WordPress Weekend Project - Ultimate Google Analytics

I am a statistics junkie, I can’t help myself. I like to know how people found my site, where they went, what they clicked on, where they are from and the list goes on. It is probably not surprising that I use Google Analytics on my site, and I install it on most of my clients sites. Google Analytics provides people with an easy to use and see statistics package and for the price is perhaps the best you can get.

It has happened more than once though that I have edited a theme and forgot to include the Google Analytics code back in the footer of the WordPress theme. Then I look at the stats and go “what the blank” It is then that I realize what I did and I have to go back and edit the websites theme footer file. Well no more, I have start using Ultimate Google Analytics and I no longer have to worry about making my silly mistake. The plugin will automatically insert the Google Analyitics code into the footer for you, all you need to do is provide it with the Google Analytics ID.

Some of the other great features of the plugin include the ability to add tracking code to all external links and downloads. Add an external link and the proper code will be automatically added to the code so you can track how often it is clicked inside Google Analytics. The reports are viewable in Google Analytics in Content. The default for external links is Outgoing, but you can define a different name if you desire.

Outgoing Links in March 2009
Outgoing Links in March 2009

It can also track links to files that you offer for download. Have a PDF file that you want to know how often it is downloaded and Ultimate Google Analytics will automatically insert the code to track the number of times people download PDF files, zip files and a whole list of file types. You can add or remove types that you use on your blog.

According to Google the best place for the Google Analytics code to be placed is in the footer just before the closing </body> tag. The reason for this is so the Google Analytics code does not slow down the loading of your web pages if the code is placed in the head of your web pages. The Ultimate Google Analytics plugin will automatically place the Google Analytics code in your footer, but if your themes footer file does not call the wp_footer() function the plugin will insert the code into the head of your page so you will continue to recieve your stats. If at all possible it is best to make sure your themes footer does include the wp_footer() to ensure the code is inserted in the best location.

Having the best statistics available from your site will pay off very quickly. It will allow you to see how people are finding your website, give you ideas for new blog posts from the keywords that people use to find you and let you see what people find most interesting. Take a few minutes and try out Ultimate Google Analytics, I know it has helped me know more about my website visitors and how to improve my website.

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