How to Use Google Analytics with Your WordPress Blog

Oct
2009
22

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Google Analytics

Google Analytics


All bloggers know that without website traffic you are not in business. But in order to make the most of your website traffic generation efforts, you must put a process in place to measure and track the visitors to your website, where they are coming from, what they do when they land on your site, how long they stay and how many of them make a purchase. In this article we are going to look at how to use Google Analytics on your WordPress blog to track your website’s traffic and create reports.

What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics for WordPress is a free plugin that, “. . .automatically tracks and segments all outbound links from within posts, comment author links, links within comments, blogroll links and downloads.” It also allows you to track AdSense clicks, add extra search engines, track image search queries and it will even work together with Urchin.” It was developed by Joost de Valk of http://yoast.com, a Dutch WP developer who has authored countless other WP plugins and tools.

First, if you do not already have one, establish a Google account.

Go to: http://www.google.com/analytics and sign in using your Google account username and password.

Enter your website address and fill out the contact information to create your Google Analytics account. You will see a new screen telling you that you need to add a snippet of code to the footer of your website pages. Using a new browser window, log in to your WP dashboard, click on Presentation, then Theme Editor, footer.php.

Paste that snippet of Google Analytics code into the footer.php file on your WordPress blog before the closing body tag that looks like this: “” Finally, hit the ‘Update File’ button and you’re good to go.

Back at the Google analytics page, you will find a button that says, “Check Status.” Click on that so that GA will start talking to your WP blog.

Google Analytics Reports
Now let’s use Google Analytics to generate a report. You might want to create such a report for your advertising clients so that they can see how effectively their advertising dollars are being spent on ads at your site.

After you have set up your GA account and you have given it a few weeks to track your website’s traffic you can go in and generate reports.

Once again, go to: http://www.google.com/analytics and sign in using your Google account username and password. If you have more than one website in your account, choose the one you want to create a report for from the drop-down menu to the right of the ‘View Reports’ tab at the top of the window.

The dashboard will show you at a glance the number of visitors to your site by day, week or month, your visitor’s site usage stats, traffic sources, and a content view of the most popular pages on your site in order of page views. You can click on any of these dashboard items to view a more in-depth report of that item.

You can export a copy of the standard report by using the ‘Export’ tab near the top of the page. You can export in a .PDF format, email or XML.

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