If you’re new to the blogging industry, you’ll notice a lot of people talking about stats like users, sessions, and pageviews. So, what the heck are they and how do you find out these statistics on your blog?
The best tool to do so is Google Analytics. It’s a free service, and actually pretty easy to set up!
How to Create a Google Analytics Account
Chances are, as a user of the internet, you have a Google account. Gmail, Google Plus, Google Adwords, etc. all use Google accounts, and you have the same one across all of their different platforms.
You’ll want to head over to the Google Analytics homepage and click on the “Sign In to Google Analytics” button in the top right corner.
Then, you’ll get some easy instructions on how to sign up.
Fill out the boxes with your account name, website name, URL, etc. so it gives you your Tracking ID.
How to Install Google Analytics on Your Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
In a separate tab, log into your WordPress account. You’ll need to be self-hosted, because you can’t install it on the free WordPress backend.
Once you’re logged in, go to the Plugins page on the left sidebar. Click on “Add New” and search for Google Analytics by Yoast. It’s by far the best Google Analytics plugin I’ve used. And even better, the basic version is free!
Install and activate the plugin. You’ll now see an option on the left sidebar called “Analytics” right above “Posts”. Hover over it and click on Settings.
You can either copy and paste your Tracking ID (note: the ID, not the code. It should just be a string of letters and numbers with some hyphens in it.), or authenticate with your Google account. I prefer to do that.
Simply click on the button, sign in with your Google account, and voila!
Easy, right? It will take a few days for the results to start showing up, but then you’ll be able to log into Google Analytics and see what your pageviews, users, and sessions are!
But hold up, I never answered what those actually are.
What are Pageviews, Users, and Sessions?
These can get confusing. Shoot, even I have to remind myself what these mean from time to time.
Pageviews: These are the total number of times any page on your website has been loaded in a specific time frame.
Users: Users are the number of people who have visited your blog in a specific time frame.
Sessions: Sessions are the number of times a user has visited your site in a specific time frame.
So, if you come to my site twice, and look at 5 pages each time you visit, that’s 1 user, 2 sessions, and 10 pageviews. Make sense?
Google Analytics can definitely be confusing, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have in the comments!