You need a way to track your website’s traffic, preferably for free
Once your website is set up and running, you will want to keep tabs on the traffic, clicks, and behavior of your visitors. You can do this with a number of free services, so I recommend using a free service when you’re first starting out. I wouldn’t worry about paid traffic logs until your site is getting 100,000 unique visitors per week. I have found two really good free web trackers: Google Analytics and Statcounter.
Google provides a website tracking service free to its users, you just need a Google account to sign up. You should already have an existing account if you use Gmail, YouTube, or Google+.
If you don’t have an account, no problem. It’s very easy to create one. Just visit google.com/analytics and select “create an account” at the top right of the screen.
Here’s a video tutorial that explains the whole process of installing it to your WordPress site
Sign in with your google account and get the code, then follow the steps in the video. The best way to install the code into your website is to simply paste it into the “header” page in your editor, under Appearance. When you paste the code at the end of the header file, the code will be on every page on your site. This will let you track the path that a visitor takes as he moves around your site.
This method should work for most WordPress themes. Be aware that some themes will not let you to edit code. If this is the case, your theme might have an option to add code in the menu, under Appearance > Theme Options. Go ahead and look for the place to insert any “header” code and insert the code into the box instead.
If your theme doesn’t support that, you’ll probably have to rely on a plugin. I like the All-In-One SEO plugin for WordPress. It lets you easily insert the tracking ID into the plugin’s options without any trouble.
Keep in mind: If you ever decide to change your site’s theme, you might need to reinsert your analytics code. Your new theme will use a different header file.
Once you have the Google Analytics code installed, you will be able to keep track of all your website’s visitors!
You can also view in-depth data regarding all aspects of visitor behavior which can come in really handy. It’s actually a somewhat complex program, but you can easily use if to view basic data as well.
I also mentioned another free service called StatCounter. I have been using this service since 2005 and it’s pretty fantastic. I just install the code on my WordPress footer page, and I can track site visitors in real time. It’s very simple to use, easy to install, and downright awesome for a free service. Learn more at StatCounter.com.
Both of these free tools are easy to set up. If you have trouble with it, just leave a comment below and I’ll try to help.