How To Set Up Google Analytics On Your Website

Google Analytics

Do you have a Hit Counter on your website?

If you know what that is, then you are dating yourself. And if you actually do have one, then your website is from a different era.

Briefly, Hit Counters were used to show you (and your visitors) how many ‘hits’ your website got. 

Hit Counter

They did not really provide much useful information, but they could look impressive if they had a high number (or equally unimpressive if they had a low number).

Fortunately these days you can get a wealth of information about what people are actually doing when they visit your website. And you can get this information with Google Analytics.

And best of all its free and you can incorporate it into just about any website.

What Is Google Analytics?

Simply put, Google Analytics (GA) is a web based tool that gathers, then slices and dices information from your website to tell you who is visiting, where they are coming from, and what they do when they get there, as well as a whole lot more.

GA was launched in 2005 and since then it has become the most used web analytics tool on the Internet, with some reports suggesting that almost 50% off all website are now using it to

And because it is provided by Google, it is integrated with other major Google tools such as Google Adwords and Google Webmaster Tools.

Some information Google Analytics provides you about your website:

  • The number of unique visitors to your site
  • Where visitors go when they visit your website
  • How long they stay on your website
  • Where your visitors are coming from

This information can help you answer a lot of questions, such as:

  • Are you getting more or fewer visitors over time?
  • Are visitors doing what you expect?
  • Are there problems with your website you can fix or improve upon?

Even more:

If you sell stuff from your website you can integrate ecommerce tracking into GA.

You can also use Real-time tracking so you can see who is on your website right now.

You can run Content Experiments to run A/B tests of your web pages to see which variants perform better.

All of this information and more you can use immediately to take meaningful action on. 

Creating a Google Analytics Account

Setting up a Google Analytics Account is pretty straight forward. If you already have a Google account of any kind, such as Gmail, YouTube, Google+ etc., you are already half-way there.

Head over to www.google.com/analytics/standard and follow the steps to create a Google Analytics Account.

Creating your GA account will lead you through the process of linking your first website to your account.

GA refers to your website as a Property. You can have different Accounts, and different Properties associated with different Accounts. For the sake of simplicity here, create a single account and add a single Property (your website).

Follow the online instructions. When you go to the Admin page, you should see your Account, your Property, and your View.

Incorporating Google Analytics into your Website

Once you have set up your account, you need to link your website to it. To do that GA gives you a small piece of code to place into your web pages.

During the Property set-up process, GA should prompt you to copy the code and place it into your web pages. GA will then check your website and immediately report back to you if it is working correctly.

Take this code and place it into the Head section of every page you want to track (remember, this is only for the Property you told GA you want to track, so if you want to track www.mywonderfulbigwebsite.com, then the code will only work for pages on that website.

To place the code into SiteSpinner, go to the Page Editor. Under the Header tab, paste the code into the Custom Header Field, click All Pages, and click OK.

SiteSpinner Page Editor

Then you need to publish those pages to your webhost, and you are done.

If you need to find the code again, go to your GA Admin page. Under the Property tab, click the Tracking Info, and then click the Tracking Code. This will give you code for you to place into all the web pages you want to track.

Google Analytics

Once you have added the code to your website, and you have confirmed that it is working correctly, you will need to give it a day to report back with any useful information.

Basic Google Analytics Actionable Information

So now that you have Google Analytics up and running on your website, what have you got? Well, what you have is a lot of useful information – if you know how to make sense of it. It is easy to look at all the numbers and feel overwhelmed.

At the end of the day, information that is Actionable is all you should care about.

  • How many people are visiting my website – that is not ‘hits’, but Unique Visitors? And is the trend going up, or down?
  • Where is my traffic coming from? If Bob’s Deli is sending you tons of traffic, then he should be your new best friend. Find out why, and see if you can replicate this at Frank’s Deli.
  • Where are people going – are they going to where you want them to go? If not, why?
  • Test – Content Experiments are so much fun, and they are incredibly actionable. If you find that people are leaving a certain page, create an experiment and see if you can change that. Change the position of a button and do and A/B test. You might increase your results.

There is so much information you can get from GA that Google has courses on it, careers are made from it, and whole industries are built around it.

In another post I will discuss some of the basic, actionable items to look for.

Conclusion

It is important to know who is visiting your website, and what they are doing. Without this information you are guessing. Google Analytics provides a wealth of information, it is relatively easy to set up on any website, and it is free.

Having said that, don’t get obsessed with all the data. It is easy to check in too often and get overwhelmed by the numbers, or to follow information that really does not help you in any way.

Remember, the data that Google Analytics gives you is not for ‘entertainment purposes only’; the information is for you to take Action on.

What about you?

Do you make use of analytics from  your website?  What about you? Do you make use of analytics from  your website? Share our answer on or .

 

What Is Stopping You?

Dreams

Perhaps you want to head off to explore a distant land, or start that online business you have been thinking about.

What is stopping you from doing all the things you want to do?

Financial constraints? Time Constraints? Or worse yet, have you just given up on doing the things you want?

Perhaps you are waiting for the right day?

Or perhaps you just don’t believe you are capable of doing the things you want to, because, well, you are just not capable of doing them.

Carol S. Dweck in her book Mindset says that we are all capable of doing anything we put our minds to. First, you just have to really want it. Second, you have to put the time and energy into it. But most importantly, you have to believe that you are capable of achieving it.

Read that again – we are all capable of doing anything.

You might be thinking that ‘yes, we can all do anything – within reason’.

Dweck did studies on people you would think might be disadvantaged. Her findings showed that the things we tend to believe lead to people being disadvantaged – less social support as children, lower social status, lack of education or money; all have very little to do with what we are capable of achieving.

So, if this is true, then what stops some people from achieving to their potential? Why do some people believe they are capable of doing things whereas others don’t.

Are you Fixed, or Open?

Dweck found, not surprisingly, that those with who believed it ‘was possible’ for them to achieve something, or had an Open Mindset, could achieve. Those that believed they could not achieve things, or had a Fixed Mindset, usually did not achieve their potential.

A few years back I bought a boat and a book on sailing and I sailed down the west coast of North America. I really knew nothing about ocean sailing.

The kids and I would stop in different ports as we made our way from Vancouver to San Francisco, to San Diego and eventually down into Mexico.

Wherever we went we came across other sailors who had started the same trip we were on, but had stopped. The longer they would be in one spot, the less likely they would leave the next day.

If you go to just about any marina down the coast you will hear the story of the guy (woman, couple, family) that had sailed in 20 years ago and had not left. They will tell you that they just loved it there and did not want to leave. However, in most cases they had planned on leaving, but eventually, one of the killers off all enterprises set in – Inertia

Inertia is the opposite of Action. It is an incredibly powerful force. It is energy manifested as resistance.

It creeps into our lives insidiously and manifests itself in excuses such as ‘I can’t go on that trip right now because (one of my favorite lines) ‘I have so much going on right now…’.

Inertia is: ‘I have to study this subject more'; ‘I have to learn more about it’. ‘I don’t know that well enough’.

I can’t start that new company because I don’t know enough yet. I can’t write that book because I don’t know where to start. I can’t do this because I am too young, I can’t do that because I am too old.

I am not competent enough. ‘I am not capable’.

Kinetic energy is Energy In Motion. If you throw a baseball in outer space it will keep going at the same speed forever. Here on earth we have physical and psychological resistance.

How do you beat Inertia? Embrace Kinetic energy. Get in motion, and once you are in motion, you have a tendency to keep going.

When I was sailing down the coast, just about every port we came to we had to stop to get some work done on the boat. The sail was ripped or the toilet was plugged, you name it. Days would always slip into weeks. The best laid plans to pull into a marina for a couple of days never materialized.

But then I would always meet the resident contingent who had stopped ‘for a couple of days’ like we had, but had never left. It would scare the bejesus out of me. So, whether we were really ready or not, we would leave.

Inertia can kill any dream.

The same is true for the online entrepreneur. It is easy to become overwhelmed. Should I worry about what my website looks like, SEO, Google Adwords? Indecision breeds inertia.

I have found the best way to beat inertia is action. Not always bold, dramatic moves, but little steps. Inertia is a force and the harder you push, the more resistance it puts up. But making small, calculated progress seems to pass under inertia’s radar.

Need to sail down the coast to Mexico? Sail to the next port. It is close, and you have not committed yourself to anything major. Then do the next port. Pretty soon you have passed Mexico and you are on your way to South America.

Do you want to become and online entrepreneur? Start with a simple bio and post it on your web page. Then sit back and feel good about that. But don’t leave it for too long. Put up a contact page on your website. And so on.

Make a list and tackle one small task, every day if you can. Pretty soon Inertia won’t even realize what you have achieved.

Now it is your turn. Do you struggle with Inertia? I would love to hear from you. Share on or

 

Images: Popkorn

Do You Have Team Spirit?

Team Player

I was asked if I would like to help with the company’s monthly social. I was not sure what to say.

A colleague of mine, along with a woman from another department, were eagerly waiting for my response by my cubicle.

I had a 9 month old child at home and my wife was desperate for any break she could get. Staying late at work was, well, work.

I asked to be excused due to my parental obligations. The reality was though that even if I had not had a baby at home, hanging out late at the office was not how I wanted to spend my social time- at least not at this office.

You can’t mandate morale from the top down.

The company I was working for was developing database software. They had been in business for less than a year when they had managed to raise a few million dollars which they used to quickly hire 60 or so people.

I was brought in to build and manage the website. This was the late 90’s, and they did not know much about the Internet, but they thought they needed to have someone around who did.

They gave me a cubicle with the software programmers and I was told to build a website and do whatever webmasters do. I was pretty much left alone.

I had been there couple of months when I was approached about the monthly Social. I felt pressured, but I gave my apologies and the company morale duo wandered off to seek out the next potential candidate.

Later in the day I bumped into the colleague who had approached me earlier. I asked him why he was doing it. That is, why he was so eager to get people to stay after work. I thought it was an honest question. However, he seemed quite taken aback that I should need to ask.

“Don’t you want to have a positive work environment?” he asked. “Yes, I do!” I said quickly.

He looked at me out of the corner of his eye. I was a non-believer in his mind now. I realized I should not have asked.

A couple of days later I was in the elevator at the end of the day. The President of the company got in and we rode to the ground floor in silence.

I had seen him around, but never been introduced. He did not acknowledge me and his body language made it clear he did not want to be approached.

I realized that in the time I had been with the company that he had never been to the part of the office I worked in.

Don’t ask people to do something you are not interested in or willing to do yourself.

Did the president care if I was at the company social? Somehow I don’t think so. In fact, although I did not go, neither did he.

I was not asked to help with anymore of the monthly socials.  Six months or so later the same colleague who had asked me to help with the social appeared at my desk in the morning along with someone I recognized form HR. They asked me to come with them.

I was led into a room where I, along with a dozen other people, were told we were laid-off as of that moment. He then escorted me back to my desk to collect my belongings and I was walked out the door.

I heard that one week later that same colleague was walked out the door by someone else in similar fashion as I had been.

Companies come and go. Sometimes things work out, sometimes, even with the best laid plans, they don’t. At the core of all companies though are people.

Why did I not want to attend the monthly social? Was I not a team player? 

You cannot have a president sitting in a tower with a scowl on his face and expect HR to whip up team spirit.

We are all human, cut from the same cloth, and if the leadership does not care, then you can’t expect the people who are working for you to care either.

In the end I did not care when I was walked out the door, other than I had to now find another job. In fact, it felt incredibly liberating to know I did not have to walk back into that door again.

 

Now it is your turn. Do you care for what you do? I would love to hear from you.

Share on or

 

Images: Hososhima

 

How To Add Social Media Buttons To Your Website

Social MediaSocial Media has become part of the fabric of the Internet. If you have a website it is a good idea to have accounts set up with at least the major Social Media networks.

By adding Social Sharing buttons and links to your site, you gain the ability to tap into your visitors’ networks and extend the reach of your audience.

Creating Social Media Accounts

There are many, many Social Media sites. For the sake of this WebTip, we will focus on the major ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ The first step is to identify which Social Media websites are the best match for your website.

As an example, Facebook is great for groups, LinkedIn is good place to be for contractors, Twitter is good for writers, and Google+ is a good high-tech company site. This is just very cursory list. It is best to at least create an account with each – and that means simply visiting each of the Social sites and signing up so that you can at least claim you space.

Adding Social Buttons and Links to your Website

Social Media networks allow you to create buttons that you can place on your web pages that will interact with their websites in different ways. Some will enable visitors to Like a page on. Others allow visitors to your site to recommend content.

All of the Social Media websites have a way for you to create a small code snippet that you then simply copy and place into your webpage. Just about all Web Page Creation Tools enable you to do this.

The Difference between Follow/Like Buttons and Share Buttons

Social Media Follow buttons and Social Media Sharing buttons are used for different purposes. Social Media Follow Buttons These buttons promote your website’s presence on various social networks and help you generate followers for those accounts. By placing these buttons on your website, you can help to create visibility for your social media accounts and promote your site.

You can put these buttons anywhere you want on your website. The Twitter Follow Button, Facebook Follow Button, and LinkedIn Company Follow Plug-in (and more) all serve as social media follow buttons. Social Media Share Links/Buttons These links and buttons enable visitor to you your website to share your content with their social media connections and networks. Adding these buttons to your content allows you to promote your content to new audiences and generate new visitors back to your website.

You should add social media sharing links/buttons to every piece of content you create, including web pages, blog posts, emails, etc. The Tweet/Share Button, Facebook Like and Share Buttons, and LinkedIn Share Button (and more) all serve as social media sharing buttons. Let’s look at the most important social media buttons available for each of the top social networks.

 

Facebook

 

1) Facebook Follow Button

What it is Used For

The Facebook Follow Button enables you to increase your Facebook reach by making it easy for your website visitors to Like your website’s Facebook Page. The Follow Button displays your page’s number of Likes as well as faces of people who already like your page.  

How to Create It

Visit https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/follow-button to create and customize your button. Then generate the code and place it on your website where you want your Follow Button to appear.

See it in action. Follow SiteSpinner on Facebook:

 

 

 

2) Facebook Page Plugin

What it is Used For

The Facebook Page Plugin you to promote your website’s Facebook Page on your website/blog, highlight other users who have already Liked your page, display your follower count, and feature recent posts on your page.

The box also allows visitors to like your Facebook Page with just one click enabling you to promote your Facebook presence and increase your page’s Likes.  

How to Create It

To generate a Facebook Page Plugin for your website, visit https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/page-plugin. Generate the code and place it on your website where you want it to appear.

See It in Action:

 

 

3) Facebook Like Button

What it is Used For

Facebook’s Like Button enables users to give your content a plug. By clicking the Like Button, a story also appears on the user’s Facebook Timeline and in their friends’ News Feeds with a link back to your content.

Use this button to make it easy for visitors to endorse your content and share it with their Facebook connections, but keep in mind this button doesn’t allow them to add personalized messages to links before sharing them. To allow users to add a personalized message, use the Facebook Share Button (see below).

How to Create It

Visit https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/like-button to create your Like Button and get the code to place on your website.

See it in action. Click to like this blog post!

 

 

 

4) Facebook Share Button

What it is Used For

Facebook’s Share Button acts similarly to the Like Button (sharing your content on visitors’ Facebook Timeline and in friends’ News Feeds), but it also gives users the option of adding a comment or message to the link when sharing it.  

How to Create It

To generate a Facebook Share Button, visit https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plug-ins/share-button and specify the URL you want people to share as well as the width. Then generate the code, and paste it into your site where you want the button to appear.

See it in action. Click to share this blog post!

 

 

More Facebook Buttons: These are the most commonly used social media buttons for your website. To find all of Facebook’s official Social Media Plug-ins, visit https://developers.facebook.com/products/social-plugins/overview/  

 

Twitter

 

1) Twitter Follow Button

What it is Used For

The Twitter Follow Button is used for generating new followers for your Twitter account. Users can start following you on Twitter with one click.  

How to Create It

Visit https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons#follow to customize your button. Then copy and paste the code it generates where you want the button to appear on your website.  

See it in action. Follow SiteSpinner on Twitter:

 

   

 

2) Tweet/Share Button

What it is Used For?

Use this button to enable site visitors to share content (e.g. blog posts, landing pages, other web pages, etc.) with their networks on Twitter, extending the reach of your content to their connections.

How to Create It?

Visit https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons#tweet to customize the look of the button, the text and URL within the tweet it generates, its language Once customized, grab the code for your new button and place it on your site where you want the button to appear.

See it in action. Tweet this blog post:

 

 

 

Google+

  

1) Google+ Follow Button

What it is Used For?

This is Google+’s version of the Follow button, enabling users to add your website or profile to one of their Google+ Circles. Displaying this button on your website is a great way to promote your its presence on Google+ and generate more followers for your page and increase the reach of the content you promote there.

How to Create It?

To create a Google+ Follow Button, visit https://developers.google.com/+/web/follow/ then copy/paste the code onto your website where you’d like the button to appear.

See it in action. Add SiteSpinner to your Google+ Circles:

 

 

 

2) +1 Button

What it is Used For

Adding the +1 Button to your website and content provides an easy way for visitors to +1 (or vote for/endorse) your content and share it with their connections on Google+, expanding the reach of your content and increasing traffic back to your business’ website.  

How to Implement It

Visit http://www.google.com/webmasters/+1/button/ to customize your +1 button and generate the code.

See it in action. +1 this blog post:

 

 

LinkedIn

 

1) LinkedIn Follow Company Plug-in

What it is Used For?

The LinkedIn Follow Company Plug-in, similar to Twitter and Facebook’s follow buttons, makes it easy for visitors to follow your Company Page on LinkedIn. This enables you to increase your website’s reach on LinkedIn.  

How to Create It?

Visit https://developer.linkedin.com/plug-ins/follow-company to configure your button. There are a few different styles to choose from, with options to show your follower count above, to the right, or not at all. Then grab the code for your site.

See it in action. Follow SiteSpinner on LinkedIn:  

 

2) LinkedIn Share Button

What it is Used For?

Adding LinkedIn’s Share Button enables visitors to share your content with their connections on LinkedIn, whether it is a blog post, a landing page, or another web page. Like Facebook’s Like and Share Buttons and Twitter’s Tweet Button, incorporating this button can help extend the reach of your content to the LinkedIn audience and drive traffic back to your site.  

How to Create It?

To create and install this button, visit https://developer.linkedin.com/plug-ins/share-button. Then generate your code and add it to your site where you want the button to display.

See it in action. Share this blog post on LinkedIn:

More LinkedIn Buttons: You can find all of LinkedIn’s official social media buttons and plug-ins here: http://developer.linkedin.com/plug-ins

Conclusion

Social Media has become integral to the Web over the last decade. The great thing about Social Media for anyone who has a website is that it gives you access to a targeted, willing audience.  Tap into Social Media and you will be able to drive traffic to your website.

 

Which Social Media networks are you part of? Share your answers on or .