Who visits your website? How long do they spend there? How do they find your website, and which pieces of content seem to be the most popular? These questions are all critical for you to ask as you strategize about your website and how you market it. The more you know about these meaningful metrics, the better you can tweak your site to bring in the kind of traffic you need.
There are different ways to track your metrics, but one of the simplest and easiest ways is to install Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a dashboard that records certain stats about your site and feeds you the results; it doesn’t cost anything and requires no technical know-how to use it, which is why it’s popular with small business owners.
Once you have Google Analytics installed in your website, you will be able to tell how many people visit your site; what they do when they get there; where they’re coming from; and when they’re most active.
But before you can access any of that data, you’ll need to actually have Google Analytics installed. This is a quick and easy DIY project; just follow these short steps to get Analytics up and running!
For WordPress.org Sites
First, go to the Google Analytics signup page and log in. If you have an existing Google or Gmail account, you can use that; if not, you’ll need to sign up for one.
Next, you’ll be prompted to start using Google Analytics. You should see a button inviting you to “sign up” for the program. Click it!
Then, you’ll be asked to choose between tracking a website or a mobile app. Ensure that you have “website” selected.
You may also be asked to participate in a Google Analytics Beta program. For the sake of simplicity, you may want to stick with the classic account, and wait to receive the extra features once beta testing is complete.
Fill in the rest of the required information. Google will ask for your website name and URL, the time zone you’re in, and more. It’s mostly self-explanatory; note that “Account Name” doesn’t really matter and can be anything you want, perhaps simply your business name.
Click on the get tracking ID command. You’ll also be asked to agree to Google’s terms of service. From there, you will be given a piece of Web code that you are supposed to copy and paste into WordPress—but where?
Leave that tab open but open a new one for WordPress. There are different ways to input the code to WordPress, but maybe the easiest is to install the Insert Header and Footer plugin, go to the plugin settings page, and then simply copy the Google Analytics code. And voila! You’re done, and ready to start tracking.
For WordPress.com Business Sites
If you happen to be using a premium business account on Worpress.com, the whole process is actually much easier. Sign in to Google Analytics, as we lay out above, and enter your website URL when prompted. You should be issued a tracking code—something alphanumeric.
From there, go back to WordPress.com and hit Settings, then Analytics. Simply paste the tracking code you received and you’re ready to go!
From there you can get started tracking and analyzing data—and if you need any help with that, we’re happy to consult. Contact Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.
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