How to Set Up Google Analytics in WordPress

How to Set Up Google Analytics in WordPress


Setting Up Google Analytics

How to Set Up Google Analytics in WordPress

It is all well and good having content on your website but what is the good of that if you don't even know if anyone comes and visits. There are various analytics options out there but Google Analytics is by far the most popular one.  The fact that it is free is probably a big draw as well.

Basically Google Analytics will track things like how many people have been to your website, how long they stayed for, which pages they visited and where they came from.

There are a lot of higher lever functions that can be used but to begin with this is all the information that you need.

There is a way to add Google Analytics to your website by adding a piece of code but it is a lot easier to do it with the plugin and also the plugin will give you additional features that are not available if you simply add the code.

Before you add the plugins to your site you need to set your Google Analytics account which you can do at – http://www.google.com/analytics/. All you need is a gmail account and you are good to go.

I show you in this video how to set up your Google Analytics account, install the plugins I recommend and configure the settings.

The 2 plugins I refer to in the video are:

Google Analytics for WordPress by Joost de Valk

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by Alin Marcu

These are not the only plugins out there, but these are the ones I use.

 

 

WordPress Plugins – Social Share Button Options [Video]

WordPress Plugins – Social Share Button Options [Video]

WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins – Social Share Button Options [Video]

With literally thousands of plugin options out there it can be difficult to know which ones are the best. Today, in Connecting the Dots we concentrated on 3 social share plugin options. Any of these are a great choice for your website.  It then just depends on which one you like the best.

It is important to get this right on your website otherwise people will not be able to share your content – and we certainly don't want that to happen. Don't hide the buttons away so they are hard to find. Also, even if you are not on a certain social media platform that doesn't mean that your readers aren't.  I am not saying have links to every single platform there is, but do make sure you have options available to share to all the big ones.

One thing to note: make sure that you have your Twitter @username set up in the settings part so that when people share your content on Twitter you know about it – and can thank them.

 

Which social share plugin are you using on your website?

 

The Difference Between Tags and Categories

The Difference Between Tags and Categories

Difference Between WordPress Tags and Categories

The Difference Between Tags and Categories

Both categories and tags are used to arrange and label content on your blog. When the links are clicked people are taken to pages that have information only relevant to that category or tag. This is the best way to organise information on your blog so it is easy for people to find. Using tags and categories well is good for your SEO (search engine optimization).
If you think of a book – categories are like the Table of Contents and tags are the equivalent of the Index.
Categories are used to group related posts. For example, a category I might have is ‘Social Media’ which is a broad term and the tags will then be more specific – like Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook. If you came to my site and were looking for information about Social Media you can go to the category, but if you are looking for information specifically about Twitter you would click on the tag. Tags are like popular keywords that relate to your post. You can add as many tags as you like but you don’t really want to have more than 10 tags per post.
Best practice seems to be to only use one category per post, but use multiple tags. I do have some posts that are in more than one category, if it is very relevant, but mostly just have each post in one category. This post is in the category of WordPress, I could also assign it to blogging or even SEO (if I had such a category) but the one that is most relevant for it is WordPress.
The place to change/add categories and tags in the right hand column of the page where you write or edit a blog post.  Here is an example of what that looks like.
categories
You can use your categories as tags as well, but you wouldn’t have all of your tags as categories. Start off with only about 5 categories, as your blog develops you may then want to add some additional ones. If you have too many categories the chances are higher that someone will click on a category and you only have one or 2 posts there – which doesn’t look as good as having 10 or more posts there.
A point to note: if you are using the permalink structure www.domainname.com/category/postname and change your categories you will need to go back and update all the post or page URLs. I do not use this structure, I simply use www.domainname.com/postname.
Remember the purpose of categories and tags is to create a system that makes it very easy for someone to navigate your site. Always keep that in mind and don’t get too bogged down in how tags and categories relate to SEO.
[social-bio]

How are you using categories and tags on your site? Please leave your comments below!

What is an RSS Feed?

What is an RSS Feed?

What is an RSS feed?

I don't know about you but I get way to many email in my inbox.  When I first started online I signed up for many newsletters, so many that I simply could not keep up with them.  In the end I had to abandon the email account as it was overrun with over 10 000 unread emails (I am sure some of you can relate!).

I started a new account and managed to keep it under control for quite a while and then I noticed that it, too, was starting to get a few too many unread emails in it also. Looking for an alternative to this endless stream of newsletters I found the amazing benefits of RSS feeds. So, now, if possible, when I find a blog that I like, instead of signing up for their emails I subscribe to their blog instead – through an RSS feed.

So, what is an RSS feed?

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is used to syndicate or subscribe to the feed of a website, blog or almost any media content online (it can be articles, music, video – pretty much any digital media).It also means that I do not have to go back and check those people's blogs all the time for new content, as they automatically get syndicated.

The content then gets sent to a ‘reader'. I personally use Feedly, but there are various other ones around. (Here is a video on How to Use Feedly)
The beauty of these readers is that you can then read the blog posts on your schedule.

How do you subscribe to an RSS feed?

On some websites you will see an icon that looks like  the one at the top of this post.  When you click on it another window will open with the options of where you want the feed sent.

Sometimes when you go to subscribe you may see this –

rss feed
This happens for two reasons.  One is that they have not set up their RSS feed properly, or at all.  You may be asking yourself why have it on their site if it is not set up properly, but some of the WordPress themes automatically have the icon there, whether you have set it up or not. The other reason seems to be a Chrome glitch. If this happens, I copy the URL from Chrome (which is my preferred browser) and paste it into Firefox and 9 times out of 10 it works just fine – opening up the page where you can choose.
If you can't see an RSS icon then another way to see if they have an RSS feed is to put /feed at the end of their URL. If you were looking for my feed you would type in staceymyers.com/feed. It should come up.  If it doesn't then there isn't an RSS feed set up on the site.
Some people put different things in their newsletters than they put on their websites or in their blogs, so that is always something to consider when choosing if you are going to go for the newsletter or the RSS feed – in some cases (if you really rate them or their content) then you may even sign up for both.
I am getting more and more selective about the people I subscribe to, and if someone does not have a RSS feed on their site and I do not want to subscribe to their newsletter I will just leave.  That being said, I do not think twice about giving someone my email if they have an opt in offer that I cannot pass up.
I am surprised at the number of people that do not have an RSS feed set up for their blog – or it is really difficult to find.  I feel this is just as important has having links to the various social media sites. Lean about Adding Feedburner RSS feeds on your WordPress website.
RSS Feeds are not only used for this purpose but are used to syndicate from and to places all over the web.

Would love to hear how you are using RSS feeds.
Leave your comments below!!

3 Ways to Increase Site Load Time

3 Ways to Increase Site Load Time

3 Ways to Increase Site Load Time

I previously posted that I discovered my site did not load very quickly – you can read that post here.

So, in the week I have been looking at what could potentially be slowing my site down.

There are a lot of things to consider, but for this post I am going to concentrate on 3 of them.

 Plugins

Plugins are a great addition to any WordPress website and I don’t know about you, but I like testing out new ones I hear about, just to see if they are any good.  What I sometimes do though, if I decide not to keep them, is just deactivate them and not delete them.  This is a big no no if you are trying to have your site load faster.

Deactivated plugins do not directly slow the site down, they just take up extra space, which could lead to the slowing down of your site.  Either way, deleting unwanted plugins, is a good habit to get into.

 Cache

 A cache plugin stores copies of your generated pages as flat html files. This means that, unless something changes (new post/ comment), subsequent visits do not need to touch the database, saving a lot of processing. So, when visitors visit your site they are seeing a stored version of your page.

 The two most popular plugins seem to be:

 W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache

W3 Total Cache does all of the things that WP Super Cache does and then has some more advanced features.  For now, I am going with WP Super Cache, as I found it easier to set up.

 Web Trick Blogs has a great post to talk you through setting WP Super Cache onto your website.

 Similarly, WP Lift has a post to take you through the setup of W3 Total Cache.

 Images

Image size plays a massive part in the load speed of your site.  You can optimise images using any photo editing software you have on your computer, or another option is to use Yahoo Smush It. You can either upload the picture to the site or supply the image URL and it will ‘smush’ the image for you – optimising the image without losing any of the quality.  It gives you the results of how much it was able to ‘smush’ the image. You can then download the modified image to your computer.

There is also a WordPress plugin, by the same name, that images automatically get run through when they are uploaded to the site.  You can even ‘smush’ all of the images that are already on your website.  The best result I had was a 66% reduction in size of one of my images.

Let me know how you get on with trying these out on your own sites.

Write your comments below.

Thanks!!


Stacey Myers, getting started, wordpress training
Stacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports people getting started with an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make her the perfect go-to resource for new entrepreneurs, and small business owners, who need a one-on-one or small group approach. She will also help you to overcome your mindset barriers so you too, can feel the freedom of living your passion.
Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for My Page to Load

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for My Page to Load

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for my page to load

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for My Page to Load

I found out something very disturbing.  My page loads really slowly.  I don’t mean a little bit slowly, I mean REALLY slowly.  In fact, Alexa.com tells me that 95% of sites load faster than mine.  Scary!!
This is not great news when page load speed is one of the things that Google looks at when ranking your page. With further investigation, although this is true, it appears not to be very relevant.  Google's own blog post said – ‘While site speed is a new signal, it doesn't carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point.' That was on May 4th, 2011.
With that concern out of the way, and probably the more important thing to consider anyway, is the enjoyment people have when visiting my website.  The last thing I want is people getting bored and leaving!!
There are a lot of websites and tools out there where I could check my site load speed.  The all work pretty much the same.  You put in your URL and they run a few tests on your website.  You then get a whole page of information  – most of which I did not know how to decipher.
I started with the website – http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
Do you see that? – it took a whole minute to load in New York. It also says that my site is slower than 97% of tested websites.
I then tried the load time from Amsterdam, as you can choose 3 different locations to test.  It came back better – the load time 7.91 seconds, but still slower than 81% of tested sites.
I then moved onto GTMetrix.
It said my page load time was 7.81s, similar to my second test on Pingdom.
The last one I looked at was BrowserMob. (Well, I looked at about 20, but this is the last one I am sharing here.)
Again, creeping up to the 8 second mark.
You may have noticed under the initial information on each page, there are a series of bar graphs.  These let you know how long various aspects of your site take to load.  You use this information as a guide on what changes to make to your site to help it load faster.
So then, the next obvious question is – ‘How long should a site take to load?’
‘The not so complete consensus on the internet is that a web page needs to load in around 4 seconds or less before you can start to lose visitors. Some visitors will sit and wait no matter how long the site takes to load, but on average if your pages are climbing past that 4 second mark then your visitors could be getting impatient.'    http://www.moongrabber.com/web-design/how-fast-does-your-site-load
As you can see, I am in serious trouble.  My pages are taking almost double that.
Google has created a tool to help people with this called Page Speed.  I am not going into too much detail about it here as I am going to write a whole blog post on it, as it is a very worthwhile tool to use.  It gives you, in order of priority, steps to take to speed up your site.  The irony is – even though it is called Page Speed, Google says – The Page Speed Score does not measure the time it takes for a page to load.
This week I am going to look at all the factors that combine to make a site slow or fast.  I will then feedback to you what I discover.
Until then, I would love to hear how you are getting on with testing your own sites (I know you won't be able to resist).  While you are doing that, keep this in mind.
Geoff Kenyon ran various tests (which you can read in more depth at SeoMoz) and came up with the following findings:
  • If your site loads in 5 seconds it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
  • If your site loads in 2.9 seconds it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
  • If your site loads in 1.7 seconds it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
  • If your site loads in 0.8 seconds it is faster than approximately 94% of the web

Would love to hear how fast your pages load.

Share your times below.

Thanks!!

Stacey Myers, getting started, wordpress training
Stacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports people getting started with an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make her the perfect go-to resource for new entrepreneurs, and small business owners, who need a one-on-one or small group approach. She will also help you to overcome your mindset barriers so you too, can feel the freedom of living your passion.