Optimize Your Blog Using Web Analytics: Part 2

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 in Blogging
This is Part 2 on my series, Optimize Your Blog Using Web Analytics. In this post I will be talking about the different kinds of Web Analytics tools and how to get set up with them. If you liked this post, be sure to check out Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4 as well.

What Web Analytics Software Should I use?

There are quite a few Web Analytics software out there. There are free ones and there are paid ones. The free ones usually offer just limited details and usually don’t look as pretty as the paid ones. A few of these free softwares, will come with your hosting package. Many webhosts offer a few free web analytics programs, and tracking tools. Some examples of these tools are StatCounter, AWStats, Piwik, OneStat, Webalizer and countless others. Now, most of these free analytic programs will get the job done, but usually lack the nice displays and the cool features that more expensive software provides. There is an exception to this however, Google analytics offers detailed reports all for a price that everyone can afford. It provides nice pictures, graphs and has some nice features that you can use to fully optimize your blog. This is probably the reason why it is commonly used the most.For the majority of this series I will be sticking with free web analytic software simply because the majority of people don’t use paid web analytic software. By sticking with free analytic software, I feel that I will be able to help more people out. I will be using Google Analytics the majority of the time, just like many others.

Installing Web Analytic Software.

Most web analytic software is fairly easy to install. If you have them set up on your hosting account, then all you probably have to do is enter the URL of your website and click a button. However, if you are using free software that is not offered by your hosting company, you will probably need to post some kind of code on your website.Here I will go through the steps for installing Google Analytics on your blog. It is fairly straight forward but just for the sake of it, I will provide pictures and detailed descriptions.The first thing you will want to do is log into your Google Analytics account. Once you are in there, you need to click on “add new website profile.” Once you are done that, you need to enter all of your site information.

(NOTE: click on the images for a full view)

Once you are done entering all of your site information, you will be given your site code as shown below

Now, this is where it might get confusing if you are totally new to this kind of thing. You will need to take this code and paste it on your website. What you will need to do now is go into your Word Press account. Once you are signed in, click on the design tab. Then go to theme editor, and on the right side of your screen, you should see something like Footer.php. Click that, and your screen should look something like this.Scroll all the way done. Once you are at the bottom, you should see an area that looks like this:What you will need to do now is, take your code and paste it right above the </body> Tag. The end result should look something like this:Once you are finished that, hit update file and you are all done and ready. Now you will have Google Analytics on your blog and you should be good to go.It will usually take 1 to 5 hours until you start seeing data being reported. Keep in mind though that, it takes about 24 hours for the reporting to be completely fully accurate.As a final last note on this tutorial, If for some reason you still can’t figure out how to install Google Analytics, then you still have hope. There is a WordPress Plugin that does it for you. The only reason why I recommend that you do it manually is because, plugins slow down the performance of your website. You will want to keep the amount of plugins you have on your blog to a minimum.If you enjoyed this post then stay tuned for my next post in the series, Using Web Analytics To Optimize Your Blog. If you want an introductory to this series, then read Using Web Analytics To Optimize Your Blog: Part 1.