As with any business venture, you will want to track the progress of your search engine optimization campaign.  This means we need to capture statistics such as how many unique visitors looked at your website, what pages are most popular, how they got there, etc.  The best way to do this is to use Google Analytics.  This article will walk you through how to create and configure a Google Analytics account so that we can track your sites progress.

Getting Started

First we need to make sure you have a Google account.  Almost everybody already has one if you have used any of Google’s other services like YouTube.  Go to https://myaccount.google.com/.  You should see a login if you have one.  If not then select create account and create a new Google account.  Now that you have a Google account we can proceed with creating a Google Analytics account.

Create a Google Analytics Account

Browse to https://accounts.google.com and sign in to your Google Account that we mentioned earlier.  You will then see the Google Analytics provisioning page.

Google Analytics Provisioning Page

Click on the Start Measuring button to begin.  You will be taken to the Account Setup page.

Google Analytics Account Setup

In the Account Name box enter something descriptive about your Company.  Typically this will your company name.  Leave the rest of the items checked and click on the Next button at the bottom of the page.

 

Next you will see the Property Setup page.

Google Analytics Property Setup

In the Property Name box enter something that describes your website that we will be tracking for SEO statistics.  Ensure the Time zone and Currency boxes are correct.  Click the Next button to continue.

 

You will now see the About Your Business page.

Google Analytics About Your Business

Fill in the information that describes your business.  These choices really for Google’s informational purposes and don’t affect any of the Google Analytics settings.  Click the Create button to continue.

 

Agree to the Google Analytics Terms of Service by clicking the two check boxes and clicking the I Accept button at the bottom.

 

You will now have the opportunity to update your email preferences.  Select any options if you want to receive email communications from Google Analytics then click the Save button.

 

That concludes the initial setup of your Google Analytics Account.  Follow the next steps of instructions to configure a data stream which we will use to track your web site’s statistics.

Configure a Google Analytics Data Stream

Now that we have our basic Google Analytics account setup, we need to configure a data stream.  This will setup a code that we can insert into your website so that Google Analytics can gather metrics about your visitors.

 

You should see the Data Streams page now.

Google Analytics Data Streams Page

Click the Web button to create a web data stream.

 

You will now see the Setup your Web Stream page.

Google Analytics Setup Your Web Stream

In the Website URL box enter the full URL of your website including http:// or https://.  In the Stream Name box enter the name of your website.  Leave the Enhanced Measurement box selected.  Click the Create Steam button to continue.

 

You will now see the Web Stream Details page which lists all the information about the web stream.  Write down the Measurement ID somewhere.  We will need this information to add the Google Analytics tracking code to your website.

Conclusion

That concludes the process to create a Google Analytics account and creating a data stream that we can use in order to track metrics from visits to your site.  This data will prove invaluable in understanding your SEO improvements.