. Now I’m curious…what are your opinions on the matter? Agree? Disagree? 


Searching the internet

How Can I Tell Which Search Engines My Visitors Used?

  1. Login to Google Analytics
  2. Once logged in, select Acquisition from the left sidebar.
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  3. In the expanded menu, select All Traffic.
     photo 03 Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 10.39.13 AM_zpsdidygggb.png
  4. Under the expanded All Traffic menu, select Channels
     photo 04 Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 10.39.28 AM_zpsm7i19p7q.png
  5. Now, you'll see some new data in the right pane of your screen, showing you your site's traffic channels. Click on the channel labeled Organic Search.
     photo 05 Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 10.39.59 AM_zpsb3iyfklf.png
  6. On the resulting screen, click Source near the top of the page.
     photo 06Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 10.40.23 AM_zpsmfkjqdje.png
  7. Finally, the search engines that people used to find your site will show in the right pane. If you look just to the right of the search engine name, you'll see how many visits you received from that search engine, along with the percentage of your search engine traffic that each source represents.
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