One of the main applications you need to make sure is installed on your website is Google Analytics.
This is a free service offered by Google and is crucial to monitoring activity on your website. It is an application that monitors everything that happens on your site and generates detailed statistics about your visitors. Google Analytics is probably the most widely used website analysis tool around.
How to Install Google Analytics
I am going to look at how to install on a WordPress blog – in this case, I am assuming you are hosting your own blog rather than using one on wordpress.org (I will look at why you should host your own site in another article).
- You need to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. If you have anything like a Gmail or AdWords account then you already have a Google login.
- Go to the analytics website (which is www.google.com/analytics) and create an account. This is just the holding area for your domain name – so if you have several different domains in different niches you may want to create an account for each niche.
- Inside the account, you will add a Website Profile. The profile is simply the domain name for your site and the time zone you operate in (e.g. GMT).
- The next page gives you the “tracking code” – this is a 9-digit number preceded by 2 characters that Google Analytics uses to identify a particular website. Multiple sites will have multiple tracking codes.
- You also have some advanced options on this page for example are you using a domain with sub-domains? Do you want to track AdWords campaigns? When you have made your advanced selections you can copy the Google Analytics code.
- For a non-WordPress site, you need to put this code on every page of your site immediately before the </head> tag. If you did not build your own site give the code to your website developer and they will know where to put it.
- On a WordPress site, you should install a Google Analytics plugin – I always use one called Google Analytics by Kevin Sylvestre. Using this plugin means all you need to provide is the tracking code and the plugin does the rest.
What does Google Analytics give me?
Well, it tracks your visitors and tells you:
- Where they can from (called referrer) and this covers search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, e-mail marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.
- Where in the world the visitor was
- Which page they arrived at
- How long they stayed on the site
- And a whole myriad of other stats that you need to review and decide what is important to you.
So, to gain an insight into what is happening on your website you need to install and then monitor Google Analytics.
If you found this article interesting or have any questions then please leave a comment below.