I’ve noticed that only about half of the most popular CM blogs are using Google Analytics. I really don’t know why. Maybe they don’t know what it is, or how to set it up. So, I thought I’d post this blog to explain what Google Analytics is and how you can enjoy the benefits of this great and FREE service.
If you’re like me, you like to know that people are visiting your blog. It’s super easy to put hit counters on your site and many of the blogging software options come with simple reporting plug-ins that tell you how many hits you’ve gotten in a day, week or month. But know this, none compare to Google Analytics. Really, none do.
My friend who used to work for a software developer was primarily responsible for SEO (search engine optimization). Basically it was his job to drive people to their company web site. He used software that tracked the people who came to his web site, how they got there, what they did while they were there (including what they eventually purchased). He told me he paid $500 a month for this service. That was until Google came along and bought the service, re-branded it and made it free. Google Analytics works seamlessly with AdSense which is how Google makes all their money, so they wanted to put this powerful software into the hands of anyone who might want to sell advertising through Google.
Just go to Google Analytics and create an account (if you have a Gmail account, that username and password will work). Once you set up your Analytics account, they’ll give you a code that you can insert into every page on your web site that you want tracked. If you’re using wordpress or blogger, you can get plug-ins that do this for you. Then after about a day you can begin seeing all kinds of interesting things such as what country, state and city your viewers are from, how many actual visitors you have, how they got there, how long they stayed, how many pages they viewed, which pages are the most popular, what operating system, browser and Internet connection they have. All of that is just the tip of the iceberg. So, give it a try, it won’t take long to set it up and you’ll enjoy the results.
Technorati Tags: Google Analytics,tracking,reports,charts,visits,page views
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I have signed up with gmail, I opened an account, I signed up for google analytics, but just stopped at the inserting the code on my wordpress blog. I am a little timid about inserting a code, not quite sure about this bit of technical jargon and procedure. I found the tag to insert. But it is not clear just what a page of the site is…every blog entry? So if you have 150 blogs you have to insert in every blog? Not sure, I understand this part. When I tried to read/interpret the codes in preferences, it was confusing to read, I want to use this, but the taunted “easiness” is puzzlingly fraught with potential hazzards. What happens if I mess up the codes? Maybe this is why fewer people don’t use it. It has an element of unfriendliness. The Apple store (or at least the tech I spoke with) was not too sympathetic, he did not know much about it. I think I need a friendly coach. Help
Don’t worry. I was met with the same fear on many occasions as I wanted to add a widget that needed me to edit the code. Scary stuff. But the beautiful part of WordPress and other blogging platforms is that really smart people created plug-ins so it isn’t so hard for us.
go to this site: http://boakes.org/analytics
On that page is a link to download the google analytics plug-in that I use. Don’t get confused if you click on his “download here” link an it just brings up a page of text. Go up to your menu and “save page as” googleanalytics.txt, but change txt to php.
Now, upload this single file, “googleanalytics.php” to your site. Put it in the content/plugins folder. Then log in to your wordpress site, go to the plugins tap and “activate” the google analytics plug-in. After it is activated, you should have another tab under the plugins tab called google analytics. Go there and in the field type in your Analytics User Account. It usually looks like “UA-293849-1” or something like that. You should have gotten this when you signed up for analytics. Once you’ve done that, you’re all finished. Analytics seems to be about 10-12 hours behind, so just wait a bit and then you can start tracking your stats.
Let me know if you need any more help.