One of the things I see on Twitter and Facebook is a lot of bloggers that have issues installing Google Analytics and in all honesty I can understand why. The instructions Google provide are hellish to get your head round and if you’re using blogger it can be just as hard to figure out where to put the code.
There is a much easier method than the one Google suggests and I’m going to go through all the steps you need to follow. I’m also going to give the full and proper installation method for anyone who wants to do it the full way that Google suggests. There will also be tips for how to add the tracking code to WordPress for anyone who wants to figure out how to add the code to their self-hosted blog.
This means that this post is going to be huge. I’m adding as much detail as I can for everyone as it’s something that can be relatively simple if you know what you’re doing.
The first step for all of this is to setup and login to your Google Analytics account. If you’re on Blogger then I would use all the google info that you use to login to Blogger as it means you can move between tabs quite easily if you have Blogger and Google Analytics open at the same time.
One you sign in you’ll be greeted with a screen which is entitled ‘New Account’. You want to have the button for website tracking clicked and then insert the information that is asked for. Below is the full list of what you’ll need to have handy.
- Account Name – I use the title of the blog for this
- Website name
- Website URL
- Industry category – I choose other – unless you blog in a particular niche.
- Time zone – UK will be GMT/BST but choose the one that fits where you blog from
I leave all the data sharing options ticked – I’d say only untick them if you definitely know what you’re turning down. Then all you need to do is click get tracking ID and accept the terms and conditions.
Now you should have a page with the tracking code on it but ignore the pop-up box about setup options for sites hosted elsewhere.
As well as the tracking code you’ll also have a tracking ID which you need to add to your site. This is found in Settings – Other and is at the bottom of the screen labeled as ‘Analytics Web Property ID’. The ID that goes in here will look like this – UA-XXXXXXXX-X. Copy and paste this into the box then click save settings at the top of the page and that will be the trackking ID added to your blog.
This is the point where you need to find the heading that applies to your blog and follow the instructions from there.
Blogger Easy Method
This is the method that I think is the easiest to follow but I can’t take the credit for it. One of my lecturers suggested this method during our Digital Marketing lectures and until then I’d never considered it. Looking back on the information we were provided with I had a classic facepalm moment and felt slapping myself for not figuring this out sooner.
To have Google Analytics operational you need to have the tracking on every page. Traditionally, and as shown in the full method you need to delve into your site’s HTML file and add the tracking code. However, there is another way to do this.
The HTML widgets that you can play with on your Layout page in Blogger also appear on every page. The best place I was told to put the tracking code was to insert an HTML widget into the footer of your blog and then add the tracking code from the Google Analytics page. The only thing you need to remember when doing this is not to name the widget you’re using. By doing it this way, you’ve added the tracking code to your site, it’ll show to Google Analytics but won’t show to your readers that you have used a widget in this way.
Blogger Full Method
In this method, instead of copying the code into the layout section of your blog, you’ll be doing this in the Theme section. Click the Theme option in the sidebar and then click edit HTML which is under the screenshot of the homepage of your blog. You’ll then be presented with the full HTML code for your whole blog.
This is where a lot of people find the installation complicated but really all you’re doing is copying and pasting the code onto your blog but you need to make sure it goes in the right place. To do this follow the steps below and you’ll have added Google Analytics to your Blogger blog.
- Click on the white box which contains the code then use CTRL/CMD & F to open a search box
- In the search box type </head> and hit enter
- When </head> is highlighted, click above it and paste the Google Analytics tracking code there
- Click Save Theme then Back to exit the HTML editor.
You now have Google Analytics fully installed on your Blogger blog!
This is where it gets slightly more complicated as the method of installation for WordPress will change depending on who has designed your theme. I’ll be showing where to add the code if you use a pipdig template but within the settings of any template, you should be looking for the words ‘Theme Hooks’ as this is the standard place to add the code within a WordPress blog.
If you have a pipdig template installed go to the pipdig menu that’s in your sidebar and choose Theme Hooks from there.
Compared to Blogger’s edit HTML screen, this one has the component parts that you may need to add code to, broken down into their respective boxes making them much easier to find than on Blogger. As with BLogger, the code needs to go in the <head> section which is the top box in the screenshot above. Paste the code into the box, then scroll to the bottom and click save changes.
That’s Google Analytics now set up on your WordPress blog and in my opinion, is much easier than either of the installation methods for Blogger but I think I may be biased.
It’s worth noting that you will only have analytics for your blog from the day you install the code and it won’t show anything for at least 24 hours after the installation has been fully completed.
Hopefully, this answered all your questions about Google Analytics and I’m planning a few more posts on Google Analytics soon too. I’ve also written lots of other blogging tips posts which might answer some questions for you.