Google Analytics is a business intelligence tool and, because every business has different data needs, your implementation may be very different from someone else’s. Do not believe that you can simply slap some tags on the site and collect valid data. It is very rare that an implementation involves only page tagging. There are many configuration steps required to generate accurate, actionable data.
With that said, there are some standard things that everyone should do to get reliable data for analysis. Implementing Google Analytics does take some planning and foresight. The Google Analytics support documentation does contain a rough implementation guide that includes the various steps to get Google Analytics installed and running. I have modified that process as follows:
Gather and document business requirements.
Analyze and document website architecture.
Create a Google Analytics account and configure profiles.
Configure the Google Analytics tracking code and tag website pages.
Tag marketing campaigns.
Create additional user accounts and configure the following reporting features:
Automated email report delivery
Reporting customizations (Custom Reports, Advanced Segments)
Perform the following optional configuration steps:
Enable e-commerce transaction tracking
Implement event tracking
Implement custom variables
You probably noticed that step 1 has very little to do with Google Analytics. As I mentioned before, ...