Wednesday 13 June 2007

Starting Web Analytics - Part 2

Getting down and dirty with Google Analytics
-Akshay Ranganath


In the previous article I’d written about how to start the implementation of an analytics program. In this article, I’ll write about rolling your sleeves and getting into the actual implementation.

Note that the Analytics product that I am using is Google Analytics. In your case it may the product you have chosen but the overall steps will remain similar.

The steps in setting up an analytics program are as follows:

  1. Sign up for an analytics program
  2. Identify the site you want to track
  3. The vendor provides JavaScript tracking code.
  4. Take this code and paste it into each and every page that you want to track.
  5. Whenever a visitor to your website accesses a page, it is downloaded onto the visitor’s machine and the JavaScript code executes and sends out the tracking information to the data center of the analytics vendor.
  6. Log in to your reporting area and see the Analytics reports.

The above process is a simplification of the entire sequence of steps necessary, but it is also quite complete if the initial aim to just “get on with the tracking”.

Starting Analytics Program using Google Analytics

  1. Login to the Analytics site (http://www.google.com/analytics/) using your gmail id.
  2. In the screen, choose the option “Create New Account”

  3. Fill in the details like the URL of the site to track and the time zone that you’d like. The time zone details are needed for reporting like “Unique visitors in a day”.

  4. Enter your details in the next screen

  5. Go through the Privacy Policy and accept it.
  6. At this stage, Google Analytics displays a screen having the tracking JavaScript code. Make a note of this.


  7. Take this JavaScript code and paste it on each and every page that needs to be tracked just before the end of the tag.
  8. Once this is done, come back to Google Analytics. It will show a screen similar to the one below. If you click on the “Check Status” button, the site will start to try and build analytics reports. Please note that after hitting the “Check Status” button, leave it alone for a day or two for the analytics to start getting accumulated.

  9. Once the reporting starts to work, when you log into the analytics site, it will look like below. Click on view reports and stat analyzing!