Google Analytics is hands down the best tool to track visits to your website. It is free and at once both the simplest and most advanced tool you can use. While you can just add it to your site and collect data, if you do so you’ll be missing out on the most powerful parts of Google Analytics.
One of the most important tools at your disposal within GA is also one of the simplest. ‘Views’ in Google Analytics are used to process data in different ways. For example, you can (and should) set up a View that excludes your own IP address so that you can visit your site as much you want without skewing your data.
The way Views work is that they irreversibly process the data straight from Google’s servers. This means the settings you use in a view change the data moving forward. Therefore you can’t choose a set of settings, take a look at a data, then change the settings back like nothing happened (if you want to do that, use filters – but more on that another time).
This makes the Views which you set up important. While there are many reasons why you might want to set up different views, there are four that every Google Analytics should have. Learn more about them in the infographic below.