We've always had basic stats for every Travellerspoint blog by default, so it's always been possible for bloggers using our travel blog system to see how many visits and page views their blogs have been generating, or which entries have been most popular. Today we're introducing the option to really get an in depth understanding of who visits your blog, how they end up there and where they are coming from. Heck, you can even see the percentage of users using Firefox to visit your blog if that tickles your fancy!!
The solution: Google Analytics (and yes, it's free!)
I'll be doing a step by step guide here with some screenshots essentially aimed at 1. setting up a Google account 2. setting up your Analytics account and 3. adding Analytics to your Travellerspoint blog. It's pretty easy, so don't be too worried!
Setting up a Google account
On the signup page, you'll see two options. The second option allows you to sign in with an existing Google account, which if you have gmail or use other Google services is the option you should use (once you are signed in, skip down a few steps in this guide to the "setting up your Analytics account" heading). I'll go through this guide as if you do not yet have a Google account, so we'll be choosing the first of the two options:
Choosing this option leads us to a page where we have to enter some basic details to create our account. Fill in the details (email address, password, tick or untick the checkboxes where preferred) and hit the "I Accept. Create My Account" button if you are okay with the terms and conditions (if you aren't, then we're sorry but you can't get those extra cool stats...). Now you'll find yourself on the confirmation page awaiting an email from Google.
You can click on the "Click here to continue" link or just wait until the email from Google has arrived (check your junk inbox if it doesn't arrive within 5 minutes). The email will contain a link that you click on and voila, your account is verified:
Click on the click here to manage your account profile and you will find yourself on your Google accounts home page.
Setting up your Analytics account
Right at the top there should be a bold heading saying "My Services" with Analytics listed under it. If Analytics isn't listed there (those that already had a Google account), then locate it under the Try something new header. You might have to click on the More >> link to locate it.
Once you click on the Analytics link you will find yourself on the Getting Started page.
Interestingly enough, this requires yet another click on a "Sign Up" button (can you tell yet that Google is run by folks that think mathematically instead of about how users use their stuff?!) but once you click on that, we're really getting close! You'll now find yourself on the first of four pages where you need to enter some details about your blog. Enter your blog URL and choose an account name (can be whatever you like) as well as country where you are located, and then hit Continue.
Fill in your details on the next page and hit Continue again.
You'll find yourself on page 3 of 4, accepting yet more terms and conditions.
Once you have accepted these and click on the 'Create New Account' link, you will be directed to a page with a block of tracking code included and some instructions on how to include this on your site.
Adding Analytics to your Travellerspoint blog
Now, unfortunately Google makes you select the entire box because we really only need a tiny bit of this code given. You also don't have to worry about their instructions, since we've simplified the process on our blogs. You'll see some code looking like this:
_uacct = "UA-2719553-1";
What is needed to get Analytics working on your Travellerspoint blog is the Analytics account number, in bold in the example above. You can either manually copy this from the bit of code you see or copy and paste the entire code they give you into a text document and then copy only the code from this. Note that this code is different for every account, so you can't copy the one above or it won't work.
This image also shows you exactly what part of the code you need to copy:
Copy this little bit of code (formatted UA-XXXXXXX-X) into the "Google Analytics account" input field on the Settings page of your blog and hit the "Update Settings" button.
Kick back for a day or two while stats start to stream into your Google Analytics account. Now you'll find a whole pile of cool features you have access to including custom reports, who is visiting your blog, map overlays, where visitors finding your blog or how they are using it and much much more!
Enjoy, and as always, please feel free to ask questions or leave comments on this feature!
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