Google... What an interesting thing you are. You giveth and then you, well, also giveth me a headache.
I’ll be among the first to sing the praises of the service because the services it provides are invaluable to running this Dandy Cat business. I’ll also be among the first to point out that they’re involved in some very shady stuff, but that’s not really a topic fit for the blog at this time.
That's just given me an idea for a whole new blog—Dandy Cat’s Guide to Google Guiltiness. Keep an eye out for that collection of sizzling reporting in the future.
In the meantime, let’s delve into how you can use a Google tool so handy that you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it. Google Analytics is what I’m talking about here. This service, along with Squarespace’s own reporting, will allow you to build a detailed overview of how your website is being viewed. It’ll show you where in the world most people are viewing your site, what device and browser they’re using, and where people like to go when they visit.
This information is a whole heaping helping of neat. Not only is it fun to see people from countries you’ve never even been to checking out your site, but it’ll also give you a fair idea of the pages you should be working on. If hardly anyone is checking out your portfolio page, for example, then that’s a good indication it could use some sprucing up.
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that by using Google Analytics you are tracking bits of information about the viewers who visit your site. Some may have no problem with that. Others may have an understandable issue with sharing their information in this way.
Squarespace provides a way to add a banner to your website informing all visitors that cookies are being used by your website. This gives visitors the opportunity to allow or disallow the collection of their information. I’ll be delving into this important subject in a future post.
We’ve climbed the tall ladder to the very top of this high dive here. We’re going to inch our toes to the edge, look down into the chlorinated water below us, and dive headfirst into some analytical waters.
Ensure you’re signed into the Google account you want this analytics service to be associated with. Head on over to analytics.google.com and click on the “Sign up” button. Easy.
A “New Account” page will show up. It’s a fairly simple form asking for some basic website questions.
- Have it track a Website
- Under the “Setting up your account” heading, add an Account Name. Let’s make this a memorable name that’s related in some way to the website you’re setting up.
- Under the “Setting up your property” heading:
- Type in your Website Name.
- In the drop down menu under “Website URL,” select https:// and add your website’s URL.
- Select an appropriate category for your industry.
- Make sure your time zone is set to the proper selection.
- Under the “Data Sharing Settings” heading, choose what you want to be shared. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll leave them all checked.
- Click the button labeled “Get Tracking ID.”
We’ve got some terms and conditions to accept. They’re important ones, but they are both just walls of legal text long enough to make your eyes go cross. Click on the two checkboxes and then the “I Accept” button.
Pow! Done and…almost done. Your account now has its very own Google Analytics Tracking ID number. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now, you number will be unique and not just a bunch of zeroes. Highlight that number, copy it, and then head on over to Squarespace. We’re about to head into the home stretch.
In the sidebar on the left side of your Squarespace editor, click on the following fields in this order:
- External Services
Paste the Tracking ID you copied from Google’s page into the Squarespace field named “Google Analytics Account Number.” Click on the “Save” button that appears at the top of the sidebar.
Congratulations! You’ve just connected a Google analytics account to your Squarespace website. Feel free to celebrate with some delicious cake 🍰
Please note that this new analytics information won’t show up immediately. It may take up to 24 hours for this new information to show up in your Squarespace Analytics section.
There you have it. Nothing too scary, right? In fact, I’d call that downright simple. A few steps, a tiny dash of creative thinking, and you’ve got yourself a tool that can help mature your website and business even more. This is one of those important steps you should take if you want to set yourself up for success in the future.
And I know you’re the kind of rock star that values information that’ll inform you and help your business grow.
There’s a whole lot of information in the Analytics section. Take some time to peruse it. It’s a fascinating look at who’s interested in what you’ve got to offer.
Remember that it can also be a window into what parts of your website are performing well and what aspects could be strengthened. If there are pages of your website that aren’t getting the numbers you think they should be getting, then consider improving the overall flow of your site or adding more call-to-action buttons leading to those underperforming pages.
Most important of all, stay dandy.
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