Now that your WordPress site is installed and your search-engine-friendly permalinks are configured, it’s time to install an import tool – Google Analytics.
If you’ve been running websites for a while, it’s likely you already know about this. If you don’t know about it, we’ll cover what it is and why it’s important, then we’ll go through the steps it takes to install it for WordPress.
In short, Google Analytics helps you understand the traffic that comes to your site. The various statistics the Analytics tool tracks includes:
• Who visits your site
• What visitors do on your website,
• When they visit your site, and
• Where they come to your site from (Facebook, Twitter, search engines or others).
Once your site is getting visitors, checking statistics in Google Analytics will help you understand what marketing channels are effective (ie: are you getting more visitors from Facebook, Twitter, or paid search?) and what your visitors do when they get to your site.
For instance, if you know that your article “Top three way to train a German Shepard puppy” gets 50 percent more traffic than a similar article called “Three great training books for German Shepard puppies”, it will be easier for you to plan and create content that gets more traffic to your site. (Remember, while you should always create great content that’s focused toward your readers, traffic is the reason behind your site. The more traffic you get, the more potential affiliate sales you’ll have.)
How to install Google Analytics
Now before you install Google Analytics on your site, you’ll need to sign up for a Google account (yes, your Gmail account will work!) and navigate to Google Analytics to set up your account.
Once you have your account set up, it’s easy to install the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin and configure it for your site. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
2. On the left-hand side, navigate to Plugins->Add New
3. In the search dialog box, search for “google analytics for WordPress”
4. Find the plugin “Google Analytics for WordPress” in the list and click “Install Now”
5. Activate the plugin
6. Login to Google Analytics
7. Setup your account with your URL, name and time zone
8. Copy your UA code
9. Go back to WordPress and navigate to Settings->Google Analytics
10. In the Analytics Profile, manually enter your UA code (it looks like this: UA-12345678-1)
11. Select “Update Google Analytics Settings”
As far as the other settings of the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, I recommend leaving them alone for now.
At this stage of setting up your site, simply getting your Analytics tracking is the most important thing you can do. The numbers you’ll see in Analytics won’t have any statistical significance in the early stages. In fact, it’s likely you’ll simply be seeing your traffic to your website and not much else.
Now that you have the plugin installed, it’s time to focus on next steps. Over the next few days, start looking at some competitors’ sites on the web, which will give you an idea of how to communicate with potential visitors in your niche.
Tomorrow, we’ll install the Webmaster Tools tracking code on your site. And next week we’ll finish up your WordPress configuration before working on your content.
There’s much more information about Google Analytics than we can cover in this post. Once you have your site set up, go back to these links in the resources to study up on the best ways to use Analytics and the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin.
Google Analytics – Here’s where you go to activate your Analytics account for your website.
Google Analytics Help – This is a good guide to setting up Google Analytics.
Google Analytics for WordPress – You’ll find more about this plugin in the WordPress directory, including installation tips, screenshots and FAQs.
• Setup your Google or Gmail account
• Go to www.google.com/analytics and get an analytics code for your account
• Enter your Analytics ID number in the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin.
• Make sure to save your changes and click around on your site.
• Check your Google Analytics account in a couple of days to make sure it’s correctly tracking visits to your site.
Do you have feedback on Google Analytics and using it with WordPress? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!