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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
In this Essentials course, we don't want to get too far into the advanced configurations, but we will take just a moment to quickly touch on some of the options. If all you have is a single simple domain, then this code here is what you want. If you have a domain on a site that has multiple subdomains that you want to track all as one -- for example, maybe you have a shopping cart on one, or a blog, or anything else on a different subdomain -- you can select this second radio button here, and use this code. There is also an option here if you have multiple top-level domains, which are basically different URLs of different Web sites entirely.
This is a fairly advanced configuration with multiple steps here. You are going to have to add the additional code on to the links in the individual sites to get this working properly, and seen as a one big site. This configuration is a bit outside the scope of this course. If you do find yourself in this situation, you can go ahead and click on this question mark, you can do some reading with that, and seek out some assistance if needed. Back to this page. The second tap up here is the Advanced tab. We are going to be faced with the same options we had before, with a little more detail, but we also have a new one; a site built for a mobile phone.
Now, instead of utilizing this check box, we suggest you check out the video we have called linking your AdWords account, which will show you how to do this through the AdWords account's interface instead. Now, the vast majority of you are going to select this first tab with this first radio button for a single Web site, and that's what we are going to do here. Then we are going to come over here, click in here to select all the code, copy that into our memory, and the next thing what we are going to have to do is paste it on our site. Now, notice it wants us to paste it on every single page, and also that it needs to go specifically right before that closing head tag.
Now at this point, I need to pause and point out that if you are not familiar with your site's code, you'll want to seek some help from your administrator. Everyone's site is different, and you need to make sure you are doing it the right way for your site. On my particular site, we run WordPress, and one advantage of this is that it has a common header across all pages, which means, I only need to paste my code once in that header file, and it will show up automatically in all the pages on my site. So let's go ahead and take a look at that example. In my case, I am going to go here to my Web site editor, click on the Editor, and I have got all the different files of the site over here on the right. I am going to come over here and select the header file, and then what I am going to do is I am going to scroll down in this file, and I am looking for that closing head tag.
The closing head tag is just the bracket, and then a forward slash, and then word head. What I want to do is paste the code right before that particular tag. Now, we have some other code here that you can ignore, as it's not part of Google Analytics. I should also point out that we tend to do a lot of customization and beta testing, So if you are looking at my particular site, www.cardinalpath.com, it might not be the greatest plain vanilla example. But in this case, we ignore these three lines, and what we see right up here is our Google Analytics tracking code, which is almost right before the head tag.
Okay, we've got that pasted in; make sure it's right before the head tag. Come down here; update the file. Since I have updated my site with this code, I want to check and make sure that it is there, so I am going to go to my site. I am going to refresh the page to make sure I have the latest code, and then I am going to check View Page Source to make sure that that code actually did get updated on my site. I scroll down here, I find the closing head tag, and here I see my Google Analytics tracking code pasted in as it should be. Now, I want to be clear; instead of pasting the code over and over on each page, I took a shortcut by using a header file that's automatically included.
Now, this is because I'm using one of many Web sites that offer packages, such as WordPress, Drupal, Django, Movable Type, et cetera, that give me that option. If you have that option, which many of you will, I highly recommend that you take advantage. But if have a site built with just individual HTML files that doesn't offer this automated header, that's okay too. It just means you need to go in and paste the code on every single page of your site manually. After you've done that, we can go back to our Analytics window here, we can click Save, and assuming we have success, we will be able to go back up here to our Standard Reporting, and start to see some data in our accounts.
So here we have our analytics reports, but we don't see any data yet, because we just installed the tracking code. It can take one to four hours for this data to start streaming into our account. However, the other thing that I want to point out to you is that even if we refresh this page in one to four hours, we may not see any data here, because by default, Google Analytics' date range is set to show up to the most complete day, which was actually yesterday. Today's date isn't included by default. If I go over here and look at my date range, I am going to see the last month, up to yesterday. If I want to include today's date in there as well, I can simply click on today's date, click Apply, and update. And what we see is this tracking code has actually already started to collect some visitors for today.
So as you have seen, for a basic site, installing the tracking code is actually very simple. You just paste it in, so that it appears on every page of your site. However, if you do get this wrong, it can have a drastic effect on your ability to get accurate data. Sometimes having misinformation is worse than no information. So if you have a complex site that includes things like multiple domains, redirects, iFrames, Ajax, or Flash, or if you are just not comfortable with code, make sure you seek help if you need it, so we can analyze your data with confidence.
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