Friday, October 17, 2008

Track Blog Activity with Google Analytics

For those of you interested in tracking hits to your blog, Google Analytics offers a great FREE tool. Once you begin using it, you'll love the information it provides. Heres' a quick how-to:

  1. Visit and follow the instructions to sign up for a new account.
  2. Once your account is set up, you'll be asked to paste in your site's/blog's URL. When you paste your URL in the box provided, be sure to remove the "http:/" from the beginning of the URL, as that is already provided for you. If you leave it in what you've pasted, it will make your URL invalid.
  3. You're now on a screen called Analytics: Tracking Instructions, which shows you an HTML tracking code. Copy this code.

  4. Now, click into your blog, and sign in to "customize". Click on "Layout" then "Edit HTML".

  5. Now you're in delicate territory - take it slow here!!!! You are in the actual code that makes your blog look and act the way it does. Take your time. It looks like a scary mess of words and symbols. Scroll waaaaaayyyyy down to the bottom of the code section and look for the word "/body" with "< >" on either side of it (sorry, I can't type the word and characters as a unit, because it's then actual HTML code, and the blogspot posting page won't allow HTLM code in a post). It's very important that you choose the "body" with the "/" in front of it. Click in just before this code and enter down a line.

  6. Now paste in the HTML tracking code you copied from your Google Analytics page into the new line you've created, just above the "body" code.

  7. Press "Save Template".

  8. That's it!
Now, when you visit your Google Analytics page, you'll be able to see stats on your blog, like: number of visits, average time visitors spent on your site, whether or not they used a search word to find you (and if yes, which one) and where your visitors are from. It's all presented in easy-to-read charts, and becomes very addicting to check up on!

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