Friday, January 29, 2010

Google Analytics

I think the majority of my readership are other transgender bloggers, so I have decided to do a quick write up on one of the most interesting technologies I have incorporated on blogger. Its fun. Its informative. Its free. It is Google Analytics.

Basically, you incorporate a little snippet of code into your web pages, and tracking information goes to Analytics every time someone visits pages that include the code. You can see how many page views your blog has for any calendar day. You can determine what site referred each visitor, and even what search terms were used if the visit was the result of a web search. You can determine what countries, and even which world cities your traffic comes from. It will graph your traffic volume day to day so that you can analyze trends visually. You can even get the length of each visit, and how many pages were opened. Also it is possible to examine the traffic to your individual content to see which blog entries were most popular.

My friend Leslie started mentioning analytics a few months back, and I was very curious. I thought it would probably be a lot of work to get started though, so I put off checking it out for a long time. It turns out it is very easy to start using it, and I regret waiting to try it.

Using it with is very simple. All you have to do is go to and walk through a simple sign up to enable analytics on your existing google account. During the process, it will ask for the domain you wish to track. This will be your blogger address. For instance mine is "shandy-alexis.".

Once you get that entered, it will present you with tracking code that must be added to the site. With blogger, generally your sites all use one template, so it only has to be added in one place.

Simply copy the tracking code presented on the analytics site (highlight everything in the code window then press CONTROL and C for PC users, COMMAND and C for Mac users.) Then go to your blogger dashboard. Click "Layout" in the tab bar across the top. Then click "Edit HTML" in the bar directly beneath the tabs. In the html window search for "/body". (Press CONTROL and F on a PC , or COMMAND and F on a Mac to search. In the search field enter "/body" and hit ENTER. ) It will find one instance. In the code window put the cursor just above the "/body". Hit enter to make a new line, then paste the code from Analytics. (CONTROL and V for PC users, COMMAND and V for Mac users.) Make sure the code looks right, then Click the Save button.

That's it! You are ready to start tracking stats. It compiles statistics at the end of the calendar day, so you will have to wait one day to start getting information out of analytics. Enjoy!


Leslie Ann said...

It's hard to believe that an IT person like yourself didn't have this going long ago. I mean, what else do you have to pass the time? Ha! Now I have someone else to compare notes with.

It took me three days of trying to get it installed and collecting data (not an IT person!). I also lost three days later on when I changed templates. The code had to be dropped back in, and I didn't get that at the time.

Stats rock!

ms.shandy said...

I wish I had done it sooner. Its so interesting. I think when we compare stats, you are going to make my numbers look pitiful though. LOL!

When I changed my layout I didn't think about losing the code either. When the stats for that day got tallied, there were half the normal hits. Then the day after tallied 0. Thats when it suddenly hit me, what I had done, and I added it back.

Stace said...

I set mine up not long after reading Leslie's experience of it. I was amazed at some of the locations that came back.

As for IT vs non IT. I find that unless you are a major geek most IT people are terrible outside of work - most of the non IT people I know spend for more time on their computers after hours, and play with a lot more stuff than me.


ms.shandy said...

@Stace I think in my case its mostly because after fighting computers all day at work, at home I would rather my computer experience not involve too much work.

Once I get everything working smoothy, I try very hard not to introduce new complications. LOL!

Rachel said...

Sorry to come so very late to the party. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this I love it because I'm a very nosey person :-) I've followed your instructions, set it up and it work's a treat.

I also use this ...


... as it gives real-time results so I can see who's looking at my blog at this very moment (as long as they are reading it directly and not through something like google reader)

Sometimes when someone comes up from a corporate domain I can sometimes even track exactly where they are viewing from and look it on street view. Perhaps that's being just a bit too nosey :-)

Rachel X