Using Google Analytics with our SharePoint 2007 publishing site

One of our services wanted to use Google Analytics for their SharePoint (MOSS 2007) intranet.

There’s some good information out there about how to set this up, but I wanted to clarify a few points in the hope of saving others some time.

The basic steps are:

Obtain the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for your MOSS site.

Create your Google Analytics account (see detail below). FYI, You don’t need to pass any authentication in order to track hits to your site.

Add the GA tracking code to your site’s master page within the HTML tags, which will allow you to analyze all the sub-pages, not just the home page.

With regard to step 2, when you set up your new account, you need to enter your FQDN in the URL field, and you need to enter it the way they specify:

However, to work with MOSS, what really needs to be entered for the Website URL is the full URL with the /pages/default.aspx ending. Thanks to this post for this information! So you need to go back into the settings once you’ve created the account, and change it. Finding your way into the settings to change the URL is not the most intuitive thing in the world, so I’ve shown it below:

From the home page of your Google Analytics account, click Edit:

Then, in the Profile Settings window, click Edit at the upper right:

At this point you can change your website URL. For the example I’m using, you would enter:

http://yourfqdnurlhere/pages/default.aspx.

After 24 hours, you should be able to review results on your GA account page.

Google Analytics for dummies

Google Analytics is recognised as a web stats tool of very high quality. Google provides it free of charge to encourage organisations to use the web more effectively, thus contributing to the growth of the web channel – a development from which Google clearly stands to benefit. Growing numbers of website owners are turning to Google Analytics to understand the way their website is being used as a basis for planning improvements that will better achieve site objectives. Around half of all councils have Google Analytics in place, but anecdotal evidence suggests that its potential to measure performance and drive improvement is currently underexploited.

Hopefully, web content managers will soon be able to:

– improve web teams’ ability to derive meaningful data from Google Analytics
– enable web managers to compare the performance and usage of their website with other, similar councils, based on the same statistical method
– interpret this data to identify improvement options and argue for resources to achieve them
– enable managers to generate data for all councils that will demonstrate continued growth in the importance of the web