Installing Analytics Into A Blog
Everybody should have their blogs up and running. So what happens now? Are people going to start reading your blog and if they do how do you know who is reading your blog and how they found it. Think of your blog as your business. If you were to go out and build a physical business, chances are someone would see it and you might get some people passing by to be interested in checking you out.
However, imagine if you were to build your business in the middle of the Saharan desert. How many people are going to be able to find you out in the middle of nowhere? Right now your blog is in the middle of the Saharan. The rest of the semester we are going to use Internet marketing, and social media tools to bring your blog closer to main street, USA.
Before we can even think of marketing our blogs, we need some eyes. At your physical store, you can watch people come in and out and you can ask them how they found you. On the Internet you cannot see who is visiting your site unless you install tracking software which is more commonly known as analytics. Analytic packages store cookies on the computer of people who visit your site when they first arrive. If they click to another page, the cookie is updated. If they take a look at your site, and it is horrible and they click away, the cookie will know. This is known as a bounce. If you have ten people visit your site and 3 bounce, then your bounce rate is rate is 30%. You want the lowest bounce rate possible.
Additionally, analytics track hundreds of different things. Where is the person visiting from (the country, state, city, and network)? What speed is their connection? How did they find you (directly, organically, or referral)? How did they navigate through your site? How long did they visit for? How long were they on each page? Etc…
For this week, we are going to install Google analytics. It is free and very powerful. This is not hard to install at all. If it is your first time, then you may need to play with it a bit. But it usually takes less than 5 minutes. Simply do the following:
- Go to Google.com/analytics.
- Sign up for a Google account if needed
- Install analytics by following their instructions. There is an easy way and a hard way to install analytics in a blog. Both work fine but I suggest using Google to find out the easy way to install analyticts in a blogger way.
Submit Your Website Or Blog To The Search Engines:
The next thing you want to do is to make your blog searchable by the search engines. If you create a blog, how does Google know you created it? If Google doesn’t know you created it then how are they going to be able to display your blog in search results? Try googling you URL. Does it come up? Now try Googling www.penguin-consulting.com. You can see that the search engine can find it no problem. The easiest way to get your blog indexed in the search engines is to submit them manually. It takes less than 30 seconds for each major directory.
Also: If you didn’t submit it to these sites manually then your site would still be found eventually if someone were to link to you. When Google crawls the Internet it follows links and thus you would be found within a couple of weeks.
Installing analytics and Search Engine Submission is quick so do it right away. Sometimes analytics can be a little finicky so you definitely don’t want to wait until Superbowl Sunday to start this assignment. Once you have analytics installed, write your 500 word blog post for the week and get that posted. When you submit your blog post to the content section of Blackboard I want you to include a screenshot of your analytics working correctly.
You can take a picture of the real time monitoring of your website with a screen shot showing you as a visitor, or you can wait until a day after you install and show me a picture of some website activity at your website. (Google analytics data shows up a day behind. So, if it is Monday you can view all the data up to Sunday and you cannot see Monday’s data until Tuesday.) If any of that doesn’t make sense, use google to help figure it out and email me if you get stuck.
Work Recap for this week:
By Sunday at midnight you will:
- Install Analytics in your blog
- Submit your blog URL to the two search engines
- Write a 500 word post and submit it to blackboard.
- Read Chapter 7
- Take an Adwords quiz