The WordPress Beginners' Guide to Getting Started with Google Search Console & Analytics
I've been busy over at The 52 Blogs Project site getting it to an acceptable level of finished (for the time being!)
And I've been getting to grips with WordPress. One of my recent jobs was to set up The 52 Blogs Project with Google Search Console & Google Analytics.
Both of these free tools will help me track and understand the traffic I get to The 52 Blogs Project but it's worth setting up both Google Analytics and Google Search Console, because they do tell you different things.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is the updated version of what used to be call Webmaster Tools. It provides you with a load of information about your Site, and how Google sees your site. And we all know how important it is that Google likes your Blog!
With Google Search Console you can:
- See detailed Search Queries for your Blog and the position your Blog shows up in for these Search Queries
- See who's linking to your Blog
- Find out which pages are most popular
- Submit a sitemap, so Google knows to index your Blog
- Get a report of any errors, eg; Broken or missing links or an outdated version of WordPress
You can find out more at the Google Search Console Help Centre
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics tells you all about your Blog audience and traffic. Detailed reports let you track
- Your audience demographics
- The devices people use to view your Blog
- Your Blog Page Views, Unique Visitors and Bounce Rate
- Exactly where your traffic is coming from
- The pages your Blog visitors arrive on and leave from
- Millions of other things that I don't know how to do yet!
Find out more at the Official Google Analytics Help Center
Luckily, it's really simple to get your Bog connected to the Search Console and Google Analytics and I've created a detailed step-by-step tutorial to show you exactly how to:
- Connect to The Google Search Console
- Set up Google Analytics Tracking on your Blog
- Remove your own visits from your Google Analytics results
Let's get started....
How to connect your WordPress Blog to The Google Search Console
Step 1: Log in to Search Console with your Google Account and click 'Add Property'. You can add up to 1000 websites on one account! As you can see, I had this blog on mine before I added 52 Blogs.
Step 2: Make sure 'website' is selected on the dropdown menu and type your domain in the box. Click 'Add'.
Step 3: You need to verify the ownership of your Blog. This tutorial will show you how to use the Recommended method of uploading a HTML file. First of all, download the HTML verification file to your computer. Don't click 'verify' yet, you're not finished! Make sure you leave this page open, you'll need to come back to it.
Step 4: Log into your Hosting Account and go to your cPanel
Step 5: Scroll down to the 'files' section and select 'Files Manager'.
Step 6: Make sure the 'Web Root (public_html/www)' option is selected click 'Go'.
Step 7: You now have a list of all your files in your 'public_html' folder. Select 'upload' from the top navigation.
Step 8: Find the HTML file you just downloaded on your computer and upload it to your Blog.
Step 9: When your file has uploaded, you will get a confirmation screen a bit like this one.
Step 10: Now go back to the Google Search Verification screen from Step 3 and click on the page link in the list on that page. You will get a page like this open.
Step 11: Now go back to the verification screen, don't forget to tick the 'I am not a robot' box and then click 'Verify'. Congratulations, your site is now verified. You can now have a nose around or search the Help Center to learn how to use it! If your Blog is brand new, you won't have much to look at yet!!
How to add your Google Analytics Tracking ID to your WordPress Blog
To use Google Analytics you have to add a Tracking ID (a little snippet of code) to your Blog. Here's how...
Step 1: Log into Google Analytics with your Google ID. Select 'admin' and 'new account'. Make sure 'website' is selected and not 'mobile app' and fill out the form with your Blog details.
At the bottom of the screen click 'get tracking ID' and accept the 'Terms of Service'.
Step 2: Now you have your Universal Analytics tracking code. You now have to copy and paste it into every web page that you want to track. Luckily you can do this by putting it in one place on your Blog!
Step 3: Now you need to log in to your WordPress Admin dashboard, do to 'Appearance' and select 'Editor'. Once in editor you need to find and open your 'Theme Header' which is listed down the right hand side of your screen. Copy the complete tracking code from the Google Analytics screen in Step 2 and paste it just below the <body> tag in your 'Theme Header' code. Then select 'Update File' to save it. That's it, tracking code added!!
Step 4: Now you have to wait 12-24 hours before Google Analytics start reporting your Blog data. If your Blog is brand new and you've not been promoting it constantly, it might look a bit like this!
How to Remove your IP Address from your Google Analytics Results
The last thing I'm going to show you today is to remove your own IP Address from your Google Analytics reports. Doing this will make sure you don't get all excited about your traffic when all your visits were you!
Step 1: Find your IP Address. Simply head to Google and type in 'what is my IP address' and Google will tell you!
Step 2: Head over to your Google Analytics Account and go to 'Admin' and then 'Filters'.
Step 3: Click on '+Add Filter'
Step 4: Give your filter a name, then make sure that 'Filter Type' is set to 'predefined' and you have selected 'Exclude', 'traffic from the IP address' and 'that are equal to' in the dropdown menus. Type in your IP address and hit 'save'.
And there you have it, your IP address is now filtered from your Google Analytics data.
I hope you found that tutorial helpful. I am by no means a WordPress expert, but please leave a comment if you have any questions or have any suggestions of WordPress tutorials you'd like to see.
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