In effort to help customers place their AdWords/AdSense better, Google has released the best website statistics package ever…and yes, it’s free. Google Analytics (GA) is probably the best free alternative to those costly site statistics hosting add-on packages. It utilizes an easy to use AJAX interface with live interactive graphs and maps. Here’s how to get it going on your own site.
In order to use Google Analytics, you’ll need your own domain. It doesn’t matter what kind of website you run as long as you have your own domain and the ability to modify files that makeup your website. If you’re running WordPress, then you can simply install a plugin to activate GA on your entire blog. Doing so will automatically place the tracking java script code in the header or footer of your page.
If you’re not running WordPress, setting up GA is still pretty simple. All you need to do is add a few lines of java script to the global header or footer files of your site. Essentially the java script tracking code must be on every page you want to see statistics for. Here is how to get started:
- Go to http://www.google.com/analytics and sign in with your Google Account. If you don’t have one, you can sign up on the same page.
- Enter your site information (domain name, etc).
- Install, configure & activate your WordPress Google Analyticator plugin. In the plugin settings section you’ll need to enter that UA or UACCT number mentioned earlier.
- If you don’t have WordPress, skip step 4 and simply add tracking code from step 3 to any webpage files you’d like to track. Make sure that you paste the block of code before the tag of your webpage files.
- Log back into your GA account and click on the Check Status link. If you see a green check mark and Receiving Data you did everything correctly and GA is collecting site statistics already.
That’s all folks. Enjoy!