Q and A: How do I add Google Analytics code to my WordPress site?

QuestionHello Kalena

I have a couple of questions about my WordPress site.

I have signed up for a Google AdSense and Google Analytics account but I am confused as to where to place the tracking codes.

Can you help me at all?

Thanks
Sarah

Hi Sarah

I recommend you review Google’s own instructions for adding the Google Analytics code.

If you’re adding the code to a WordPress site, you need to add it to the header.php file from within WordPress. You go to the *Editor* area under Administration from your WordPress dashboard. Then you copy and paste the code into the header.php page, just before the closing </head> tag.

Google also provides instructions for adding the AdSense code. However, if you want to put AdSense on your WordPress site and you’re not confident editing code, you’re probably better off installing an AdSense plugin that will help you to add AdSense ads to your pages without messing around with code hacking.

Hope this helps

Kalena

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Outdated Google Analytics Tracking Code Could be Costing You Thousands

Do you run an ecommerce site? Do you use Google Analytics code on your pages? Does your site contain secure pages that start with https? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then you’ll probably shudder in horror when you read this.

Tom Critchlow of Distilled – a search agency in the UK – has written a guest post for the Google Analytics blog that demonstrates how using outdated Google Analytics tracking code on your secure pages can be costing you THOUSANDS of dollars.

Tom explained how he noticed a glitch on the analytics report of his client’s ecommerce site that involved users of Internet Explorer 8. These users had a significantly lower conversion and revenue rate on the site, in comparison to users of other browsers and IE versions.

Turned out Tom’s client was using the old Urchin version of the Google Analytics tracking code on every page. The old code included a call to a non-secure .js file that triggers a security warning pop-up in the Internet Explorer 8 browser.

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox don’t display a security warning but Internet Explorer 8 produces the following warning when users transition from the non-secure (http) pages to secure (https) pages on a web site.

The error looks like this:

IE 8 warning

Not surprisingly, the error was causing almost all visitors browsing with Internet Explorer 8 to abandon the shopping cart process and this was costing Tom’s client an enormous amount of revenue, estimated to be in excess of USD 150K per month.

A 5 minute fix to the site saved Tom’s client an estimated 1 million dollars per year. What was the fix? Simple. Installing the new version of the Google Analytics tracking code.

The new Analytics tracking code is asynchronous, meaning that it can track a single domain, or more complex sites with multiple subdomains, database driven pages, php pages or just top level domains.

The new tracking snippet offers:

* Faster tracking code load times for your web pages due to improved browser execution
* Enhanced data collection and accuracy
* Elimination of tracking errors from dependencies when the JavaScript hasn’t fully loaded

If you are using older versions of the Analytics tracking code, Google recommends you login to your Analytics dashboard, download the new code and transition your pages over as soon as possible.

Now you have an added incentive to transition – if you run an ecommerce site, the new code might not just save you page load time but thousands of dollars too!

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Zen and the Art of Web Site Analytics

smiling-buddhaSite analytics have always freaked me out a little.

I mean, the sheer amount of data you are presented with about your web site can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. Or even if you DO know what to look for.

That’s why I’m a big fan of Avinash Kaushik, the Analytics Evangelist for Google and author of the Occam’s Razor blog.

I have been avidly reading Avinash’s book Web Analytics: 2.0 for a couple of weeks now and I’m so impressed by Avinash’s writing style and the knack he has of simplifying concepts.

Take for example his definition of a Single Page Visit:

“I came. I puked. I left”

Exactly. If a visitor to your site doesn’t like or find what they’re looking for the first page they look at, it’s  highly likely they’ll simply take off. So you’d better look carefully at those pages with high bounce rates and work out what the heck is turning people away.

Avinash knows that webmasters and marketers often need to present a SWOT analysis or at least a summary of key site analytics to a range of stakeholders. He explains explicitly how to pull the crucial data out of your site analytics and present it in such a way that even the most non-tech of people can make sense of it.

I was reading his feature article in the latest Search Marketing Standard magazine yesterday and something in particular he said really stood out for me:

“Less is more. Focus on the critical few metrics rather than the insignificant many”

Often, we are so obsessed with understanding ALL the data presented by our analytics program that we forget to take a step back and think about WHY we are studying analytics in the first place. Avinash reminds us that we need to use our time wisely and look at just the few critical metrics that impact our business.

These will be different for everyone, depending on the goals of their web sites. For example, for my business, the key metrics are probably bounce rate, keywords, referrers and exit pages. As long as I review these four metrics regularly, I can be confident that I’m measuring the most important data that is influencing my online business. For a lead-generation based site, the critical metrics might be conversions, entry pages, page views and referrers.

So don’t be afraid of your analytics. Think about the main goals you’ve set for your web site, dive in to your analytics and pull out a few metrics that will help you understand why visitors are meeting/missing those goals. Then you can tweak the site based on what you’ve learned.

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Q and A: Can Google Analytics help me identify potential customers?

Question

Hi Kalena…

My question relates to Google Analytics. Does it also track what kind of visitors are coming to your site? I wonder if there is a tool that can tell you what kind of visitors come to your site. What I want to find out is if the visitors who come to my site are people who try to sell me stuff or are they potential clients who are interested in my services.

Thank you,

Galit

Dear Galit,

Thanks very much for your enquiry.  Google Analytics (along with most other site usage stats packages) tracks a wide variety of information about your site visitors – and by analysing this data it is often possible to infer their “intent”.  However, there is no “magic wand” or simple measurement that you can use to determine whether they are really potential customers.

Saying that, if you have goal tracking setup in Google Analytics (and I hope you do), you can relatively easily determine which types of users are more likely to result in a conversion – for example, using goal tracking in place, you may notice that 60% of users coming to your site via a google search query for the phrase “cheap red widgets” go on to buy red widgets from you.  This is important information – as it means that by optimising your sitye for this keyword phrase, you are likley to increase traffic – and more importantly sales.

Another analytics feature that you should consider implementing is – eCommerc tracking . This allows you to relatively easily determine your most profitable sources of revenue, and can be a very  effective way to determine how best to boost your online sales amd enquiries.

Regards,

Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

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Q and A: How can I track visitors coming to my website?

QuestionHi Kalena,

How would I find that how many users are visiting my site? Is that possible to have it as a report? i.e. daily, weekly etc.Question

Baskar

Dear Baskar

The two word answer to your question is “web analytics”. Web analytics software will not only help you to track the number of visitors coming to your website, but would tell you where they came from, the amount of time they spent on your website, pages they visited, and a whole lot of other data pertaining to your website.

The data from your web analytics software is extremely useful in helping you fine tune your website and is a must have for anyone who owns a website or a blog. There is a plethora of web analytic software, both free and paid, which you can use to get all the data you are looking for. The only challenge you are likely to face is converting this raw data into information which can be acted upon.

Personally I prefer Google Analytics and I have various reasons to do so. It is free to use and will supply you with all the data that you need, at least at beginner and intermediate level. On top of this, it is simple to use and intuitive. Your can generate reports based on various dimensions, customize it, and export them in various formats. You could not ask for more from free-to-use software.

The installation process is simple. All you need to do is sign up for Google analytics (you can use an existing Google account), grab a tracking code and insert it in webpages you want to track – job done. Google will start tracking your website’s activities in the next 24-48 hours. You can refer to Google Analytics Installation Guide for step by step instructions.

Saurav.

Pay for Performance Search Marketing

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