Google Analytics Basics: How to Set it up Properly

Google Analytics is the most well-known analytics program for digital marketing. The best part? It is absolutely FREE!

Digital marketing without using analytics is like driving a car in the night without any lights and your dashboard is not working. You do not know where you are going. You do not know how fast you are going. You do not know if you are heading in the right direction or not.

It is not any better than traditional marketing. Think of billboard ads and tv commercials. You invest a lot in producing them in terms of money and time. Then, you do not have a direct way of measuring their impact to your business.

It does not have to be that way. Google Analytics is fairly simple to setup (and use for that matter).

There are three phases in setting up Google Analytics properly. Each phase is also broken into two parts.

How to Setup Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics can be divided into three (3) phases:

  1. Creation of the necessary accounts
  2. Installing the code to your website
  3. Checking (and troubleshooting, if necessary) the data

Phase 1: Creation of Accounts

Creating the necessary accounts is the first step. Assuming you have learned basic code, then this will be fairly easy for you to follow. You will need to create (or login) an account in Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM). If you are already using a Gmail account, you can use that without having to create another email address. If not, feel free to start there. It is also free.

You need both GA and GTM accounts because the former allows you to analyze your website while the latter allows you to make changes to your website without having to learn code; thus, future-proofing your website.

Part 1: Create a Google Analytics Account

  1. Go to
  2. Login to your Gmail account
  3. Sign up for a Google Analytics account
  4. Choose Website
  5. Input Basic Information About Your Company and Website
  6. Scroll Down and Get Tracking ID
  7. Accept Terms of Service
  8. Write Down Tracking ID
[slideshare id=55861160&doc=howtocreateagoogleanalyticsaccount-151206074120-lva1-app6892]

Part 2: Create a Google Tag Manager Account

  1. Go to
  2. Login to your Gmail account
  3. Enter your company name (account)
  4. Enter your website’s domain (container)
  5. Choose Web
  6. Accept Terms of Service
  7. Copy GTM Code
[slideshare id=55861510&doc=howtocreateagoogletagmanager-151206081824-lva1-app6892]

Phase 2: Installing the Code

Installing the code involves two parts as well. First, you setup GA in GTM. Next, you install the GTM code to your website. Again, the primary reason why you should setup your analytics this way is because GTM allows you to change settings or add other code in your website without having to tinker with code. You just install the GTM code and manipulate data inside GTM.

Part 1: Install Google Analytics code in Google Tag Manager

  1. Get your Google Analytics Tracking ID
  2. Login to Google Tag Manager
  3. Choose the container name you just created
  4. Add a new tag
  5. Name the tag as “GA Pageview”
  6. Choose Google Analytics
  7. Choose Universal Analytics as a tag type
  8. Create a new variable
  9. Name the variable as “gaProperty”
  10. Choose constant
  11. Enter your GA Tracking ID (Phase 1, Part 1)
  12. Click continue
  13. Choose to fire tag on “All Pages”
  14. Create Tag
[slideshare id=55864728&doc=howtoinstallgoogleanalyticsingoogletagmanager-151206130004-lva1-app6892]

Part 2: Install the Google Tag Manager code in your WordPress website

This part assumes you are using a WordPress-hosted website. If not, the general rule is to place the code immediately after the opening of the <body> tag.

  1. Login to Google Tag Manager
  2. Choose the container name you want to use
  3. Go to Admin
  4. Choose Install Google Tag Manager
  5. Copy the code
  6. Login your WordPress dashboard
  7. Go to Appearance, then Editor
  8. Search for the header.php file
  9. Paste the code immediately after the opening body tag
  10. Update the File
[slideshare id=56549202&doc=howtoinsertgtmcodeinwordpress-151230112044]

Phase 3: Checking the Data

Just like the rest of this post, this is divided into two parts as well:

  1. Make sure you publish your container in Google Tag Manager
  2. Check real-time data in Google Analytics

Part 1: Publish Your Container in GTM

  1. Go to your container in GTM
  2. Hit Publish at the upper right-hand corner
  3. Click Publish Now
  4. Verify

Part 2: Look at Real-Time Data in GA

  1. Go to your Google Analytics account
  2. Make sure you are in the Reports tab
  3. Click Real-Time
  4. Click Overview
  5. Open another tab in your browser and load any page on your website
  6. Go back to GA to see if it is working
Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.