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Google Analytics setup is simple, must-do task

09/11/2014, 4:30pm CDT
By Loren Nelson

Enabling Google Analytics on a new site seems like a basic first step, like brushing your teeth in the morning. Still, we’re surprised by how many sites don’t subscribe to this free and potentially powerful service.


Google Analytics allows you to monitor all aspects of your site's traffic

We understand that most sites, especially those geared toward amateur sports, don’t attract tens of thousands of visitors each day and that administrators and webmasters have bigger concerns than bounce rates and demographics reports. Even Doug Hare, who generates thousands of dollars of advertising each year on his heavily trafficked Central Ohio Youth Baseball League site, says he doesn’t pay a lot of attention to his analytics.

Still, it’s definitely worth the few minutes it takes to set up analytics on your site, if only to gauge what content your viewers are finding most valuable. If certain articles or news posts are generating the most traffic, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to provide more of that type of content. Sometimes it can be surprising to see which pages on a site are the most popular. 

It’s also good to know where your traffic is coming from (Twitter, Facebook and other social media, as an example) and try to leverage those channels as much as possible.

Month-over-month and year-over-year traffic information can be important, too. If you are trying to build a community – players, fans, subscribers, customers, whomever – it’s helpful to know if your audience is growing, has plateaued or is on the decline.

Here's how it works:

1. Log in and select the Admin Control panel in the upper right corner of your site.

2. Select Website Settings, then select SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

3A. Get your Google Analytics code (for those who have an existing Google Analytics account).

  1. If you already have Google Analytics set up, just sign in to Google Analytics (http://google.com/analytics) and copy your Google Analytics Code. It will appear on your dashboard next to your website's address (see image below).
  1. Go back to your Sport Ngin site, paste the code in the box labeled Analytics Code and click the Enable Google Analytics checkbox (see image below). 
  2. Click the Save Settings button.

3B. If you don't have a Google account, you'll need to sign up for one. You will then need to confirm your new Google account by clicking an email Google sends to you. Once you have your Google account, you can then create a Google Analytics account (see images below).

 

  1. When you get to the "Analytics: Tracking Instructions" screen, simply click the "Save and Finish" button at the bottom. You won’t need the full code, only the small Google Analytics code which you’ll find on the next screen (see images below).
  1. Go back to your Sport Ngin site, paste the code in the box labeled Analytics Code and click the Enable Google Analytics checkbox. 
  2. Click the Save Settings button.

For more on setting up Google Analytics on your site, check out the detailed tutorial from Sport Ngin's Help Center or watch the video tutorial below. 

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