I haven't finished taking the "Digital Analytics Fundamentals" course yet; I'm concerned that if I don't understand everything before I implement it on my companies site that I'll permanently screw something up;

I've used Google Analytics in the past, and I've noticed that you can only set a certain number of goals and I'm not even sure if you can change them after that. My boss is pushing for me to finish some tickets related to the marketing of our sites, but I'm concerned that if I do this too soon, I'm going to permanently screw something up with the Analytics account.

In particular, today I'm going to add our website to the local business directory websites; some of these are free and some of these are not free.

The following are local business directory websites I had in mind:

If I understand correctly, a local business website is a referral source, which makes it sort of a Marketing Channel? And with Marketing Channels you have to monitor them to make sure that your getting your ROI on them, so you aren't paying for marketing (a listing) that isn't bringing you any business.

I've seen several sites that advise you NOT to setup Google Analytics until you have your goals setup and implemented on your site.

What parts are absolutely essential to setup first? (off the top of my head I can think of excluding people from within your own organization from the Analytics, and setting up goals)

  • 1
    I'm going to add our website to the local business directory websites You should be aware that Google and other search engines refer to most directory sites as rubbish in terms of SEO value and enough low-quality links can be marked against the business. Ideal directories are citations such as Yelp, Yell, Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else that is 1) High Quality 2) Allows you to add the company address, links should be seen as bonus and most will be nofollow on most quality sites. Nowadays its best to have less links but more quality. Jul 14, 2014 at 16:14
  • Also just to add sites that 'sell links' should it be a directory or a blog they most likely a penalty against them in any case. Depends on the directory, if your paying just for the link then you can most likely bet that they have been hammered by Google, if you get more than a link then it might be safe but again, I'd prefer natural links anyday over something that has cost companies billions to clear up, links remain the best thing since tomato sauce but they are now considered the most damaging, treed with care. Jul 14, 2014 at 16:18
  • I added the directories that I plan to add it to...they aren't local in the sense that they are websites that are hosted from my local area.
    – leeand00
    Jul 14, 2014 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


The biggest mistake with analytics is not having any. It is far better to have some insight into your data, even if it isn't perfect, than to be running a website with no visibility into what your users are doing.

Nothing is "absolutely essential" to set up before you enable Google Analytics. Something like excluding your staff is a nice to have, but it certainly isn't essential. Your own personnel will account for a small fraction of your traffic anyway.

Goals can be added at any time in the future. There is no reason to make sure all your goals are defined ahead of time.

The best Google Analytics customization is events in my opinion. I log events for things like user signup, video playing, and interaction with important widgets. But even that is something that can be added and adjusted once analytics is already live.

Don't let fear of getting it wrong paralyze you from action. Enable it and refine it if you see something that isn't working as well as you would like.

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