Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Google owns the internet (and, if you’ve made it this far, they own your email/calendar/file sharing life too). If you want to get more traffic from search engines (and you do, trust us), play by Google’s rules. Fortunately, they make it easy for you. Follow the instructions below to start out in Google’s good graces.
Getting Started with Google Analytics
First, sign up for a Google Analytics account if you don’t already have one. Use your main Gmail (not your blog’s gmail) address so all your web properties (and if you’re anything like we are, there will be more!) will have the same portal in Analytics.
Now, add your tracking code to your website. If you have a Genesis theme from StudioPress, click Genesis from your WordPress dashboard, then copy and paste the Analytics code in the “header script” area.
If you do not have a Genesis theme, install the Monster Insights plugin and use the Authenticate your Google Account button in the plugin.
Tip: Ensure that the Google Analytics is only installed once on your site, or it will not report values correctly.
Questions Google Analytics can Answer
Google Analytics tracks absolutely everything, but you don’t need all of it. Instead, you want to look at just a few.
You’ll be able to answer the following questions just by looking at your data:
- How many people are visiting my site?
- How many pages are they viewing?
- Which pages are being viewed?
- Where are they coming from?
- Who’s linking to me?
- Which pins are the most popular?
- Which posts have made the most money with AdSense?
- What are people searching?
- Are they using their phones or computers?
- What resolution are their screens?
- Where do my readers live?
You can see trends, too, and use the data to figure out what’s working in your content strategy.
AdSense is Google’s display ad network, and if you’re planning on using display ads down the line, install the AdSense snippet now, even though it could take you six months or longer to earn your first $100 payout.
Register for AdSense, then create an ad unit and paste the code into a text widget on your sidebar.
You can’t have more than three AdSense ads on any given page or post, including your sidebar.
It may take a few days for your AdSense account to be approved. Approval requires that you have disclosures and privacy policies in place, as well as several pages of published blog content.
Google Search Console provides you with detailed reports about your pages' visibility on Google. This is the best place to see your search terms, although you can also see them in Analytics. In Search Console, you will be able to easily see how those terms are ranking, aka which page of the search results they appear on.
Once you add your site to Search Console, you can see if you’re setting things up the way Google would like you to. The easiest way to add Search Console is by using the Webmaster Tools section of Yoast SEO.
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