So you’ve created a blog or website. You’ve spent time creating the perfect design, adding clever content, and making sure everything is linked appropriately within your site and out to important social media channels. Everything is live, everything is published, and…now what?
If you’re interested in growing your website, you need to have an understanding of who is interacting with your website and why. Here’s where your friend, Google Analytics comes in. Most of us understand on a basic level that Google Analytics is the best way to track your website’s health, but once you’ve gotten it all set up you’ll realize that there is more to Google Analytics than tracking the number of people that visit your site.
Introducing Understanding Analytics, a multi-part overview series to understanding the main metrics of Google Analytics on a basic level in order to give you an idea of who is visiting your site, where those visitors are coming from, and what changes you can make to see some of those numbers grow.
If you are a blogger, a creative entrepreneur, or a small business owner who is just starting out with building an online presence (or just realizing that they should probably pay attention to actively building their audience rather than just posting content and hoping it sticks), this series is for you.
First, let’s make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your site:
WordPress.com: Unfortunately for freebie WordPress.com users, it is not possible to add Google Analytics to your site. Some of these metrics are included in the stats you see on your dashboard, but if you want to go more in depth, it may be time to move to a self-hosted site.
WordPress.org/Self-Hosted WordPress: There are two ways to set this up. If you are comfortable using HTML, you can insert the tracking code (beginning with <script> ) in the header.php file just above the closing </head> tag. OR you can insert the Google Analytics plugin and simply add the Tracking ID (code starting with UA) to the space provided.
Squarespace: Go to Settings > Advanced > External Services and add your Google Analytics Tracking ID (code starting with UA) to the space provided. Squarespace documentation here.
Blogger: Go to Settings > Other, and add your Google Analytics Tracking ID (code staring with UA) to the space provided. Or, if you’re comfortable with HTML, go to Edit HTML on your template and add the full tracking code (beginning with <script> ) just about the closing </head> tag.
Weebly: Go to Settings > Search Engine Optimization, and paste the full tracking code (beginning with <script> ) into the Header Code area.
Understanding Analytics Posts: