Track Traffic with Google Analytics

How to Use Google Analytics for Beginners

(Text on this page copied and modified for class. Writing credit goes to the author of the page at: http://mahalo.com/How_to_Use_Google_Analytics_for_Beginners)

Google Analytics is one of the best tools out there for analyzing traffic on your website. With a little bit of setup, it will give you an enormous amount of information about who is coming to your site, what they're looking for, and how they're getting there. In fact, it has so much information that it can be overwhelming! Don't let it scare you away. With just a little training, you too will be able to use Google Analytics like a pro.

Step One: Sign Up for Your Account

  1. Go to Google Analytics at Analytics
  2. Click the "Sign Up Now" button to continue.
  3. Use your Google account to sign in
  4. Click the "Sign Up" button (again).
  5. In the next window, provide Google with the full URL of your blog (xxx.blogspot.com)
  6. The account name will default to your blog name. You do not need to change it.
  7. Change the timezone to Eastern time.
  8. Click "Continue".
  9. In the next window, provide your contact information (note that all fields except country can be left blank.)
  10. Click "Continue".
  11. In the next window, read the Google Analytics terms of service. If you agree with them, click the "Yes" box.
  12. Click "Create New Account".

Step Two: Add Tracking Code to your Blog

  1. You should now be at the "Add Tracking" window
  2. Copy the code from the right portion of the page
  3. Sign into Blogger
  4. From the Blogger dashboard, click on "Layout"
  5. Click on "Edit HTML"
  6. Find </body> in the HTML
  7. Paste the Tracking Code immediately before (above) </body>
  8. Back in Google Analytics, Click "Continue"
  9. In the main Analytics window, click "Check Status" to ensure you modified the HTML on your blog correctly. You should see "Waiting for data: xxxx.blogspot.com Analytics has been successfully installed and data is being gathered now."

Step Three: Hurry Up and Wait

  • It takes 24+ hours for Google to collect the data for your blog. We'll come back to Google Analytics throughout the semester.

Step Four: Google Blog Search

Google *should* find your blog and start to "index" it.
Just to be sure, use this page to tell Google about your blog: Blog Search

Step Five: Don't Stop There

Google isn't the only game in town. We need to explicitly add your blog to all the popular search engines. You can see the recent rankings of search engines here. Adding your site to these engines is done using the same technique. They will ask you to put a "meta tag" on your page to show that you own the site that you are trying to list. We'll do these one at a time:

Google Webmaster Tools Google Webmaster Tools

  1. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click Add a site.
  2. Enter your blog's complete URL (e.g. http://xxx.blogspot.com) and click Continue.
  3. On the Verification page, select the Meta tag verification method and copy the meta tag provided
  4. Sign in to Blogger.com
  5. From the Blogger Dashboard, click Layout
  6. On the Layout tab, click Edit HTML.
  7. Paste the meta tag (copied above) immediately after the <head> element within the template HTML, and click Save template.
  8. On the Manage Verification page in Webmaster Tools, confirm that Meta tag is selected as the verification method, and then click the Verify

Yahoo! Webmaster Tools Yahoo Webmaster Tools

  1. Enter blog name and click "Add My Site"
  2. Sign into Yahoo! (sign up if needed)
  3. Select Authentication "By adding a META tag to my home page"
  4. Copy the Meta tag provided.
  5. Follow the same steps as with Google Webmaster above

Microsoft MSN (and Bing) MSN and Bing Webmaster Tools
  1. Click "Sign In to Use the Tools"
  2. Sign in (or sign up, if needed)
  3. List your full URL in the "Site Address" field (be sure to include http://) and click "submit"
  4. Once again, copy the meta tag and paste it into your blog template
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