After setting up Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools for your site, there are a couple quick settings and tweaks that I'd recommend:
- Set your preferred domain.
Decide whether you want your website to be referenced with or without the www prefix (
www.example.com). In your Webmaster Tools account, navigate to Tools > Set preferred domain and select the radio button next to your preferred version of your domain. I'll talk more soon about how to set this preference on your own server as well (so that anyone visiting your site will know which version you prefer).
- Remove yourself from your Analytics traffic reports.
You probably don't want to include your own visits to your site in your reports. To fix this, create a filter in Analytics for each IP address from which you frequently access your site. I've created filters for my home IP address and my office IP address. Here's how to create the filter. If you don't know what your IP address is, a site like WhatIsMyIP.com can find it for you. Note that if you frequently access your site from a public location (such as a library computer or your local cafe), filtering out traffic from that IP address will also exclude from your reports anyone else visiting your site from that location.
If tools like Analytics freak you out, or you want to dig deeper but don't have the time, consider contracting an Analytics Authorized Consultant. These companies have in-depth knowledge of Analytics and can provide hands-on setup and support if the do-it-yourself style of the Help Center isn't enough for you.
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