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Lesson 13 – Part 6 – Configure Google Analytics

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Now we need to set up Google Analytics and while we’re here, we’ll just go ahead and search for Google Analytics.

Once you get this set up, it’ll go into your dashboard but at the moment, the next thing we have to set up is to sign up for Google Analytics. The first thing to do is to sign up, the next thing to do is add the tracking code and the third thing to do is to learn about the information that we’re going to get out of this.

What Google Analytics Does

I guess maybe you don’t realize this but Google Analytics is a very powerful way of understanding who visits your site, where they come from and what they’re doing. It’s far more powerful than WordPress Analytics or other kinds of analytics.

In terms of creating a new account, this account name should be something that is recognizable to you. If you only have one website then maybe it’s not that big deal but if you’ve got a bunch of different websites that you’re tracking, it’s good to have a nice descriptive account name here. I’m going to say this is “Lesson 13 SBYWH” and the URL is, United States, specific timezone and I’m going to share my Google Analytics data with Google and with others.

Sharing Information with Google

With all this conversation about privacy, a webmaster gains real benefit out of sharing data like this and you personally may not want your browsing monitored but you’re going to be glad that Google monitors everybody else’s browsing because you get good information out of it. We’re going to say, “Yes, we’ll go ahead and continue to share our information”, “Yes, we agree to the terms and conditions” and we’ll “Create an account”.

Adding a Tracking Code to the Site

Now that we’ve created our account, the first thing for us to do is to add the tracking code to our site. The way we do that is by first answering these questions. What we’re doing here in this case is we’re using the standard format. We are tracking a single domain, not one domain of multiple subdomains and not multiple top level domains but one single domain.

If you change this, it’ll get a different code so go ahead and select this. If you’ve read in the information and somebody says, you need to use a new Google asynchronous code, that’s what we’re getting here. This is the new Google asynchronous code. Asynchronous just means that it allows the rest of the webpage to load while it’s loading its code.

We copy that, we come back over to our site and over the Thesis Site Options, and under Additional Scripts, we paste the code. The author of Thesis gives you this little nonsense here about this is the place you’re supposed to put Google Analytics but Google Analytics tells you to put it here and because it’s an asynchronous code, it doesn’t slow the site down, it doesn’t interrupt the page load as he suggests here.

Placing Google’s Asynchronous Code

There certainly are tracking scripts that will, but Google Analytics does not belong down in the Stats and Software Scripts, it belongs up here in the head, that is exactly what Google says. If we go back to our site here it says that in terms of where to place it, you paste it on every page immediately before the closing head tags.

It’s got to be inside the head, before the body and so we’re going to follow their advice and not Chris’. No offense to Chris of course but this is the right place for that code. Go ahead and hit Save and we’ve now added that code. We’re going to test the effect by looking at it.  Here we are on our page, we’re going to view the page source and here’s that code right here. The code didn’t exist before this, here’s our UA number 29986231-1.

We need to make sure that’s the way it is. You can always come over here and look again, 29968231-1, that’s that piece of code placed inside of the head. It’s not actually placed directly above the head tag but that’s not quite as important as it’s being in the head and that’s where it is.

Testing the Code

What we need to do is verify that Google can actually read that code. If we look here it says, “Tracking Not Installed” so what we want to do is get it to test. It may be good enough simply to refresh this screen here. It was, and now the tracking status says, “Tracking Installed”.

Now it’s going to start tracking information about our site and you can get that information by coming over here, clicking on Lesson 13 and going to that and going to Home. There’s no information to see here, it’s going to take some time before you start seeing any activity. Nevertheless, this is where you’re going to see that.

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