So, you’ve picked a blog niche, decided on a name, and set up your self-hosted blog, now what?
Well, at this point you need to start writing some blog posts and generating traffic. But you need a way to track what’s going on, on your website.
That’s where google analytics comes in. Keep on readin’ and this post will show you what the heck google analytics is, why you need it, and how to install it on your new blog.
How to Install Google Analytics On Your New Blog
First things first…
What exactly is Google Analytics?
Google analytics is a free google software that connects to your website through a tracking code. It tracks and supports website traffic and is available to anyone with a google account.
But Why the Heck Do I Need It?
Well, my friend, in order to understand your audience – where they’re coming (referral/traffic wise), what their needs are and what they’re interested in, you need to be able to track your stats.
By being able to see what your most popular blog posts are and what your highest and best referral sources are – you can better serve your audience and capitalize on that knowledge.
How to Sign Up for Google Analytics
If you have a google account, you’re already ahead of the curve.
Just go to analytics.google.com and click sign up.
Then fill out the New Account Information.
Then click the blue Get Tracking ID button.
If for whatever reason you need to access your tracking ID again in the future (after signing up) you can find it by:
- clicking admin
- under property, scroll down to tracking info -> then hit tracking info
- copy the entire tracking ID
Installing Google Analytics
Once you’ve got your tracking ID up, open a new tab and log into your wordpress.org website dashboard.
- click plugins -> add new -> type in to the search “insert headers and footers” ->install and activate the plugin
On your dashboard sidebar (still in wordpress), hover over settings. Then you’ll see “Insert Headers and Footers” in your menu – click on it.
Then you’ll see two sections that say “scripts in header” and “scripts in footer.” Copy and paste your tracking ID in either script area then click the blue save button at the bottom.
It may take up to 48 hours to start seeing your traffic stats show up but other than that you’re all set up and ready to get your traffic trackin’ on.
But wait! You know I just wouldn’t leave you hanging like that. I’m sure you’ll be utterly confused by your analytics dashboard at first (’cause I definitely was). So here are a few dashboard analytics terms explained….
- Real Time: allows you to monitor activity and stats (in real time) as they happen on your website
- Audience (Overview): usually what you first see when you sign into analytics; provides insights into the characteristics of your audience (i.e. their demographics, interests, etc..) It also shows your overall statistics like sessions, users, page views, pages/sessions, session duration, bounce rate, and new sessions.
- Sessions: refers to every action one user takes on your website (i.e. when a user downloads, looks at other pages, or purchases something = 1 session)
- Users: A person (aka user) that visits/views a page on your website
- Page views: are recorded every time a page on your website is viewed
- Average Session Duration: the sum of durations of each session during a specified date range and divides that sum by the total number of sessions
- Bounce Rate: refers to the number of visitors that visit on your site and then leave (bounce) without visiting another one
- New sessions: same as sessions but only tracks the users who have “no cookies” on your site
- Acquisition: shows your traffic sources (i.e. organic traffic, referral/social media traffic, etc.)
- Behavior: shows what your audience does on your website, like what pages/posts people visit and what actions they take while on that page.
- Conversions: tracks visitor transactions; when someone visits your site performs an action thats defined as a goal, analytics tracks & records that as a conversion
- Admin: gives you access to administrative features, such as setting up traffic filters, adding integrations, and changing user permissions.
& there you have it. You now have a fully functioning blog with traffic tracking capabilities.
Do you use google analytics for your blog? If not, what other traffic tracking system do you use?