Tracking website traffic, gathering statistics and analyzing them is very important part of any online activity, even if you're just doing this for fun, but especially if you're running an online business or otherwise making money online.
Either case, you should add some sort of tracking to your blog or website from day 1 (or day zero to be exact). There are many ways to handle tracking traffic stats for your blog or website, but Google Analytics is the most popular one, it's free and relatively simple to use.
In this simple Google Analytics tutorial, I'll show you how to set up Google Analytics account to track your website traffic, visitors and other statistics. This is true beginner's stuff, step-by-step style...
1. Set up a Google Account
If you have a Google Account already, move on to the next step. If you don't have an account yet, go create yourself one right now. You'll get GMail access (the best and only email you ever need), Google Docs, YouTube and all the other Google services with that same account.
Start by going to GMail signup (you can get Google Account with any mail, but using GMail is just too convenient to pass here.) and move from there.
2. Setup Google Analytics
If you are new to Google Analytics, first step is to sign up using your Google Account.
- Go to the Google Analytics official website.
- Click the sign-up on the right hand side and
- Sign-in using your Google Account.
- Sign-up for Google Analytics account
Now you have setup a Google Analytics account. Inside Analytics, you can have multiple Analytics accounts, and in each of those, you can have multiple website profiles. And inside those website profiles, you can have multiple sites (if you want).
If you just signed up for a new Analytics account, you'll be moved directly into creating your first website profile.
3. Set Up a Website Profile inside Analytics
Now that you have Google Analytics account, you're gonna setup a new website account. This is where we create Google Analytics tracking code, which will be placed into your website.
- Fill in the website details and the account name
- Fill in your contact details
- Accept the Terms and Service
4. Get the Google Analytics Tracking Code
Once you create the account and website profile, you'll get the Google Analytics tracking code.
You can copy the code and paste it to any web page you have or inside your blogs theme- or template-file.
Or if you are using a plugin or an addon, you probably just want the property ID (for example: UA-1231231-1)
If you're adding Google Analytics to a WordPress blog via the Google Analytics for WordPress -plugin, you need to add the property ID to the plugin settings. Or you can copy the whole tracking code into the footer.php if you want.
I recommend to use the Google Analytics for WordPress -plugin, if you need the additional features like not tracking your own visits, automatically tracking outgoing links and other advanced features.
I dropped the plugin from my recommended WordPress plugins -list, since I'm using the optimized asynchronous Analytics snippet now, but the plugin is still the easiest, and thus the best option for beginners, to add analytics to a WordPress blog.
- Inside Google Analytics you can have multiple accounts (with your one Google Account). In the accounts, you can have multiple website profiles and in those profiles you can track multiple sites (or just one if you like).
- Setting up Google Analytics account is free. Setting tracking up is one of the first steps you should do when creating your first website, e.g starting a blog, and Analytics makes it quick and easy.
After setting the tracking, I recommend you only check the statistics once a week (or even once a month) and then analyze your traffic, top traffic pages, what keywords bring your traffic, what kind of visitors you get, etc.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful, and if you have any questions, leave your comments below or contact me if you don't want to ask your questions in public. Enjoy your Analytics (but not too much, statistics can be addictive) and here's hoping you'll have plenty of traffic to analyze in there.