Google Analytics Essentials. Step 1. A New Account

The mini-course

Google Analytics Essentials

This is the first post from a series dedicated to Google analytics.  It will begin with simple things like accounts, properties and views and develop in time.

I intend to show and explain you the core concepts and techniques that I learned in Digital Analytics Fundamentals course. I will apply the knowledge and gain experience in the process.

You will watch me doing and explaining things and in the end, you and I will be more knowledgeable and more skilled in data collection.

This is my first mini-course so, please, bare with me. The beginnings are humble and this first episode might not be a work of art. Let’s begin with Google analytics essentials.

A powerful system

Google analytics (G.A.) is a powerful system that helps you track and gather data related to your business. The system is very sophisticated, flexible and powerful and it can gather an incredible amount of data from a large variety of sources. Let’s see.

What can you track with G.A.?

With G.A. you can track things like:

  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Mobile applications
  • Cloud connecting point of sale systems
  • Customer Relationship Management systems
  • Video game consoles
  • Home appliances etc.

The last type of source makes me dream. It seems that it is really possible to track home appliances like, for example, your refrigerator. If you are mean (really mean), you can track your mother-in-law’s refrigerator to see what she eats and drinks. Well, it was just a joke.

How does G.A. track all these type of entities?

Websites

For tracking websites G.A. uses a piece of java script code. This piece of code, when you put it on every page of your website, collects information about how a visitor engages with your site.

Mobile apps

For mobile applications G.A. uses SDKs (mobile software development kits). The implementation of a SDK for your mobile’s app is a developer’s job. If you are a common, normal user and try to figure out yourself how to do it, your brain will expand until you won’t be able to get out of your room.

Blogs

For blogs G.A. uses a piece of Java script code (exactly as it does in the case of websites) but the difference is you don’t place this code on every page of your blog. That piece of code is placed in one particular place provided by your blog, your theme or the plugin you use.

Now, it is time to get to business.

Google analytics essentials: terminology

When you go to http://www.google.com/analytics and click Create an account, then type all the necessary data, you will finally get what is called a Google analytics account.

Now, inside that G. A. account we can find the following type of entities:

  • Accounts
  • Properties (inside accounts)
  • Views (inside properties).

In this article I will talk only about the first type of entity: Accounts.

Accounts in Google Analytics

What is an account?

An account is a place where you gather data related to your business. If your business consists in a site or a blog, then an account will be the place where all the data related to your site or blog will be gathered, grouped and displayed for you.

What is the structure of an account?

An account is made of two types of entities: properties and views.

Property

A property is a place inside the account where you track and collect data related to an asset of your business. In simple terms an asset of your business may be a site or a blog or a mobile application.

If your business has a site and a blog and a mobile application then you will have three different properties where data will be collected, stored and reported independently.

Each property is assigned a unique tracking code (a piece of Java script code) that tells G.A. what data to collect, store and report.

View

A view is just a way to organize data specified by the user. There are many more things that can be said about properties and views but this is outside the scope of this article. We will continue with accounts.

How to create an account inside G.A.

If you don’t have Google Analytics, you must go to http://www.google.com/analytics and create your main account. During the process they will ask you for a website and a new account will be automatically created.

The following video will show you how to create a new account (a second one) for another website or blog. Click on the video below to see the whole process:

 

 

Final remarks

Now you know how to create an account inside G.A. The next step will be to configure this account meaning to create properties for all your assets (websites, blogs, mobile apps etc.) and views that organize your data according to your needs and specifications.

It is very important to create the account and set up the properties and views correctly even from the beginning. If you do it incorrectly, you will get inaccurate data that will trigger wrong decisions and waste precious resources.

Google analytics seems complex and intimidating at a first glance. However, when you understand how it works you will get access to a treasure of data that will help you find your audience needs and wants, improve engagement and drive more traffic to your site.

What do you think of this first post of the Google Analytics Essentials mini-course? 

Post a comment below with your opinion and share the article on your favorite social networks

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22 Comments

  1. Nice detailed post Silviu. Picked up some pointers, I appreciated.

    My problem is they seem to keep changing things all the time. I just get it figured out and they change it.

    If you want idea’s for future posts on this subject, I would recommend how to use GA to track things like conversions. That would be very helpful for me and I am sure for many others. I think I get it, but I don’t think I am using it as effectively as I could. It’s been one of the more confusing aspects of GA for me.
    Ron Killian invites you to read… 3 Quick and Easy Pinterest Traffic HacksMy Profile

    • Hello Mr. Killian,

      Thank you for the comment and Welcome to my site. First of all let me congratulate you for your blog The PLR Store. I like very much the About page. You seem a serious and respectable business owner. I like this.

      One suggestion, if you don’t mind: change the username for your blog. “Admin” is not good. Not good at all. “Admin” is the first word that hackers use when they try to break a blog. You make their task easier with this username. Change it as fast as you can. If you don’t know how to change it, just reply to this comment and provide me an email address. I will accept the comment and delete the email address. Then I will send you an email on how to do it.

      About Google analytics
      Well, I know it won’t be easy to present and explain the concepts and techniques but I will do my best and I am confident I will succeed. This is a very good exercise for me, too. When you explain to people something, you understand it better. Thank you for the suggestion related to conversions. I will talk about the conversions later. I wanted to start with the beginning in order to help people follow my explanations regardless of their familiarity with Google Analytics. I will do it, step by step, from simple to complex and hopefully, with no gaps.

      Have a wonderful day

  2. Siraj Wahid Reply to Siraj

    Hey Silviu,

    I’m glad you learned something from the Digital Analytics Fundamental Course and now you are helping your readers to make the best use of this tool. No doubt Google Analytics is a free tool to track data with ease. It can help us to sort out the needs of our audience and of course it can determine from which sources we are receiving audience.

    I think that i need to learn a lot about Google Analytics. Keep sharing guides related to it. Thanks :)

    • Hey Siraj,

      Thank you for the comment and Welcome to my site. First of all, Congratulations for your blog (Blog Cooters). You have done a nice job there. You are a productive writer, the frequency of your posts is very good, the engagement factor is rising and your identity is clear. Well done!

      Now, if you are a web developer and an SEO specialist, you probably know more about data collecting and Google analytics than I do. So, I will visit your blog to find out more.

      As for me, I have just graduated my first Google course and now, I am trying to presents the concepts and techniques they taught me there. When you explain something to people, you understand it better. At the end of this mini-course I will know a lot more things and gain more experience. And my readers, too. Win-Win.

      Have a wonderful day

  3. Great post. I use google analytics but I did’d knew ghow to make full use of it.
    Hope your article will help.

    • Hi Kuldeep,

      Thank you for the comment and Welcome to my site. Well, this is just the first article in the mini-course. I apply the knowledge, gain experience and learn. Those who already know how to use Google Analytics will smile reading this article. Those who don’t know how to use G.A. will learn new things. Little by little the course will grow and the level of difficulty will raise.

      I want to make you aware of an important thing. This type of comment you made is exactly what spammers usually say. I normally do not approve such type of comment. This time I approved it because I know you are a real person, a blogger and I saw other comments you made on different blogs. Next time, please try to add something to the discussion. Ask a question or offer your expertise. Don’t just say: “Great post.” Whenever I see these words, my hair raise and curls. I hate this phrase. Please, be more attentive in the future.

      Have a wonderful day

  4. Thank you Silviu, I have used Google Analytics for a few years but this article will be really useful for me to share with contacts who are new to it.
    Sue Bride invites you to read… Google Helpouts Help Out MarketersMy Profile

  5. Hi Silviu,

    Yes you are right, GA can look a little intimidating and complex and is partly why I haven’t really gone into it much. However, I was thinking of doing so, so your post was really useful for me. I’m looking forward to the next one in your mini-course :)

    I like your jokes by the way, make the subject more light hearted!

    Best Regards,

    Steve

    • Hi Steve,

      Thank you for the comment and Welcome to my site. I have a lot of things to say. Let’s take it one by one.

      Congratulations for your blog “Steve’s Passive Wealth”. In just 10 weeks you wrote 37 articles (I hope I counted well). This means a frequency of 3.7 articles per week. Excellent! You are a prolific writer and the 3-4 articles per week is the best frequency, in my opinion. Not too high, hot too low. Great job!

      There are not so many comments but I found some interesting names there: John Lagoudakis, Adrienne Smith. They offered you their trust. You are a real person and you inspire trust. Awesome! This made me check your About Me page.

      Very nice About me page. I like it. It is honest and it shows you as a human person, warm and friendly.

      One problem with the comments, tough. I checked your most commented article. Man, it is full of spam. Those comments… I never approve such type of comments. There are many strange names you must check: Nuetrim, Lipo slender, Garcinia Cambodgia, Emerald Lux, Nicorette, Miracle Garcinia, Make money through blogging etc.
      I don’t know who these people are. Maybe they are not spammers. However, this is the exact type of comment that spammers use. A generic comment that fits to almost every niche. By the way, when you are in the online marketing market you should be very careful with comments that came from distant, unrelated niches (examples: Health and fitness, Food, Skin care, Pets etc.). I rarely approve those.
      You can do what you want, of course, but you risk to be flooded by dogs, cats, acne, obesity, parrots, monkeys, iguanas and many other things that will make your blog look like a Christmas tree.

      Now, a real comment adds value to the discussion. Those comments you got do not say anything.

      Please take into account the following. A real commentator:
      - has a gravatar (a picture of a person)
      - presents a name (real name)
      - has a site or blog.
      - makes specific comments related to the topic of the respective post
      - has an About me page.

      There are many other things that can be said but this is beyond the scope of this reply. Go and check those people. See who they are and next time do not approve comments without a gravatar. If you like to fight, you can try to educate your readers by creating a Comment rules page. You can explain the criteria that must be fulfilled by a comment to be approved by you.

      However, this way you will also educate your spammers, too. They will know what to do to trick you, to bypass your spam filters.

      What’s even worse is that, if you allow spammers on your blog, sooner or later your blog and your name will be associated with spammy sites. You will be blacklisted, your reputation will be affected and you sites will become more empty than Kalahari desert.

      Conclusion
      Nice blog, great person, a lot of experience to share. I like it. Just go and kill some spams and you will be fine.

      To your success

      • Hi Silviu,

        Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and to also write such a lengthy and helpful response, I appreciate that! :)

        Thank you very much for the heads up on the spam comments, I am still fairly new to blogging (although I am really enjoying it and am taking it seriously). I was unsure about a few of those comments and I started to see a few similar ones which I did not allow. I thought that as long as it linked to a website and not a 404 page it was ok..! I will go and kill the spam now, as you say ;)

        Yes I have been fortunate to start to get some really decent people commenting recently like Adrienne Smith and John Lagoudakis. Actually, John is my mentor and is teaching me so much. I spent quite a while looking for a mentor who is both knowledgeable and ethical as I am an ethical person also and wanted to do things the right way.

        I’m glad you liked my ‘About Me’ page :) Yes I was trying to come across as genuine and transparent as possible to show I am a real person.

        Re blogging frequency, yes I am trying to aim for 3-4 articles a week, although it can be difficult sometimes…

        I have bookmarked your blog as one of my favorites and will no doubt be a frequent visitor here ;)

        Best Regards to you and speak soon,

        Steve

        • Hi Steve,

          Thank you for the comment. I heard only good things about John Lagoudakis. It seems that he is a very experienced and powerful internet marketer. Could you send me the address of his main site or his membership site? I am interested to learn more about him.

          As for those spams… . Well, you need a combination of tools from Cpanel tools to plugins and a well designed blog commenting and anti-spam policy. Regarding blog comments I will write a new ebook that will soon be available for free on my blog. Anti-spam will come later.

          Have a wonderful day

  6. By the way, I noticed that on the Alexa ranking for your blog, you get people staying on your site for an impressively long time which is great! I was wondering if you have any idea as to what is keeping people engaged here for so long, besides the awesome content of course? ;)

    Many Thanks,

    Steve
    Steve West invites you to read… How To Become A Video Marketing SuperstarMy Profile

    • Hi Steve,

      Thank you for the comment. I have no idea what makes people spend more time on my blog, reading articles and making comments. The only positive thing I can say about me is that I try to be myself. I do my best to say what I know, how I feel, what I like, what I don’t like. In simple words I let my personality to express exactly as it is.

      This makes me get into trouble sometimes and occasionally some people come and say that I am abrasive in my comments and sometimes rude and over reacting and exaggerate. On this occasion I acknowledge I make mistakes. Sometimes I even apologize online in a comment (when my reaction was too tough). I am not afraid that what I write on the Net will someday return to haunt me. I admit, I am not perfect and I try to learn from my mistakes. It is not easy and it will take time but I am confident I will succeed.

      So, in my opinion, there is no need to do anything spectacular. Just be yourself on your blog, study, learn, apply the knowledge, share what your learn, share your path and be yourself. People will feel you are genuine and will return to your for more.

      Most of all: help other people. Make a rule. Every morning when you wake up think: “Today I am gone help at least one person. I won’t go to bed and I won’t be satisfied until at least one person got help from me.” Do this and you will not only be a superstar but also you will be happy for the rest of your life and beyond.

      Have a wonderful day

      • Hello again,

        Quote: “Today I am gone help at least one person. I won’t go to bed and I won’t be satisfied until at least one person got help from me.” – This is an awesome philosophy and is one I also try to follow :)

        Yes one thing I have noticed in common with the really good blogs out there is that the authors really seem genuine and allowing their personality to come through in their writing. This is something that I have recently noticed so am also going to try to come across like this more on my blog.

        The more I blog and read other peoples blogs (the good ones) the more there seems to be an art to it which is really cool!

        By the way, good for you for speaking your mind when blogging and commenting. I think it takes courage to do so. Also, a little controversy can also be a good thing for both parties as it can often create an interesting discussion and also give the other person the opportunity to show their character and their integrity by how they choose to reply to you.

        Best Regards,

        Steve

        • Hi Steve,

          Thank you for the comment. Yes, speaking your mind needs a little bit of courage. That’s because it is impossible to write something on the internet and not offend somebody. No matter how careful you are, there will always be a few people who will find your comments or your posts offensive and will react.

          On the other hand, if you are constantly sugar and candies, people will say you are lying and you are a hypocrite. So, the only thing you can do is to be yourself. It is easier, and it is better on a long term.

          Have a wonderful day

  7. Dawn Golden Reply to Dawn

    Thank you Silviu! This post is filed with great information and will be such a benefit to many. GA is new for me and you are breaking it down and making it easier to understand. I look forward to you continuing with the series!

    • Hi Dawn,

      Thank you for the comment. I am glad you liked my little introductory article. I am learning … . I apply the knowledge and gain experience. When I try to explain new things I understand it better. So, this mini-course is a win-win situation for my readers and for me.

      I will take it easy, step by step as things are not as simple as they seem.

      Have a wonderful day

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