This is the first in a series of posts about my experiences using Google Analytics to track traffic. The website I added tracking code to is a small Vue.js web application built as a tribute to Carl Sagan.
On recommendation, I used the vue-analytics library to add Google Analytics tracking to my site. The plugin automatically can automatically load the Google Analytic script and when passed your VueRouter instance, can even perform page tracking without having to set this up more manually.
After acquiring and adding a Google Analytics ID to the the vue-analytics configuration for my site, I needed to ensure it was properly installed and sending data to Google. A browser extension I use called Ghostery gave me my first confirmation that Google Analytics was working. Vue-analytics also has a great debug mode which earned its salt during installation and later troubleshooting.
Expectations about Demographics
After adding Google Analytics tracking to my website, my plan was to share a link to my site with my family and friends, as well as with the greater Seattle University Web Development Certificate Slack channel. I expected visitors to primarily visit from in from Washington, where I currently live, and North Carolina, where I grew up. I also expected a wide age range from early twenties to late-sixties and for most of my visitors to be female.
Google Analytics Console
Google Analytics is a freemium web service offered by Google which used to track much of the traffic on the web (wasn’t able to locate any official figures but estimates by market researchers put it way up there). The capabilities it offers are extensive and I’ve barely scratched the surface. And it’s all for “free”!
The journey of getting up and running with Google Analytics involves navigating the creation of dashboards and views, as well as picking up terminology and concepts standard across the web analytics industry along some specific to Google’s implementation of their services. On initial property creation, a default, unfiltered view with “all web site data” and a number of dashboards are available by default, which can give you a head start analyzing your data even without further customization.
The collection of a few days worth of data confirmed my hypothesis that the majority of traffic to my site would come from Washington and North Carolina. While I was surprised that all of the visitors to my site were male, I also don’t believe this to be true.
That’s it for now — more to come!