Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peeking Through the Curtains with Google.

I recently moved my blog back to Blogger from WordPress; I liked WP's analytics, the ability to track the progress of your blog. Google's Analytics tool is also powerful, a useful tracking tool you can insert into your blog's HTML code. Honestly, I didn't realize that Google has such outstanding analytical reports, though I should have figured.  After all, it is Google, duh.

Analytics tracks your links from Facebook and Twitter as well as other referring sites, which is really cool.  It also provides detailed data on direct hits, or direct URL's to your blog, as well as other data you'll probably never need or use.  That's cool too.

Let's face it, if we take the time to create and maintain a blog, it's important to know from where your hits, or clicks to your blog are coming. And, unless you're Stephenie Meyer or Stephen King, you're probably doing the bloggity blog thing yourself. Like me.

Stop me if you've already heard this one, but it goes something like this: In your Google main Account Page, click on Google Analytics. This link pops up the Analytics site, but read this Google blog first; it provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up your account and how to find the HTML code snippet needed for your blog.  Then comes the scary part. Pour a nice cabernet -- Jordan 2005 is always good -- click the red wine glass twice on your computer screen and repeat after me: I can insert my own code I can insert my own code.

It helps to be a tad fearless of the virtual monster called HTML, but trust, it's not hard to insert Google Analytics into your website, or blog. I did it, inserted the snippet of creepy code provided by Google, right in the middle of scary HTML where Google instructed.  My blog looked the same, the earth continued to rotate; and Voilà (or if you're from Indiana, Well Lookie There): 24-hours later, precious, tangible data.

Disclaimer: Save a copy of your original blog template FIRST.  The Google blog walks you through it, and though it takes a couple of days for your trending report to cook up and boil into data there is good news:  Google Analytics really works and I added the HTML code myself.  The bad?  My tracking data/hits/visits on my new bloggity blog thing really stink; but then again, that's a different Jerry Springer Show.

What's on XM 47? Metric, Help I'm Alive.

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