Just seeing the word Analytics makes many people cringe, but it shouldn’t.
Everyone knows you need to receive, digest, and utilize data from your websites traffic, and there is a FREE solution from our good friends Google, the masters of traffic.
This article is going to show you how to install Google Analytics using WordPress and the Thesis Theme.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a tracking application that gives you an inside look at your websites traffic. Many people are just interested in how many ‘hits’ they are getting, and while Google Analytics does this, it also goes much father down the rabbit hole.
Want to know what keywords people are searching for when they find your site in the search engines? No problem.
Curious to find out which websites are sending you the most traffic? How about where the users are clicking on your page once they get to your site, or your pages that receive the most traffic?
This free application is easily installed on any website by adding a small piece of script to every one of your pages, which will allow Google to track the data for you.
Setting up Google Anaytlics on your website is actually quite easy, and if you are using the Thesis Theme for WordPress, it’s almost a no brainer.
Setting Up Google Analytics
Using one Google account gives you access to any of the applications and features they offer. So if you already have a Google account for your business, be it for Gmail, Places, Youtube, etc, you can use this same account to access Google Analytics.
If you do not have a Google account, do not fret, it is free and easy to get signed up.
Let’s start by visiting http://www.google.com/analytics.
From here you will need to log in with your current Google account, or go ahead and set up a new account(this is also a good time to set up a Gmail account to help streamline your login process).
Once logged in, click on the button that says “Access Analytics”. If you have never set up a site inside Analytics before, you will see a little box that says “Sign Up for Google Analytics”. Click Sign Up.
Enter in your website, typically we also use the website URL as the “Account Name”. Choose your territory and time zone, then click Continue.
You’ll need to enter in a first and last name on the next screen, and then verify that you have ready their ‘agreement’.
At this final screen, Analytics will give you the code that you’ll need to copy and paste to your website. Do not worry if you lose this, you can always go back and retreive your Google Anayltics code.
Install Google Analytics
This code that you’ve just received needs to be on every page of your website. If you are currently using any brand of content management system for your website, this part will be very easy.
Before we get in to that, it is always a good rule of thumb to put any additional script like this as the last piece of content before your </body> HTML tag. This way, in the event that something is wrong with the script, your webpage will still load.
There is one current exception to this rule and it is none other than the Google Analytics script. Google recommends that you place this code just before your closing </head> HTML tag.
For those of you not using the Thesis Theme, this would mean that you need to manually add this script to your header file. For WordPress, you can do this by editing the header.php file.
If you are using the Thesis Theme, there is a much easier way. Log in to your dashboard and click on Thesis / Site Options. Expand the section for “Stat and Tracking Scripts”. Paste your code into that form feild and Save.
That’s it! You’ve just learned how to install Google Analytics tracking script.
You will begin seeing traffic information within 24 hours, but you’ll really need to wait about a month before you can really start getting in to the details.
Thanks for reading and please leave us a comment if you have any questions or suggestions of your own!