Have you ever wondered how many visitors come to your site? Which pages do they view the most? How about whether they use a desktop computer, a mobile phone, or a tablet? Which links on the Internet bring the most traffic to your site? What about links from social media sites?
All these questions can be answered with tools like Google Analytics.
Setup Google Analytics
This is the most powerful way to study the traffic to your site, and it’s our recommended approach.
Step 1: Create an account and login
Begin by going to the Google Analytics website to sign up for an account and login. If you are brand new to Google Analytics, go right to Step 2 below.
Otherwise, click the Admin menu option at the top of the screen to manage your accounts. In the administration area, use the dropbox to Create new account to manage a new website.
Step 2: Enter website details
If you’ve never used Analytics before, or if you just created a new account for tracking in the last step, you’ll begin with the New Account steps. Select the option to track a website (not a mobile app) and fill in your details:
- Account Name – typically, you’ll fill in your business name for easy organization
- Website Name – this is the property name to track a website, and you can create extra properties later if you need tracking for several websites under one company
- Website URL – the address of your site, which it’s best to copy-paste from your “Settings > General > Site Address (URL)” box in WordPress to prevent typos.
- Industry Category – select the category which most closely describes the nature of your website
- Reporting Time Zone – select which timezone applies to you
- Data Sharing Settings – several optional selections are available, so review each one and uncheck to opt out
When you’re finished, click Get Tracking ID at the bottom of the screen. Review and accept/decline the Terms of Service Agreement in the popup.
Step 3: Copy website tracking code
In the next screen you will see your Tracking ID, the Status of your tracking, and Website tracking information. You must copy the Website tracking code seen in the box.
Step 4: Paste website tracking code into ProPhoto
Login to your site and find the “ProPhoto > Customize > Site Settings > Analytics” screen, where you will paste your code into the appropriate box.
After pasting the code, click Save changes at the bottom of the screen. Now, whenever someone visits your site, their interaction with your site will be logged and presented in your Google Analytics dashboard. Login to your Google Analytics account any time to view reports of all kinds. Tracking data may not show immediately, so be patient for the first bit of data to appear.
Also, be aware that ProPhoto will not add tracking code for anyone who is logged into your WordPress site. This prevents admin traffic from being counted. Simply logout if you need to confirm the tracking code is working, or to track your own activity.
Step 5: Install a WordPress dashboard plugin (optional)
If you want to view your stats without visiting the Google Analytics website, you might install a WordPress plugin like Google Analytics Dashboard in the “Plugins > Add New” area of your setup.
A pane with simple metrics will be shown in your “Dashboard” greeting screen in WordPress, which you can drag-and-drop into the ideal position.
Statcounter is another site traffic analysis tool, similar to Google Analytics, which you can use to review the number of visitors to your site.
Step 1: Create a StatCounter account
Create an account at http://statcounter.com/ where you will login to view the stats for your site. If you already have an account, you can simply log in.
Step 2: Add a StatCounter Project
You will be asked to provide some details about your site, including the address of your site, which it’s best to copy-paste from your “Settings > General > Site Address (URL)” box in WordPress to prevent typos.
Once you’ve provided your site info, you will be asked about a counter or button type. We advise the “Invisible Counter” option, so your site remains under your control and not cluttered with a visible counter box.
Next, you will select an installation guide. Select the WordPress installation guide.Next, choose the Other WordPress Installation option.
This will take you to a page with instructions on how to use a WordPress plugin as well as an option for Power Users. Certainly, you may use the plugin method, but ProPhoto makes it easy to be a “power user” and avoid the plugin (which we recommend). So click to install the plugin manually.
Step 3: Copy standard code
Copy the Standard code for the next step. Ignore all the other instructions. All you need is this piece of code.
Step 4: Paste your StatCounter code into ProPhoto
Login to your site and go to the “ProPhoto > Customize > Site Settings > Analytics” area. Paste the code into the Statcounter Analytics box.
Click to Save Changes and that’s it!
Be aware that ProPhoto will not add tracking code for anyone who is logged into your WordPress site. This prevents admin traffic from being counted. Simply logout if you need to confirm the tracking code is working, or to track your own activity.
Step 5: Confirm setup
If you would like to confirm that StatCounter is set up correctly, scroll to the bottom of the page from which you copied the code and click Check Installation.
You should see a message confirming that you have successfully installed StatCounter on your site. Your site traffic will now be tracked by Statcounter.com where you can login to review site traffic. Again, you must sign out of WordPress to be considered a ‘visitor’ to the site.
Setup other tracking & stats tools
Many other tools are available as plugins for WordPress. If you want to use a different website tracking tool, you might try searching for one in the “Plugins > Add New” area. Remember to delete any plugins you’re not using after you’ve tested them.