How to set up google analytics in 3 easy steps
As bloggers, especially those who want to work with brands, it’s important that we know the key statistics for our blogs. Often brands will use those numbers to decide whether or not they want to work with us. It’s also really helpful to know which of our posts are the most popular so that we can write more content like it. So how do I go about measuring my blog stats? I hear you cry. The number one way is to set up Google Analytics.
You could monitor your stats using Jetpack, but it’s such a massive plugin, if all you’re using it for is to check your page views I’d switch. You get a lot more detail from Google Analytics too.
Before I go any further I just want to add my two-pennies-worth on blog stats. Remember that you and your blogs are worth much more than the number of unique monthly visitors you have or your page views. You can earn money from a blog that gets 20 views a day, and that’s without being paid for sponsored posts. That’s it for me and my soapbox for today.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy through one of these links I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I use or want to use in future.
Set up your Google Analytics Account
So first things first, you need to set up a google analytics account. If you have a google account (if you have a gmail account then you have a google account) sign in to your google account and then go to Google Analytics. Otherwise if you don’t have a google account you’ll need to set one up, you don’t need a gmail account to do this.
Add the tracking code to your blog
You can do this in a few different ways, I recommend that you either use a plugin or use the file upload method. Both are quite straightforward to do, and which way you choose will depend on how confident you are adding new files to your host.
This tends to be the most popular way of adding the tracking code to wordpress blogs. A lot of bloggers who don’t feel very confident with the tech side of things will often go for this option because it’s just a case of installing and activating a new plugin and adding the tracking id that you get when you sign up for google analytics.
There are a few good Google Analytics plugins out there the most popular are Monster Insights and Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress. There isn’t much to choose between either plugin if I’m honest. Personally I prefer Monster Insights because it’s easier to find stats within the plugin, but even then it only shows you basic stats. I’d always use the google analytics dashboard to monitor my numbers no matter which plugin I use to set up google analytics on my blog.
You can also upload a file to your host which will add the tracking code for you. The advantage to doing it this way is that you’re not relying on a plugin to be kept up to date. No matter what plugins you have installed, the trackign code will always be there. You just need to make sure that the file is copied over to your new host if you ever decide to switch to a new one.
To add your tracking code this way you’ll need to download the file that Google Analytics gives you when you’re setting up your analytics account and then upload it to the public html folder on your host.
The following instructions are how to upload the tracking file to Siteground.
1. Navigate to the CPanel for your site and click on File Manager.
2. In the popup that appears make sure that the Document Root radio button is selected and that your site is selected in the drop down list.
3. Click Upload, and then click the browse button on the Upload screen.
4. Search for the file you downloaded from Google Analytics.
5. Your file should now be uploaded on to your host.
Check out your blog stats
No matter which method you use to add your tracking id, it normally takes 24-48 hours for your numbers to be visible in the Google Analytics dashboard. When they do start to show in the dashboard you’ll see the statistics for visitors/page views etc. from the minute you added the tracking code to your site
Once you stats are visible in your dashboard it’ll look something like this picture that I’m going to show below.
So that’s all it takes to set up google analytics for your WordPress blog. There are other ways than the ones I mentioned to add the tracking code to your site. The two I talked you through are the two most popular and reliable ways of doing it. I also store my monthly stats (unique monthly visitors, page views, bounce rate etc.) in a separate spreadsheet along with my social media stats and my Domain Authority. This is so that I have somewhere where I can see the growth of all my stats from month to month at a glance.
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