Have you ever published a blog post and thought, “I wonder if anyone is reading my blog post right now.” Have you wondered what day of the week or time of day is best for sharing your content? What about how many users are coming from your social media accounts.
By adding a Google Analytics tracking code to your website you can analyze your data to see what’s working and what’s not working. A few examples of the types of data you can see are:
- Real-Time data (who is visiting your website right now in real time)
- Hourly & daily engagement
- Demographics (by city, state, country, continent)
- New vs. returning
- Mobile user vs. Desktop users
- Network referrals (visits from links shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. )
For example, if you are planning a marketing campaign, you can view your Daily report for a particular period of time to see which day of the week has had the most traffic. Let’s say your day is Wednesday. That may be the day you wish to post your campaign. Or, if you are trying to increase your visits on another day of the week, see which date has the least amount of exposure and post your campaign on that day of the week.
By familiarizing yourself with your website traffic, you can learn how to make Google Analytics an important part of your blogging strategy.
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Setting Up Google Analytics on Your Website
Visit https://analytics.google.com. If you are a new Google user, you will need to set up an account. If you are an existing Google user, it will prompt you to sign in.
Once you’ve created your account on the first screen, you will be taken to a screen that looks similar to this;
Add Your Tracking Code to Your Website
You have several ways to add your tracking code – 1) after the Head tag in your theme or 2) using a Plugin.
Add Your Tracking Code to the Head Tag
The tracking code snippet shown in (3) should be placed right after the opening
<head> tag on each page. Since our child themes are built on the Genesis Framework, you will go to Genesis > Theme Settings and place your tracking code into the Header Scripts box.
Using a Plugin to Add Your Tracking Code
There are many plugins designed to help you add Google Analytics to your website. Some only add the tracking code with no additional data or reporting being shown in your WordPress dashboard, while others will add charts and graphs to your dashboard. Here are two popular plugins to get you started.
- Simple Google Analytics – Install, activate and add your tracking code id (2). That’s it. No data or reporting will be shown in your dashboard. You will need to visit your Google Analytics account to review your data.
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights – Once you have installed and activated the plugin, navigate to the Insights tab in your WordPress admin menu and configure the plugin. With this plugin you will be able to see your site’s performance right inside the dashboard.