One of the most important elements of setting up your business website is establishing a way in which you can monitor the traffic that is coming to your site.  Unfortunately, this is all too often completely overlooked in the excitement of getting your sparkly new website finalised and launched!

The most widely used system for monitoring website traffic is Google Analytics.  Google Analytics allows you to easily see at a glance:

  1. How many users are visiting your website
  2. How they are getting there
  3. Their country of origin
  4. What keywords they searched for to get there
  5. What pages and posts they are looking at
  6. Which browser they are using, and whether they are viewing on a desktop or mobile device
  7. How long they spend on your site
  8. Which sites are referring the most traffic to you
  9. Your bounce rate (i.e. the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page)

Regular review of these statistics is essential to your website’s success.  It gives you a real insight into visitor behaviour which then enables you to tweak you content and keywords as necessary to make sure your website is kicking the goals that you need it to.

To set up Google Analytics on your website, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit https://www.google.com.au/analytics/standard/ and sign up for a free account
  2. You will be taken to a ‘New Account’ screen and asked to enter the details of your website including website name, URL and time zone etc. Complete those details and click ‘Get Tracking ID’.
  3. You will be shown the Google Terms of Service Agreement. Choose your country from the drop down box, peruse the terms and click ‘I accept’.
  4. Copy the website tracking code provided in the following screen. This is the code that you will need to place on your website.  Keep this browser window open – you will need to come back to it after you have installed the code on your website.

To install the code on your WordPress website

Option A: Via Plugin (recommended):

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Choose Plugins>Add New from your sidebar menu
  3. Search for the “Insert Headers and Footers” plugin and click ‘Install Now’
  4. Click ‘Activate Plugin’
  5. Choose Settings>Insert Headers and Footers from your sidebar menu
  6. Copy your Google Analytics tracking code into the ‘Scripts in footer’ box and click ‘Save’

Option B: Directly into source files

Please only use this option if you have a good understanding of WordPress.  Editing your source files can have disastrous consequences if you don’t have the appropriate technical skills required!

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Choose Appearance>Editor from your sidebar menu
  3. Locate your footer.php file
  4. Paste in your tracking code directly before the </body></html> tags.
  5. Save

Once you have installed the Google Analytics trading code, using either of the options above, return to the Google Analytics website and visit the ‘Reporting’ tab.  Within 12-24 hours you will begin to start seeing statistics from your website.  Remember to check them regularly!

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