Google Analytics Tutorial 1: Setup

Ian Lurie

This video is now out of date. See the latest GA install tutorial here.

The Fat Free Guide to Google Analytics

This quick tutorial shows you how to set up Google Analytics.

Analytics is critical to your internet marketing strategy. It lets you measure who comes to your web site, where they came from, and what they do when they get there. Those are the three basics of Observe And Adjust. Google Analytics does all of that.

And it’s free.

So why isn’t every single marketer on earth using it? I hear things like:

“It’s too complicated.”

“My webmaster says they don’t have time.”

So, as an experiment, I set up a new account and added Analytics code to this web site. Here’s what I did, and how long it took:

00:00 – 00:15: Go to

00:16 – 01:00: Click Sign Up Now. (if you already have a Google Account, just sign in)

01:05 – 02:20: Set up my account in Analytics.

02:21 – 07:00: Set up Google Analytics code on my site.

Done. If you have to ask someone else to set up the analytics code, of course, it’ll take longer. But no one can ever be too busy to take a few minutes on this, right? Particularly given how important this data is.

If you don’t believe me, I did a video to demonstrate:

For the full-sized version (long download) click here.

If folks like this format, I’ll do more videos later on, showing how to use Analytics once it’s set up.

If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know and I’ll make changes.

Update: Important note – sometimes the Google Account verification e-mail ends up in your spam folder. If you don’t see the e-mail from Google after a few minutes, check there.

Update 2: I apologize for the low volume. I’ll speak more LOUDLY NEXT TIME…

Other videos in this series:
Google Analytics Tutorial 2: Essential Stats
Google Analytics Tutorial 3: Digging Deeper
Google Analytics Tutorial 4: Goals
Google Analytics Tutorial 5: Search Analytics

By the way, I wrote a book about internet marketing. You can buy it here.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (that's more than 25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team, training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Thanks for doing this.
    I have one question, does the analytics code just have to be inserted on the home page or do I have to insert it on every page that I want to track i.e. the goal pages
    thanks in advance
    Gavin Allinson

  2. Hi Gavin,
    You need to put the code on every single page of your site. If your site is dynamic, you can just add it to the header and you’ll have it on every page.

  3. Thank you for letting me know how simple this process is. It actually only took me five minutes! I’ve passed a link to your tutorials onto to the DigitalNow blog readers.

  4. Very helpful tutorials. thanks
    If you have a domain redirected to another site, do you need to set up analytics on the site for both the domain AND the site? I.e., two sets of script on the target site?

  5. Hi Ian,
    I notice you replied to Gavin that you can put the code in the header of the website and it’ll appear on every page (CMS dependent). Of course this is 100% correct, but I think a better location for external scripts, like Analytics, is the footer of the page, just before the [/body] [/html] tags.
    The reason this is a preferred location is that if external scripts are at the bottom of the page your webpage still loads quickly and won’t get delayed if the 3rd party webserver is down or really slow due to being busy etc, so you can ensure that your visitors have a better experience.

  6. Hi Alastair,
    You’re completely right. The only reason I sometimes put code in the header is to insure that I record partial pageviews.
    It’s a catch 22 – partial pageviews are typically caused by a slow-loading banner or script, where folks read the page, get the message, but move on before the page totally loads. If your analytics script is causing the problem, you’re out of luck.
    One compromise we sometimes use: We download the script from Google and put it on our own server. It’s a pain, because we have to then track changes to the script and update it, but it gives us the best of both worlds: Fast load times and accurate reporting.
    Thanks for the info!

  7. Hi – I work on a fairly large system where I can only modify the HTML on one page of the site. I want to place my GA on that one page. Can I do that without placing GA on the home page?

  8. Hi Tim,
    You can embed the GA code right in the editable HTML, I guess. Just be careful, because if there’s already GA code on the page elsewhere, this could wreak havoc with your stats.

  9. Thank you for this great series Ian. I was quite at loss when it came to start using Google Analytics. The whole range of information and possibilities felt a bit overwhelming.
    After looking through your series I feel both inspired and confident in my future dealings with this analytics tool!

  10. Glad it helped Markus. I am working on a second series, updated for the latest version (this series still gives you the basics though).

  11. My website address: is hosted by BlueCentral and it points to and masks my site actual website which is uploaded
    to Apple’s DotMac servers. Can you tell me if Google analytics will work under this setup and which of the two website address I should register – I presume as this is what customers use. Not sure under this setup if I still need to put code on all pages, or if BlueCentral would add the code at their end???

  12. You do have to put the code on all pages, yup. Chances are you can do it without involving your hosting provider.
    Register the domain the customers use, definitely. I’d also suggest setting up a 301 redirect from the other address to the main address.

  13. Ian,
    Hi, Great tutorial!
    I have a fairly new blog. I am being mentored by Dean Holland. We just put up a squeeze page with a giveaway on it to start building a list. A customer would link to the squeeze page directly from a clickable image on the blog and follow several more links to double opt-in and download their book. I have put GA in the footer of the blog.
    My question is whether I need to add the code to the squeeze page, or will it be tracked from the code in the footer of the blog?
    Also, if I need to add the code to the squeeze page, would I use the same code or get a new one?

  14. Hey Ian !
    Great tutorial for me ! Thank a lot , But I think my website load time is slower than before I used Google Analytic , Please recomend me what I do Wrong.
    Sory if my eng is not good hope you understand and help !

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