When I think back to what made KCL successful years ago, measurable site statistics are one of the things that comes to mind. Boring. . . . . right? Just listen to this: it was a couple months after Joanie and I started KCL that I ran into a stranger with coupons at the supermarket. I gave a friendly smile, then couldn’t help but ask what she was buying. She explained her shopping trip and then saw my coupons and asked if I too learned how to coupon from “that Krazy Coupon Lady blog”? I nonchalantly shrugged and explained I had never heard of such a site, then ran to call Joanie, describe the woman and ask, “Do you know her? Who told her about KCL?”
When we established neither of us knew the mystery woman, I looked into a statistics counter that would tell us how many people visited the site each day. I found Sitemeter, a very basic analytics tool, and in 24 hours we were shocked to find out we had hundreds of people visiting our blog daily. That changed everything.
Until this point, we had blogged very sporadically. I was posting most of the content and Joanie was playing with the design and hunting down advertisers. Once we saw the traffic, we knew we had something with great potential. We changed our strategy and began to treat the blog as a business.
And that is why stats are important. It took us many more months to find the far superior (and still free) tracking tool Google Analytics. So, we’ll skip the Sitementer chapter and head straight to the best free Analytics tool on the web. Once you’ve set up your site domain and hosting through Bluehost, follow these step-by-step instructions to install “GA” on your site!
Step 1: HOW TO SIGN UP FOR GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Go to www.Google.com/analytics and create an account or sign in with an existing Google account. To create an account just click the “Create an Account” link in the top right corner and follow the instructions.
Once you are signed in to your Google account you will want to go back to www.Google.com/analytics and click the “Access Google Analytics” button in the top right corner.
From here click the “Sign up” button.
After you click the “Sign up” button you will see this screen. Follow the instructions below.
When this page loads, you will see a tracking ID (e.g.UA-12345678-9). Copy the UA tracking ID they give you so we can use it on the next step.
Step 2: Install the Tracking Code
Hang in there, we’re almost done! Now you’ll need to log in to your WordPress account and click “Plugins” in the side menu. Once this page loads you will see additional links in the side menu under Plugins. Click on the “Add New” link. In the search field type in “Google Analytics for WordPress by Joost de Valk” and click the “Search Plugins” button.
Once the search results load and you find the “Google Analytics for WordPress by Joost de Valk” plugin, click the “Install Now” link.
Click the “Activate Plugin” link.
Click the “Settings” link.
This is where we are going to use your tracking ID. Follow the directions on the image below.
Congratulations! You just set up Google Analytics on your blog. Keep in mind it can take up to 24 hours for Google to recognize your Tracking ID. So don’t worry if you don’t see any data in your Google Analytics account immediately. Stay tuned for more posts in our How To Blog series.