Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blogging 101 ~ Lesson #11: Adding Google Analytics, Going Public, and Submitting to Search Engines

Google Analytics

Being able to study statistics about a blog’s readers helps blog owners evaluate the popularity of their content as well as the effectiveness of their promotional efforts.  Advertisers seeking blogs for ad placement or giveaways often want to know the
number of monthly visitors and page views before committing to work with a blogger.  Google Analytics has become the standard in the industry and many advertisers require stats from them.

Google Analytics is free to use and easy to sign up for and to install on your blog.

20 Minutes:  Sign Up for Google Analytics, Install the Code & Get Acquainted

Visit Google Analytics homepage and click on the “Sign UP Now” link on the left hand top side under the bright blue “Access Analytics” button and follow instructions.  Once you are thru signing up there will be a code for you to enter on your blog.  The instructions, at the time of this writing, direct you to enter the code in the template HTML which is no longer necessary. 

To add the Google Analytics code to your blog:
  • Copy it, being sure to get it all
  • Go to your design page and click on “Add a Gadget” in the footer 
  • Choose the HTML widget and enter the code and click save
  • Drag the gadget to the space directly above the attribution widget on your page if it is not already there and click save.
  • Click view blog and be sure nothing shows where the code has been added.  You will see an edit tool to the right, but no words should show.  I had read if you install it incorrectly it may show a “Google Analytics” title.  You may add a title to the widget if you would like that will show and make it easier to find to edit if you ever would choose to.
  • Go back to the Analytics Page and at the bottom click to finish.  This will take you to your overview page.  
  • You should see a little ! in a yellow triangle beside the URL of your blog indicating it is not tracking.  
  • To check to see if you have installed it correctly go to the far right of the page across from your blog’s URL and click edit.  You will see your blog’s URL in bold at the top and right below that on the right is a “check status” link.  Click on this and it will give you a Tracking Status Information box which includes “Tracking Status” near the bottom and it will tell you if it has been successfully installed. If it has not been, go back and retry.

It takes about 24 hours before any statistics begin to be available.  I would advise taking a little bit of time now while you are on the site to click thru the different links and see what all is available—well, maybe not all, but much of what is available.  Click on “view report” beside your Blog’s name to get started.  This will take you to the dashboard and on the left hand side bar are the links you will be using the most.

5 Minutes:  Make Your Blog Public

If you have not already changed the settings of your blog to make it public now would be a good time.  I will have one more Blogging 101 lesson and then we will be in the Blogging 201: Entering the Blogging Community lessons.  So if you are ready to start posting on a regular schedule, make your blog public.
  • Go to the Setting’s tab on your design page thru your navbar or click on Settings on your Blogger dashboard.
  • To the far right is Permissions—click on it.
  • Under Blog Readers choose Anybody.
Your blog will need to be public before you can do the next step. If you choose to wait, come back to the last step in this lesson when you do.

5 Minutes Submitting URL to Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will become a vital part of your blogging strategy in the days to come and we will be doing lessons on this in Blogging 401.  It takes quite some time for search engines to crawl a new site; for now we will give our blogs a jump start in the search engines by submitting our URLS to the top two search engines:  Yahoo & Google.

Copy your blog’s URL from the  address window of your homepage.  Be sure you are on your homepage.  Visit these links at Google & Yahoo and follow the instructions.

Now you are ready to greet the world with your blogging content.

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