A Quick Guide to Analytics
Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 22-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for nearly eight years and work freelance in digital marketing.
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Analytics is a tough one to crack if you're not statistically minded (like me!) but there are a few key tips and tricks that will have you up to date with your bounce rate in no time. Wondering why you can't trust inbuilt Blogger or Wordpress stats? Maybe you need a quick guide to installing Google Analytics? Whatever the issue, help is at hand. Here's our quick guide to analytics for bloggers…
Why You Can't Always Trust Inbuilt Analytics
I hate to break it to you, but those brilliant stats you've got on your Blogger dashboard? Yeah, they're not accurate. As much as I wish I was getting upwards of 60,000 views a month, I, unfortunately, am not. The thing is, inbuilt analytics on platforms like Blogger and Wordpress are wildly inflated, as they count robots that crawl your site, spam views and your own viewing too. In order to get the most accurate representation of how many humans are viewing your site, you should be using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a totally free service provided by Google (duh) and it will tell you so much about your blog, how people find it and how they interact with it. Want to know what city your readers come from? Check. Wondering what your most read post is? Sorted. Delving into your analytics can be a little bit addictive, and you can even see who's viewing your site in real-time if that takes your fancy.
Installing Google Analytics
Are you convinced it's time to make the switch? Here's how to install Google Analytics...
It's actually a very simple process, and Google lay it all out for you on the platform. First things first, you'll need to create an account for Google Analytics, or you can connect it to an existing account. It's worth noting that you can't install Google Analytics on wordpress.com, only self-hosted wordpress.org. Want to move your wordpress.com blog to another platform? Check out our guide to picking the best platform for your blog.
Once you've signed up, Google Analytics will prompt you to install your tracking code. If you're using self-hosted Wordpress then you have the option of either installing your tracking code directly into the coding of your site, above the <header> tag, or alternatively, there's also a Google Analytics plugin you can use for ease.
If you're on Blogger, head to your dashboard and navigate to settings on the left-hand side menu. Once open, find "other", and you'll see a section to input your Tracking ID. Easy peasy!
Squarespace has a similar system, head to your settings and click on advanced. From here, find the “External Services” section, and the top box will have a section for you to add your Analytics ID.
After installing Google Analytics it will take a few days for it to start collecting data, so make sure you give it a little while to settle. You can also download the Google Analytics app to check via your phone, but I highly recommend the Simply Stats app which is a little bit more user-friendly and very easy to use!
If you want to learn more about using Google Analytics then I highly recommend checking out Google’s Analytics Academy. They’ve got a selection of free online courses covering everything from analytics for beginners to more advanced ways to use the platform.