Another important thing for bloggers to do once they have set up a new website is to connect it up with Google Analytics to measure traffic and other indicators. How do you do this and why is it so important?
Signing up with Google Analytics is free and easy when using a plugin and we will take you through the steps required in this article. Having an analytics account is very important for determining how much traffic is coming to your site from which countries, and also which of your pages and posts are most popular.
The process of linking your site with Google Analytics requires getting a tracking ID off Google and then embedding this within your new site so they can track and record traffic. There are different ways of doing this, but we want to keep this site simple and aimed at people new to blogging, so we will show you the simplest way to do it that just uses a simple free plugin and doesn’t require messing around with any site settings or coding.
This video from Alex at WP Eagle takes you through the process; we will also detail the steps required below.
Getting Your Tracking ID From Google Analytics
If you already have a Google account then simply log into it and move over to the Google Analytics site on a new tab to sign up for their service. You just need to fill in a few details like your name and name of the your site(s) and tick a few boxes on privacy and you are given a tracking ID and are good to go.
However, if you are setting up a new site it may a good idea to also set up a new Gmail account which also has the same name as your site and link this to your analytics account rather than the personal email you normally use.
Having separate emails for each website can also be good for installing contact forms, since you can direct any messages to the website’s own email to keep everything separate, though it is entirely down to preference. Some people prefer to have everything together in one email.
However you are doing it, just make sure you are logged into your Gmail account and then head over to the Google Analytics site on a separate tab. Once you have gone through the process and got a Tracking ID, keep this tab open and open another tab to move onto the next step below.
Install The Tracking ID On Your Site With a Free Plugin
Open a new tab and log into your WordPress website. Head over to the Plugins section of your Dashboard and search for “Google Analytics For WordPress by MonsterInsights” under Add New if it isn’t already in your plugins. Install and activate the plugin, or follow the link to download the zip file and reupload to your site.
Once installed a new prompt will appear at the top of your Plugins page asking you to configure your Google Analytics settings. Click it and you will be taken through a series of quick steps to connect your Google Analytics account with your website.
The first step is to authenticate your Google account. Make sure you are still logged in on the Google account you just signed to up the analytics with and got your Tracking ID from. There is a simple authentication process where you code and paste codes in to verify your Google account and connect it with the MonsterInsights plugin.
You then need to select your correct site profile from the drop down menu that appears. This is the profile with the Tracking ID you just got from signing up to Google Analytics. Select it and click Next, and then click Save Changes on the MonsterInsights screen that comes up.
You now have Google Analytics installed on your website! Whenever you log in to your analytics account for that website, you will now see statistics on traffic to your website, including number and location of visitors, pageviews, length of sessions, most popular pages and posts and so on. For configuring more advanced settings, see the second half of the video above.
Google Analytics provides a massive array of statistics on your website, from user location to pageviews to devices used and much more.
Why Is All This Important?
Having access to all this information is very important for bloggers hoping to make money off their sites, since it allows you to see at a glance how much traffic you are getting, where it is coming from, and which particular pages are getting the most views.
This gives you an idea of what type of content is doing well on your site, so you can produce more of it, and also which types of content aren’t doing well, so you can improve them or produce less of it. You can adjust your content depending on what the analytics are telling you.
Google analytics can also help you spot if you have a competitor blog coming in stealing traffic from you. If one of your articles that was doing well suddenly has a lot less page views than it usually does, then you can check the search terms to make sure another blog hasn’t come in and outranked you with a better article. Pageview stats allow you to keep track of your competition.
The geographical stats are also useful, since they tell you where you main visitors are coming from. If you are getting lots of traffic from a certain part of the world, then you should maybe think about producing more content aimed at this market.
The device stats can also be helpful, since they tell you what mix of visitors are browsing from desktop, tablet and mobile. If you are getting more visitors on smaller devices, you need to make sure your site is optimized for viewing on these devices with properly formatted content and a responsive theme.
These are just some of the many benefits of having your site hooked up to Google Analytics. The whole process is quick, free and easy and so is well worth it to be able to analyze traffic to your site and adjust your content and design accordingly.