Tracking your website/blog traffic will be important if you are going to achieve your intended business goals. The process has even become simpler with time, and with the free number of analytics tools available, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be capturing your website visitor data.
In this article, I will show you how to track your website traffic with the Google Analytics tool. The beauty of it is that it’s as easily accessible as having a Gmail address. And best of all, it’s FREE to use.
Why it is important to track website traffic
Website traffic data analytics are not just about knowing how many people are visiting your site. It goes beyond that. It can also show you what content appeals the most to your visitors – which pages or posts are most visited. Traffic data can also show you how much time your visitors spend on a particular post.
That information will help you to refine your content according to users preferences.
A word of caution though; tracking your website traffic too early when you just started out building your site will not give you credible results that you can rely on. That data is practically useless.
You will also land yourself in a situation known as “paralysis by analysis” – getting discouraged by trying to analyze traffic data that is not enough. Your site hasn’t been ranked on the search engines yet so you probably don’t have any click throughs.
Tracking website data with the free Google Analytics tool
Google Analytics tops the list because it is totally free and simple to install on your website. If you are more advanced in your marketing strategies, Google may be a little bit too shallow for you.
I always like to use images in my tutorials to make it easy for someone who is just starting out to follow the process. I was once a newbie in this industry and I can relate too well with the getting stuck part.
Step 1 – Create a Google Analytics account
If you don’t already have Gmail please create one here.
Then go to Googleanalytics.com and create an account or sign in with your Gmail account if you already have one.
Step 2 – Get the tracking code for your blog/website
Click on the “Admin” tab on the left side column on your dashboard. I am using live screenshots from my Analytics account. I also have to blur out my username for security reasons.
∗I have to blur out some details for security purposes. You don’t want your personal info plastered all over the world wide web.
On the drop-down menu, click on “create new account“. You have up to 100 websites that you can track on one Google Analytics account. Nice. That’s why Google is the most affordable (read free).
Next, fill in the relevant details. The category is what best reflects what your website is about. Also, choose your country and time zone. Check the boxes that you prefer and click on the blue “Get Tracking Code” to generate your tracking code.
Now you want to copy the code to your website.
Step 3 – How to paste the code on a WordPress website
Log into your WordPress website. On the left side of the dashboard, click on “Appearance” then “Editor” on the drop down menu. We are looking for the Theme header Php file.
On my Accent WordPress theme, the Php file is located on the right-hand side. Options for different themes may vary slightly.
A window with the header code will open. The first <head> is what we are looking for. Place the cursor directly after the angle bracket > and hit “enter’ on your keyboard just once to create a space.
NOTE: Make sure not to delete anything or it will break your entire site function. In case you make an error, just hit the back button and re-do the process over again.
With the cursor at that empty space, right click and paste the copied Analytics script code, then click the blue ‘Update file‘ button further down.
You are done! Whew! That is assuming you have done it correctly.
Step 4 – Test If Code is Working Correctly
The drop-down menu will show your site(s). Click on the site that you want data for then ‘all website data‘ to open the traffic analysis window. That is where you will be monitoring your traffic data. Click around to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of reports shown.
My Final Sentiments
It takes a lot of work and energy for me to put together step by step tutorials like this one. When I think of how I struggled to find my way around building and running my own website during my days as a newbie, knowing that am helping someone out there to find their way around is well worth the effort.
If you notice zero traffic data, do not be discouraged, your site may still be very new. It takes more than a month of building quality content for you to start seeing some traffic trickling in. Sometimes longer. Patience and consistency are key if you are going to see any progress.
Let me know in the comment box if you found this article helpful in any way. Or if you do have any questions or comments, leave them below and I will get back to them.