Google Analytics

I recently received a question from a client:

Does Google Analytics increase hits to a website? Is it worth using?

Here’s my answer:

Google Analytics doesn’t directly increase traffic to your site, it just gives you reports about traffic you’re already getting – how many hits you get, to which pages, what links are people arriving from, how long do they typically spend on your site, and so on. However, you could use this information to make an educated guess about where to focus your resources to increase hits on your website.

For example, if most of the traffic to your website comes from people who search “German Shepherd puppies”, you might put more effort into SEO, to increase your search engine ranking for those search terms. If, on the other hand, most of your traffic comes from links on other websites (maybe pet enthusiast sites, or dog breeder sites), you may want to focus on pursuing link exchanges with other such sites.

One way to increase traffic and exposure for your website is to purchase advertising (for example with Google AdWords). With most online advertising services, you can set up a monthly budget for ads, and you can target specific key words. The ads then appear on other websites that embed ads with Google AdSense.

question markDid you know?
Around 40-50% of all websites use Google Analytics.

A neat feature of Google Analytics is that it integrates with other online services. For example, if you use Google AdWords for advertising, Google analytics will tell you information about how many ads it placed on which websites, how many clicks were generated, and once the user arrived at your site, what they looked for, how long they stayed, etc. Or if you use a service like MailChimp for sending email newsletters, you can configure Google Analytics to report information about how many messages were sent/delivered, click-through rates, etc.

You can sign up for Google Analytics for free, so there’s not really anything to lose – I’d recommend that you try it. When you sign up, Google will give you a Tracking Code that needs to be embedded on your website in order for Google to be able to track hits. It’s just a simple Javascript which is easy to add to the template of most sites. You can always remove the script if you decide that Google Analytics is not the right tracking product for your business.

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A quick note for those who may find it useful:

John Brien’s GalleryView plugin is an awesome addition to NextGEN Gallery for WordPress, but if you’re using the button NextGEN adds to the TinyMCE editor to insert galleries into your pages and posts, you will notice that that there’s no option for the [ galleryview ] shortcode – just [ nggallery ], [ slideshow ], and [ imagebrowser ].

This is easy to fix, though:

  1. FTP into your WordPress site
  2. Find and open the file /<base>/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/admin/tinymce/window.php in a text editor
  3. Search for this: <label for=”showtype”>
  4. Under this, you will see several lines like this:
    <label><input name=”showtype” type=”radio” value=”nggallery” /> <?php _e(‘Image list’, ‘nggallery’) ;?></label><br />
  5. Duplicate one of the lines, and change value=”nggallery” to value=”galleryview”

That’s all! Now the option is added and should work smoothly.

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