Day 1: WordPress Business Plan and Getting Started in Google Analytics

It’s Easier Than We Think!

Moving from the WordPress.com Premium account to the Business plan has had some immediate effects.   The internal WordPress referral system, which already was working well for me, kicked up even higher with 12 views today–one of the highest recorded–and the day is only half over. I assume this means WordPress is working harder for me!

I also got some new statistics on the internal WordPress dashboard, that is, this thirty-day analysis below. I’m not really sure if it was there before, but no, I think I would’ve noticed this thirty day run-down.   As you can see, I’ve managed to get a steady increase in traffic since the blog started on Christmas Eve, which encouraged me to step up to the business plan. Yes, it’s a modest blog at this point.

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Impractical-Advice.com: First Four weeks of Stats

Still, gazing at the figures, I can see that Mondays are my usual best days. Since this morning, my followers grew from 60 to 63.  I still can’t figure out how to access Google analytics;  but I haven’t tried all that hard.  I’m a little intimidated!

Fortunately, there is Moz–but Wait!

Moz, once again, comes up with the top beginner’s guide to Google Analytics.

The Moz guide gives a very thorough run-down on Google Analytics. When they say Absolute Beginner’s Guide, they mean the most clear and thorough overview for a beginner — ever.   Moz’s instructions for getting a Google Tracking ID are excellent.

But wait!  Moz assumes we’re using a self-hosted WordPress site (often called a WordPress.org site).  Most guides to setting up Google Analytics make this same assumption.

But we’re using a Business Plan out of the WordPress.COM site. They’re slightly different when it comes to SEO and Analytics.  Here’s how anyone can screw up. 

Learning Through Screwing Up (Ain’t it Always The Way?)

Moz’s instructions take us through finding the 10 to 15 lines of script code and copying and pasting that to each and every web page we want to track.  (OMG! )  It’s supposed to be a simple cut and past proposition: Google provides the tracking code and the various programming code that needs to be put into the header of the HTML description of the page. But. Um. Can we do that in WordPress.com blogs?

I tried it out, carefully copying the 20 or so lines of HTML script code into a published post, by editing it and sticking it in at the top of the page. I looked at the post and ARGH! My actual tracking code appeared at the top of the page!  The script elements were stripped by the WordPress editor.  So clearly DO NOT cut and paste the Google Analytics tracker code into your blog post.  Nope, that’s not how it works.

Moz is not helping us here.  WordPress blogs on the WordPress.com site shelters you from the “Head” tags, only letting you work on the “Body” of the website. I’m an HTML geek, so I had a clue that this would probably happen.

In WordPress.com sites, Google Analytics are interpreted and handled through the Jetpack plug-ins, which are activated when you sign up for the Business account.

WordPress.Com Simplifies Integration with Google Analytics

WordPress.Com has us covered.  As I thought it would. When I set up the business plan, the appropriate Jetpack plug-in applications were installed immediately—along with a good many other things that look useful.  I didn’t have to do a thing.  I found this under the Plugins menu in the light blue dashboard, under the Engagement tab. 

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The Plugins Menu
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After you choose Plugins, then click on “Engagement” to see the Jetpack plug-ins are installed.
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And here’s where you’ll see the things currently being managed by Jetpack!

Next, having satisfied myself that Jetpack was installed and hence doing SOMETHING, I logged into Google Analytics and saw this:

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Kind of sad, isn’t it?

Actually, Google Analytics produces nothing for at least 48 hours (especially for a tiny, new blog like this).  But never fear.  There is a place to get a little joy, the Real-Time Analyzer.

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Real-time is kind of cool. You see what people are doing on your site LIVE!  As it HAPPENS!  This is good for when you tweet or Pinterest material, and you want to see how things are happening–as it happens. But alas, for a tiny, tiny blog like this?  I’m going to have a bit of a wait, even in Real Time.

The WordPress statistics are a bit more encouraging.  There is going to be a bit of a lag in Google Analytics as all the crawlers and algorithms align and begin passing data.  The WordPress algorithms for statistics are built into the WordPress.com framework.  These two sets of statistics are unlikely to ever match up precisely.   But while WordPress gives you possibly more accurate data on visits and traffic,  Google Analytics will track more behavior of visitors on the site itself–of the visitors whose behavior it is able to recognize and capture.

In a day or two, we’ll be able to take a closer look at what Google Analytics has to tell us–and we can make better use of the Moz guide.  For now, we can only wait, work on content, and gaze longingly at our stats.  Oh, and do more research! TTFN ~Lola

 

Update

Immediately after I published (and WordPress auto-tweeted),  I jumped on Google Analytics Real-Time and got THIS RESULT!  Awesome!

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Thank you, dear readers!  You made my day! ~Lola

Author: Lola

Recovering academic, real-life, honest to cornflakes anthropologist (Ph.D. and fieldwork and everything), tech-head and social media researcher.

3 thoughts on “Day 1: WordPress Business Plan and Getting Started in Google Analytics

    1. Yes! WordPress has its own version of Google Adwords. I’m investigating how this works–but basically we’d need hundreds of views per day for both Google’s and WordPress’s ad campaigns to qualify. We “should” be able to put in affiliate links and so forth–but the devil is in the details. This is what I’m going to investigate. Because you asked, I will fast-forward the research on that for you! Thanks!

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