Hello my fellow techies! This week’s blog post is a short tutorial on website analytics. Now, most web developers underestimate the power of statistics and traffic information, but it’s an absolutely essential part of running a successful website in my opinion. The more you know about your visitors and how they interact with your site, the better. Here are a few things you can learn from analytics and reasons why this info is important:
Traffic sources – it’s great to know where your traffic is coming from so you know which methods of marketing are most effective and where you’re getting the best value for your time and marketing dollars.
Visitor paths and popular pages – this info allows you to track how people are interacting with your site and which pages are being used the most. Also, it allows you to track how much time is being spent on each page by each visitor. Great for content creation and optimization.
Visitor’s location and system stats – info such as browser used, display dimensions, IP address, location, ISP, and much more is available. If you’re trying to sell a product or target content, you must first know your user and which platforms are being used to access your site.
Traffic volume – this is an obvious one. You’re going to want to know how many people are visiting your site! This help you monitor performance and optimize your efforts.
There are many other useful tools and stats, but those 4 are the ones I’ll cover today and you can play around with the others on your own. The analytics tool we’ll use is called StatCounter. I know that most people recommend Google Analytics, but for simplicity and preference, we’ll stick with Statcounter. Let’s get started.
Go to statcounter.com and create an account with by clicking the signup tab and enter your info.
Once you’re signed up and verified, log in and click the “add project” button.
Fill in your website’s URL. I prefer to select invisible tracking so no counter appears on my site. This is up to your preference. You can get optional traffic reports delivered to your email as well. Hit the “add project” button to continue.
The next screen will allow you to choose the type of website you have. If you have a custom site, click “default installation guide”. If you have a WordPress site, select WordPress from the list.
If you chose default installation , it will provide a code similar to that in the image below. Copy and paste this code into the header or footer of any page on your site that you want to track stats for. If you chose WordPress, go to your website’s admin panel and install the plugin called Statcounter and then go to it’s options page and enter the project ID and security code provided from statcounter.com as seen in the image below.
Scroll to the bottom of the StatCounter page where you acquired the codes and click the “Check Installation” button to confirm a successful installation.
Log into StatCounter anytime to view statistics about your websites and their performance.
These are just a few key features of StatCounter and I really recommend spending a few minutes to check out all the rest – you won’t regret it! Below are some images of a few of my sites’ stats to showcase the kinds of reports that are available and some key features in action.
Click to see full size images.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post and it comes in useful for you in your future projects. If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment below. See ya!