After you get your website up and adding content to it, the most important thing is to get the tracking codes in your site so you can see exactly where and how people are coming to your website. There are a few third (3rd) parties out there, but the most trustworthy is Google Analytics.
Step 1 – Go to the Google Analytics Homepage and click ‘SIGN UP FOR FREE‘ located towards the upper right corner of the screen.
Step 2 – The next step requires you to sign in using your email address. A lot of people think that you need a gmail address to create a Google Analytics account, this is not the case. You can covert any email address into a Google Analytics account. Enter your desired email address and password, then click ‘Next‘ for each to proceed.
Step 3 – Now that you are signed in with your email, it’s time to enroll in Google Analytics. As you can see in the image below, you are given a brief description of the steps that must be taken to enable you to view the traffic on your site. Click ‘Sign Up‘ to advance to the next step.
Step 4 – The next step requires you to provide certain information. The first question asks whether you would like to track a website or a mobile app. Considering this site’s main focus is creating websites, I’m going to assume you are going to select ‘Website‘, which is already the default. Then you are going to want to enter the following information;
The following section is “Data Sharing Settings”. This section essentially asks if you would like to share certain Google Analytics data with Google so they can improve their services. All boxes are recommended, if you would not like to share, uncheck any of the following boxes. Once you have completed the form, click ‘Get Tracking ID‘.
Step 5 – You will then be presented with the “Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement”. If you agree to the terms of service, click ‘I Accept‘.
Step 6 – Your account has now been created and you are presented with your Tracking ID number. A message will pop up next to your Tracking ID just explaining that if you are using a provider like WordPress, GoDaddy, or Wix, you are going to need to follow their instructions to set up Google Analytics on your website.
Step 7 – Just below your Tracking ID is your Google Analytics tracking code, located under the “Website Tracking” section. Copy that code as you will need to add it into your website and make sure it is on every page, post, and category. The easiest way to do this is to add it to either your header or footer php file.
Step 8 – To insert your Google Analytics tracking code into the header, you are going to need to download the plugin. Go to your WordPress Dashboard and hover over “Plugins”, then click ‘Add New‘.
Step 9 – Enter “Insert Headers and Footers” into the search bar(It should be the first plugin that pops up), then click ‘Install Now‘. After it’s finished installing, click ‘Activate‘.
Step 10 – Next, hover over the “Settings” section of WordPress and select ‘Insert Headers and Footers‘.
Step 11 – Paste the Google Analytics tracking code that you copied into the space provided underneath “Scripts in Header”. Once you have successfully entered the code, click ‘Save‘ to complete the process. Congratulations! You have officially installed Google Analytics to your website.
This is a sample of one of our websites named wikiDownload that has had it for the past 12 months.
|Overview (Default Page)||Geo|
|All Traffic Data||Real-Time Users|
As you can see this is just a short sample of all the information Google gives to you. The most important one I am not showing above is under the Tab ‘Acquisitions > Keywords > Organic‘.
Here you may view all the visitors by what they are typing into Google, Bing, Yahoo, and any other of the search engines out there. Primarily you will be able to see all the users from Bing and Yahoo but since Google’s search is “secure”, they only show a portion of the total amount.
As a webmaster, I usually lookup my analytics on all my important websites at least once per day to see if there have been any fluctuations or changes. Chances are, if you work on your site diligently, you should see a nice steady growth pattern.
If you like data, you should also consider putting Google Webmaster Tools on your site which will also let you know if the site has been hacked or if there are any changes that Google recommends.