The True Cost of a Website Without Google Analytics
How Much Should A Website Cost?
It is an age old question. If we revert time to 2010, back when Facebook was still in its infancy we would find an article written by Mikal E. Belicove, a contributor to Entreprenuer Magazine titled, “The cost of a quality website”. In it he said “Using a professional team, you can expect to pay from $1,000 for a very basic site to more than $50,000 for a larger site with custom graphics, programming and other options.”
Now, let us fast forward three years, and open the archives of Forbes Magazine . Here we find an article by Ilya Pozin titled, “How Much Does A Website Cost?” in which he wrote “I’ve been in this industry for more than 13 years, and my company has built more than 2,000 websites of all sizes and types. But to this day, I still cannot answer this question.”
Now, fast-forward once more to present day. We at DIR Incorporated can tell you the exact true cost of a website. It is $0 ….
Yes, you read that correctly. Without any type of data tracking your website is worthless. Because, unless all you want is brochure-ware, you have know idea what is happening on your website. We can guess based on the volume of calls you receive, or email inquires find your inbox, but, you really do not know. Furthermore, we have zero information on how to constantly improvement it overtime.
Fortunately, there are many tools designed to capture your analytic data.
Some of the best website analytic tools built for small businesses are:
However, for most companies starting to look at data collection of their website the best option by far is Google Analytics. The remainder of this post is dedicated to explaining why.
Gathering Website Data
You have probably read about some company breaking web traffic records for a certain week or month or year. For example a few years ago The Blaze reported 9 million visitors for a single month. You may have thought, “How is it possible to track visits to a website?” Google Analytics is a tool which captures web traffic data and helps marketers, financial personal, business owners, and others within a company dissect and experiment with data analysis. It will track the traffic of your website for free.
Google Analytics collects data from web-based applications, including gaming and mobile, and stores it in the website owner’s Analytics Account. Most websites do not have analytics included automatically and a Google Analytics tracking code needs to be added to the website. The tracking code is the “software” that runs on your website and collects the data and then sends it to your Google Analytics Account.
The user (or visitor) information includes several elements like the language of the web browser and whether the visitor is new or returning.
A Quick Video by Google
Since, DIR Incorporated works mainly with Hubspot COS [which already come with analytic tools built-in] and WordPress [which does not] we will show you how to add the Google Analytics embed code to your WordPress websites; [ Not on WordPress? Let’s talk about the benefits of switching].
By the way, to be fair to others — the process will be very similar if your website is built on a different platform, especially since many website designer simply window dress WordPress as their own content management system (CMS)
How To Setup Google Analytics
There are two primary ways to add the Google Analytics Tracking Code to your website.
- Use a 3rd party plugin like Google Analytics by Yoast for WordPress or Asynchronous Google Analytics by Peter Bui for Joomla!
- The preferred option is to copy the tracking code and paste it into the the header.php file. Although more complicated this is the better option which will be explained below.
- Go to google.com/analytics
- Click on Admin from the top navigation menu
- From the dropdown select the website you want (the tracking code for each website will vary.)
- Under the “Property” Column select “Tracking Info” and then “Tracking Code”
- In the box that appears click the cursor once and all the code will highlight. Use either CMD+C for Mac, CTRL+C for Windows or Right-Click and select Copy.
- Login to the back end of you WordPress site
- Go to Appearance > Editor then on the right side click on Header (header.php)
- Paste the tracking code before the closing head tag: </head>
The reason the second method is preferred is because it is not tied to a 3rd-party plugin that may become broken with an update to WordPress or to the plugin itself. Some themes offer an option for installing Google Analytics, however at the present moment that theme has been disabled or replaced so the Google Analytics code will not be running on your website.
Now that you have Google Analytics installed on your site incoming data will be tracked. You can see what key words are being searched that lead visitors to your site, as well as what links visitors are using.
For example you may have posted a video to YouTube and now you can track if the majority of your visitors are coming from YouTube or some other social site.
If you have any questions about Google Analytics, or how to get your website to perform better feel free to comment below, or simply contact us at (574)329-9022
I will be writing most about the True Cost of a Website Without Google Analytics Tracking so be sure to bookmark this post, and/or share it with a colleague.