Adding Google Analytics to Your WebSite in 3 Easy Steps
So you've learned how to create a website. You wrote all the pages added all of the images. You loaded your site up to the Web Host and you are set to go. Everything is great and life goes on. Not so fast. How will you know if your website is being visited and when? How many hits are you getting each week, month or for the year?
We've all heard of page counters. Those are the little widgets that you can add to your site that provide live information on the number of visitors your site has had up to date. There is only one problem with those widgets, most of the time they're cumbersome to add and they're specific to the Content Management System that you may be using. Another disadvantage to them is that they lack much vital information. I mean they only provide you with the total visits but not when those visits occurred, for example. If you website is valuable to you, you will want more information than that.
Enter Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free for small sites and will provide you this information and much much more useful information.
I know what you're thinking? "I bet is difficult to add Google Analytics". WRONG! Adding Google Analytics to your site is easy as 1, 2, 3. It's so easy that I am going to describe the steps below
1. Visit http://www.google.com/analytics/
2. Create an account for your site.
This consists of
Entering the name of the account
Providing the URL (e.g. http://www.mywebsite.com)
Accepting Google's License Agreement
3. Once you have created the account, the site will take you the Tracking Code tab.
Paste that code into your webpages and upload them to your web server and Voila!
You will be able to view the page statistics on your Google Analytics dashboard
At this point the only thing you will be able to see is the Live Data on your site. That's because the stats are a day behind and you will probably have to wait until the next day to start seeing traffic tracking on your website.
Feel free to poke around Google Analytics Dashboard and who knows what cool metrics you will find.
Today is the first day I've played around with it and here is what I have found so far:
1. I can see live action. In other words I can see how many users are on my site live.
2. I can tell on a world map where my users are coming from.
3. I can view the standard reporting such as
Average Visit Duration
Bounces (these are visits abandoned after viewing only one page)
Determine what browsers my users are using
Determine what operating systems my users are using
4. I can view all these metrics by the hour/day/month/year.
5. I can create customized dashboards that allow me to see additional information.
6. This is the coolest feature if you are web developer that manages sites for your clients.
I can create scheduled reports of the metrics to email recipients of my choice. That means that my clients can see the metrics on their sites (I manage some sites that are not my own and this allows them to see the metrics on their sites even though I manage the account). These reports can be setup to be automatically sent each day of your choosing. You basically set the schedule and your clients will get metrics reports each week.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and find it useful. Please leave all your comments below.
Until next time.... happy coding.