Beginner’s Tactical Guide to Google Analytics: Success Through Data!

If you're just starting with your online business, you've probably heard about tracking your website's performance. Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most popular tools to help you with this.


If you’re just starting with your online business, you’ve probably heard about tracking your website’s performance. Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most popular tools to help you with this. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of setting up GA and using it to monitor your online business’s performance. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

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Why Use Google Analytics for Your Online Business?

Google Analytics is essential for any website owner looking to gain insights into their site’s performance. Here are some key reasons why you should use GA for your online business:

Understanding Your Audience

Understanding who your visitors are and how they interact with your site is critical for optimizing your online presence. Google Analytics provides demographic information and data on the devices and browsers your visitors use. This information can help you tailor your content and design to suit your audience better.

Tracking User Engagement

Google Analytics tracks how visitors engage with your site, including metrics such as time spent on pages, bounce rates, and click-through rates. This data can help you identify areas that need improvement, ensuring that your website remains engaging and effective.

Monitoring E-commerce Performance

If your online business includes e-commerce, analytics can help you track sales data, conversion rates, and more. This information is crucial for making informed decisions about your online store and marketing efforts.

Setting Up a Google Analytics Account

To get started with Google Analytics, you’ll first need to set up an account. Follow these steps:

Signing Up for a Google Account

If you don’t already have a Google account, sign up for one at

Creating a New Property

Once you have a Google account, head to and sign in. Click “Admin” in the bottom-left corner, then click “Create Property” in the middle column. Fill in the required information about your website and click “Create.”

Configuring Your Account Settings

After creating a new property, you’ll be prompted to configure your account settings. Customize your data sharing and other preferences, then click “Save.”

Adding Google Analytics to Your WordPress Website

Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll need to add the tracking code to your WordPress website. There are two common methods for doing this:

Using Site Kit by Google

Site Kit is a WordPress plugin developed by Google that makes it easy to integrate GA and other Google services into your website. To install Site Kit, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New.”
  3. Search for “Site Kit by Google” and click “Install Now.”
  4. After installation, click “Activate.”
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect your Google Analytics account.

Use an Alternate Plugin to Add Google Analytics Tracking Code

Instead of manually inserting the tracking code into your theme’s header, which can pose risks such as breaking your site or losing the code during a theme update, you can use a plugin to safely and easily add Google Analytics to your WordPress website. Here’s how:

  1. In your Google Analytics account, navigate to “Admin” > “Tracking Info” > “Tracking Code.”
  2. Copy the tracking code provided.
  3. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  4. Navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New.”
  5. Search for a reliable Google Analytics plugin, such as “MonsterInsights” or “Analytify”
  6. Install and activate the chosen plugin.
  7. Follow the plugin’s setup instructions, which usually involve connecting your Google Analytics account and pasting the tracking code.

Using a plugin to add the Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress site minimizes the risks associated with manual code edits and maintains the integrity of your theme files. Additionally, plugins often provide extra features and functionality, making managing and analyzing your site’s performance data even easier.

Navigating Google Analytics Interface

Now that your analytics account is set up on your website, it’s time to dive deeper into its interface. Here are the main sections you’ll encounter, with an expanded look at their features and capabilities:


The Home section is your starting point, offering a comprehensive overview of your site’s performance. Here, you’ll find real-time data, user demographics, traffic sources, and customizable widgets to display the information most relevant to you.


In the Customization section, you can create tailored reports and dashboards to suit your unique needs. This allows you to focus on the data that matters most to your online business, ensuring you have quick access to the insights necessary for making data-driven decisions.


The Real-time section gives you a live snapshot of your website’s activity, including the number of active users, their geographical locations, and the pages they’re currently viewing. This data can be helpful in understanding the immediate impact of marketing campaigns or content updates.


The Audience section delves into detailed information about your visitors. This includes demographics (age, gender), interests (affinity categories, in-market segments), and the devices they use to access your site (mobile, desktop, tablet). By understanding these characteristics, you can better tailor your content and marketing efforts to your target audience.


The Acquisition section highlights where your traffic originates, such as search engines, social media platforms, or referral sites. You can also view data about the performance of your paid advertising campaigns, email marketing efforts, and organic search traffic. With this information, you can optimize your marketing channels for maximum ROI.


In the Behavior section, you’ll gain insights into how users interact with your site. This includes metrics like page views, bounce rates, and event tracking. Additionally, you can analyze your site’s content (top pages, landing pages, exit pages) and site speed to identify areas for improvement and optimization.


The Conversions section is where you set up and monitor goals, track e-commerce performance, and analyze conversion paths. By understanding which actions lead to conversions, you can refine your marketing strategies and user experience to drive higher conversion rates.

Understanding Key Metrics

As you explore Google Analytics, you’ll encounter several key metrics that provide valuable insights into your website’s performance. Here’s a more detailed look at a few essential metrics:


A session represents a user’s visit to your site and includes all their interactions with your site during that visit. Sessions are crucial for understanding user behavior patterns and can help you identify potential areas for improvement.


The Users metric indicates the number of unique visitors to your site during a specific time period. Monitoring the growth of your user base can help you gauge the success of your marketing and content strategies.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate measures the percentage of single-page sessions, where a user leaves your site without further interaction. A high bounce rate may indicate your site’s content, design, or user experience issues. By analyzing bounce rates, you can identify areas for improvement and better engage your visitors.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form. Tracking conversion rates is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of your website and marketing efforts. A higher conversion rate often indicates a well-optimized user experience and successful marketing strategies.

Creating Custom Dashboards and Reports

Custom dashboards and reports in Google Analytics enable you to focus on the most relevant data to your online business. You can create a dashboard to display specific widgets, such as goal completions, traffic sources, or average session duration. Here’s how to create a custom dashboard:

  1. In your Google Analytics account, click on “Customization” in the left-hand menu.
  2. Select “Dashboards,” then click on the “+ New Dashboard” button.
  3. Choose either a blank canvas or a starter dashboard, and give your dashboard a name.
  4. Add widgets by clicking the “+ Add Widget” button. You can choose from various chart types and configure the data you want to display.
  5. Arrange the widgets on your dashboard by dragging and dropping them into the desired positions.

Custom reports allow you to create tailored reports that display the needed data in a specific format. To create a custom report, follow these steps:

  1. Click on “Customization” in the left-hand menu, then select “Custom Reports.”
  2. Click the “+ New Custom Report” button.
  3. Name your report and configure the report type, metric groups, and dimension drilldowns.
  4. Choose the view for which you want to generate the report.
  5. Click “Save” to create your custom report.

Setting Up Goals and Conversions

Tracking goals and conversions is essential for understanding the effectiveness of your online business. In Google Analytics, you can set up goals to track specific actions, such as form submissions, video plays, or e-commerce transactions. Here’s an expanded guide on setting up goals:

  1. In your Google Analytics account, navigate to “Admin” in the left-hand menu.
  2. Under “View,” click on “Goals.”
  3. Click on the “+ New Goal” button.
  4. Choose a goal template or create a custom goal by selecting “Custom.”
  5. Click “Next Step” and give your goal a name.
  6. Select a goal type, such as Destination, Duration, Pages/Screens per Session, or Event.
  7. Click “Next Step” and configure the goal details, such as the event or URL you want to track. Depending on the goal type, you might need to add additional information, like a funnel or value.
  8. Click “Save” to create your goal.

Once your goals are set up, you can monitor conversions and analyze the performance of your online business using the data provided in the Conversions section of Google Analytics.

You’ll be better equipped to make data-driven decisions that optimize your online business’s performance by deepening your understanding of the Google Analytics interface and its various features. Take time to explore the wealth of information available and customize your experience to focus on the metrics that matter most to your unique goals and objectives.

The Wrap Up

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you make informed decisions about your online business. By setting up an account, adding it to your WordPress website, and exploring the interface, you’ll gain valuable insights into your site’s performance. Remember to utilize key metrics, create custom reports, and track goals to optimize your online presence. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon become a Google Analytics pro!


  1. Is Google Analytics free to use? 
    Yes, GA is a free tool offered by Google. The paid version, Google Analytics 360, is geared toward larger enterprises with more advanced needs.
  2. Can I use Google Analytics on non-WordPress websites?
    Absolutely! GA can be added to any website, regardless of the platform it’s built on. You’ll simply need to insert the tracking code into your site’s HTML, preferably in the header.
  3. How long does it take for Google Analytics to start showing data?
    Once you’ve added GA to your website, it typically takes 24-48 hours for data to appear in your account. However, you might see some real-time data immediately.
  4. Can I track multiple websites with one Google Analytics account?
    Yes, you can track multiple websites using a single Google Analytics account. Each website should have its own unique property within your account.
  5. What is the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?
    While Google provides both tools, they serve different purposes. GA focuses on user behavior and site performance, while Google Search Console helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.
  6. How can I improve my site’s performance using Google Analytics data?
    By analyzing metrics like bounce rate, conversion rate, and user engagement, you can identify areas for improvement. For example, you might redesign your site to be more user-friendly or create targeted content based on audience insights.
  7. How do I exclude my own visits from Google Analytics data?
    You can create a filter in GA to exclude your own visits. Navigate to “Admin” > “Filters” and set up a new filter to exclude traffic from your IP address.
  8. How do I grant access to my Google Analytics account to someone else?
    You can grant access to your account by navigating to “Admin” > “User Management” and adding the email address of the person you’d like to grant access to.
  9. Can I export my Google Analytics data?
    Yes, you can export your GA data in various formats, such as CSV, Excel, and Google Sheets. To export a report, click on “Export” at the top of the report page and select the desired format.
  10. Is it possible to track events with Google Analytics, such as button clicks?
    Yes, you can track specific events, like button clicks or video plays, using event tracking in GA. You’ll need to add some custom code to your website or use a plugin to do this.

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