Google Analytics Setup Checklist

There are tons of Google Analytics setup guides out there. So, I wont re-hash whats already available elsewhere. I would, however, like to share a quick setup checklist I use when setting up a new Google Analytics account. This checklist helps me ensure that I have installed analytics properly, that I am measuring all the key metrics and performance indicators, and that I generally haven’t forgotten anything that I’ll need once the marketing campaign is underway.

Install Google Analytics

The first step on the list is, of course, install Google Analytics. You’ll need to first create an account and place the analytics JavaScript code on all your pages. Google walks you through this process pretty well and there’s tons of guides on it if you need help.

Double Check Your Installation

Google will check to see if you placed the JavaScript code on your homepage properly. But, it doesn’t check all of your pages – we need to make sure that we have a proper install on all the pages. I recommend using a third party scanner that crawls your site and checks ALL the pages for a proper installation. You can use sitescanga.com to achieve. Once you have confirmed proper installation and/or corrected any errors, you can move on to the next item on the list.

Setup Goals

Although Google Analytics does a great job of gathering a ton of information simply by adding some code to each page, it doesn’t know what pages and actions are most important to your campaign. Specific goals will need to be manually setup to ensure you are measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

  • Conversion Goals – Typically, goals will be completed forms and completed checkout processes. Both of these types of goals should have an ‘end’ page in the form of a ‘thank you’ page or a ‘receipt’ page. Setup goals for these pages as described in this guide. You may, however, have other types of goals for your site.
  • Action Goals – Some of the goals for your site might be when someone downloads a PDF whitepaper or when they click on an email link. Both of these scenarios are desirable actions that you’ll want to measure. However, these types of goals don’t have an ‘end page’. So, you’ll need to create a virtual pageview and use the virtual pageview as the goal. To setup a virtual pageview use this guide.

Setup Site Search Tracking

This feature seems to be often overlooked when setting up an analytics account. Which is regrettable because this can be a very insightful measurement. By tracking the searches that your customers perform on your site, you can track customer interest in specific products and categories and find out if they are able to locate what they are seeking. Follow this guide for setting up site search on your site.

Setup Ecommerce Tracking

If you are running an ecommerce site, you shouldn’t need a checklist to remember this one. Google Analytics will measure the item, price, quantity, etc of every transaction on your site – this information is crucial to measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Here is Google’s guide for setting up ecommerce tracking.

Double Check Your Goals and Tracking

You should test out all the goals and special tracking you have installed both initially and periodically to make certain that everything is working properly.

Once you have completed these items, you should have a comprehensive list of metrics to measure your marketing campaigns. If you have any questions or think something should be added to the list, please write it in the comments below.

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