This is another super basic item on my agenda for SEO Week, but it is essential. Google Analytics is one of my favorite ways to track and analyze the traffic on my website and blog. If you don't know what your traffic volume is like, and where visitors are coming from, you are walking in the dark. It's FREE, it gives you oodles of information, and you do not need a counter or button displayed on your blog. It installs slightly different from other counters, in that you don't put code into an HTML Gadget on your sidebar. Here is how you do it:
Step #1: Set up a free Google Analytics account: http://www.google.com/analytics/
Step #2: Select ALL of the code, open a new window in your browser and go to your Blog.
Step #3: Go to your "Layout" tab and Click "Edit HTML".
Step #4: Scroll to the bottom of the template, and Paste the code that you just copied directly above where it says </body> in your template, and click "Save Template".
Step #5: Go back to Google Analytics and click "Save and Finish".
Step #6: When you get back to your "Overview" screen, you will notice that you have a small yellow exclamation point under your status. This means that Google does not see your code, in order to get them to see it, you need to click on "Edit".
Step #7: Click on "Check Status".
Step #8: Now it should say "Waiting for Data". That is perfect, it means that Google now sees your blog will be gathering data.
Step #9: Click on "Analytics Settings" or the Logo to return to the "Overview" page.
Step #10: You will now see that the exclamation point is gone and now there is a little clock. That means everything is working the way it should. When you click on "View Report", you will see all your date, but **Note: it usually takes 24 hours for any data to appear, so don't stress if it is not there right away.
That's it! Just explore the application, and you will be so impressed with all the cool data that you are now gathering about the traffic on your blog!
Here's a list of some other Counters (I have Site Meter as well, just for cross reference):