Web Site Statistics:
using Google Analytics and the University Template
If your department is interested in tracking visits to your site then the most powerful tool to use is Google Analytics. This solution does involve embedding some codes on each page of your site that you wish Google to track, so you will need to be using the Standard University template, or other templating system on your site. By using a template you can put the embed codes in the template and thus readily update all the existing pages on your site as well as automatically add the codes to new pages that are created in the future.
Set up an email account with Google Analytics
- Go to http://www.google.com/analytics/ and click Sign Up Now.
- Create a Google Account by using your wwu email address and a password just for this site (do not use your universal password).
- For personal use tracking your own sites we recommend using a pre-established gmail account, but for university sites we recommend you use your wwu account
- Fill in the rest of the form, including accepting the Terms of Service (purchasing has approved this contract)
Tell Google about your site
- Enter your site's url in Website URL.
- For deparment sites: www.wwu.edu/sharename and for
- myweb sites faculty.wwu.edu/username or staff.wwu.edu/username
- Fill in and accept all the rest of the information
- Use the default tab which says New Tracking Code (ga.js) NOT the Legacy Tracking code tab.
- Click in the window with the code and when it is all highlighted select Cntrl-C to copy the code.
- Select Finish
Put the embed codes in the template for your web site
These instructions are for the university template. If you are using a different templating system you will need to take equivalent action.
Note that the codes need to be embedded as close to the end of the source files as possible, ideally just before the </body> code.
When using the university template we insert these codes in the footer include file which is at the very end of every file on the site.
- Open your site in Dreamweaver (see Dreamweaver Site Setup information)
Under Local Files expand the Include folder and open the footer.html files
- In Code View, paste (Ctrl-V) the embed codes at the end of the file.
- Save the file and push it to your production server (unless you're already working on the production server).
Verify your Google Analytics site setup
- Wait 24 hours and log back into Google Analytics.
On the Website Profiles list, check the Status column. In the first 24 hours you'll see a greyed circle like at right indicating that Google is waiting for data. After that the status changes to a green check mark if data has been successfully gathered or a yellow warning triangle if there is a problem.
View your site statistics
- Once you've achieved a green check mark, then your report is ready to view. Select View Report and you'll be presented with the Google Dashboard. The default view is the Content Report.
- At bottom right is Content Overview. Select View Report at the bottom of this panel
- Select View full Report at the bottom of the Pages panel.
- At the bottom right of the Content Performance Panel you will see Show Rows where you can select how many items you can see at once.
- Select About this Report at left under Help Resources to get more understanding of the table data.
- Select other types of reports such as Visitors and Traffic Sources from the menu on the left side of the page.
- Notice that you have the choice of Day, Week, and Month views from the selector top right, and Date Range choices from the Date at top right.
- Google frequently adds features and capabilities to its tools, so poke around and see what you can learn about how people use your site.