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As we learned in the Getting Started Measuring Success post, Google Analytics is a tool for measuring your website’s performance.  As with many tools, you need to do a little setting up to get it ready for the job.  Setting up your Analytics account is relatively simple.

You can sign in to Google Analytics from your Google account.  One good thing to point out is that if you plan on having multiple Analytics accounts they can all be managed from one Google account.

Once you have your account set up you will need to establish your profile(s) and add some code to the pages of your site.  You need at least one profile in order to view your visitor data.  But each Analytics account can have up to 50 profiles.  Google will walk you through setting up the first profile and give you the code to copy into your web pages.  Once that’s done you should be seeing data in your reports within just a few hours.

Your main settings page also has features that allow you to add additional profiles, and typically you’ll want to have at least a few that have some standard filters in place (more on that in a future post).  This is also very handy for tracking the visitors of multiple sites within the same Google Analytics account.

You might also use profiles to collect data from certain segments of your visitors. Maybe you want to separate out your reports by country,  UK vs. US visitors perhaps. Or maybe have a profile that only shows you traffic from Adwords or other PPC / CPC sources.

As you can see the possibilities are near limitless.  You will also find user and filter managers just to the right of your profile manager.  More useful tools.

Up Next: The Good Stuff – Reports