Today we’re going to do some hands-on work with Google Analytics and talk about some key considerations for tracking the success or failure of a web promotion effort.
Google Analytics tour: http://www.google.com/analytics/tour.html. (For more details, head to the Google Analytics IQ Lessons at Conversion University.)
Last week we discussed ways to promote a website. This week we’re going to follow up on that topic and also discuss measuring the effectiveness of website promotion with web analytics.
How do You Find Websites
One way to think about how to promote your web content is to think about how people find new websites. Last week I asked you to list five ways you find out about websites. Here’s a summary of your responses:
|Other sites||18||Links from other websites, blogs, online articles, social media (Facebook, Twitter)|
|Advertising||10||Billboards, magazines, TV, public locations (bus, building rooftop, flyers); online ads|
|Word of mouth||7|
|Search engines||6||Mostly Google, often serendipitous|
|Friends||4||Broadcast links via Facebook, twitter|
|Journalism||4||Zines, newspapers, TV news, online articles|
|Web aggregators||2||Digg, Reddit|
|Emails||2||Including email blasts|
By far the most common way to find out about a website is via a link at another website. This makes sense, doesn’t it? The World Wide Web is built around the power of hyperlinks and “surfing” from one website to another.
The next biggest categories are advertising (both online and offline), word of mouth, and search engines.
Last week we also tried our hand at using Digg, one of the most popular examples of collaborative filtering via a web aggregator.
Following this link we can see which stories were most popular with our class.
In order to complete your final project for this course, you’ll need to start tracking the web traffic on your class blog site. Here are instructions for setting up Google Analytics on your class blog.
1. Create an account with Google Analytics. Then create a profile for your blog (using the “Add a Profile for a new domain” option). Google will assign a unique Web Property ID for your blog that looks something like UA-1253XXXX-X (with digits instead of X’s!)
2. Open up a new window and go to the WordPress dashboard for your blog. Choose the left-hand menu option called “Plugins” (just below Appearance, just above Users). Activate the plugin “Google Analytics for WordPress“. Then choose Settings for this plugin: enter your “” and also choose the option to place the tracking script in the header. Then hit Update Google Analytics Settings.
3. Returning back to Google Analytics, choose “Analytics Settings”, then “Edit” (Profile), and then “Check Status”. If everything goes well you should then have a new status message of Awaiting Data Collection.
Once Google Analytics begins tracking information for your blog, you will see traffic data the next day.