If you’ve landed here, you’ve probably just set up your Google Analytics property and want to make sure it’s collecting data how you expect. But remember, patience is a virtue, and that holds true for data collection.
So how long does it take for Google Analytics to start tracking? You'll need to wait 24-48 hours after setting up your Google Analytics property to see your data. While you’re waiting, you can verify your tracking code is doing its job by checking your real-time reports and debug view or looking at your website source code.
Today, we’re going to discuss how to verify your Google Analytics property is set up correctly. Keep reading to learn some helpful ways to confirm you’ll get the data you want and how to track some key metrics.
Check Your Real-Time Reports
One of the easiest ways to make sure your Google Analytics tracking is working properly is by checking your real-time reports. When you go to your real-time reports, you can immediately see if there are any active users on your site. If you see them, it means Google Analytics has started tracking your users.
To check your real-time reports, simply click “Real-time” on the left. You’ll be able to see any active users immediately.
Check For Your GA Tracking Code
Another way to make sure that Analytics is tracking your website is by checking that your GA tracking code is in your website source code. To do this, all you have to do is go to your website. Then, right-click anywhere on the page and click “view page source.” The wording might be slightly different, depending on your browser.
You can then use CTRL/CMD F and look for UA (if you’re using Universal Analytics) or CTRL/CMD F and look for GTM (if you’re using Google Tag Manager). This will let you know Google Analytics is tracking your user behavior.
Use Your Debug View
Another way to check that your Google Analytics property is set up correctly is by using your debug view. Google made a Chrome browser extension for the Google Analytics debugger which you can use to troubleshoot your property and make sure your GA tracking code is working.
You can then click “Console” to see information about your Google Analytics code to make sure it’s entered correctly. You’ll also see any error messages that are keeping it from working properly.
You can also click on your “Debug view” on the left while in Google Analytics. You can then head over to your site and engage in user activity. Then go back to your GA debug view and see that your actions are appearing how you expect.
Tracking in Google Analytics
Once you’ve confirmed that your Google Analytics property is working correctly, you can begin tracking. There are a lot of ways to get started tracking in Google Analytics, but below are some of the most important things to set up and keep an eye on.
In Google Analytics, there are four types of custom goals you can set up. They include:
- Destination (URL): Here you can set up a goal to be triggered when a user visits a specific page.
- Duration (Time): A duration goal lets you see when a user spends a certain amount of time on one of your pages.
- Pages/visit: Pages/visit goals can be triggered when a user visits a certain number of pages/screens in a session.
- Events: Events goals are very popular because you can customize them. You can set up an event goal for any meaningful interaction, like a purchase or a newsletter subscription.
To track your goals in Google Analytics, all you have to do is go to “Conversions” on the left-hand side and click “Goals.” You can then click “Overview” to see how your goals are performing on each individual page.
In Google Analytics, you can track your user traffic in several different ways. To get started, check out all of your traffic by following these steps:
1. Go to “Acquisition.”
2. Click “All Traffic.”
3. Click “Channels.”
Here, you can quickly see where the most traffic is coming from. In this case, direct and paid searches are resulting in the bulk of visitors.
You can also click on “Source/Medium.” This will give you a more specific source of your traffic.
The source/medium option will give you a solid overview of where all your website traffic is coming from, but you should also check out the traffic on your specific pages. To track the traffic on your individual pages, follow these steps:
1. Click “Behavior”
2. Click “Site Content.”
3. Choose an option (Ex. “All pages” or “Landing pages”).
4. Click on the page you want to view.
5. Select from the “Secondary dimension” menu. Here, we’ll select “Source/Medium” to see where our traffic is coming from.
Now you can see where your page traffic is coming from as well as the data on how your page is performing.
There are a couple of ways you can track your events in Google Analytics. You can use custom code, but if you’re not comfortable with that, the easy way is using Google Tag Manager. With GTM, you can set up auto-event tracking. Using event tracking with GTM, you can track meaningful user actions that are triggered by your browser and then sent to Tag Manager.
Follow these steps to set up an event in Google Tag Manager:
- Go to Google Tag Manager and log in.
- Click “Tags” on the left.
- Click “Create a new tag.”
- Select “Universal Analytics” for your Tag Type.
- Enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID.
- Select “Event” for your Track Type.
- Choose your Event Category, Action, Label, and Value.
- Set your triggers.
Tracking is Simple in Google Analytics
Tracking your user behavior is quite easy with Google Analytics! Make sure to wait 24-48 hours before getting concerned that your GA tracking code isn’t functioning.
While you’re waiting, you can verify your tracking code, check your real-time reports, or head to your debug view.
Have you experienced issues with tracking in Google Analytics? Let us know!