Monthly Archives: June 2010

Google Analytics provides a wealth of information about website traffic; how many visitors are coming, where they comes from, and what they do while on a site. We will set-up Google Analytics, show how to install trackign code into a page, Wordpress or Joomla, and talk about how to read the information.

First, you need a Google Account. Analytics is accessed through a Google Account, so if you don’t have one, sign-up for one.

To start with Google Analytics, log-in to http://analytics.google.com with your Google Account.  If this is your first Google Analytics account, you’ll see the sign-up screen:

Analytics Sign-Up ScreenClick on the “Sign Up” button.  Fill in the address of your website, name your account (you can call it whatever you like) and pick the appropriate time-zone (make sure you do, so the reports are properly configured).

Sign-up For Google AnalyticsThe next few steps are pretty straight-forward; contact name, country, agree to the terms of service…and then you get your tracking code:

<script type="text/javascript">

 var _gaq = _gaq || [];
 _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-17149732-1']);
 _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

 (function() {
 var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
 ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
 var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
 })();

</script>

You want to keep that code.  I would suggest selecting it, and pasting it into a notepad text file or an email to yourself (not a word doc, do not use word to store web code).  At the bottom there is a button “Save and Finish” click that and you are done creating the account.

Now, to add this code to your website, either you use a text or html editor and paste this code right over the tag that says </head> in your html file, as suggested by the instructions Google provides.  Or, you install a Word-Press or Joomla plugin and put just the account number into the plugin.

The part you need for that out of the code above is the account number that starts “UA” – so this; “UA-17149732-1” – everything else is standard code, so your WordPress or Joomla plugin will create the code for you.  I have a favorite WordPress plugin but there are a great many, if you search for “Google Analytics” on either extensions.joomla.org or within the plugins section of your WordPress interface, you will find many options.

As usual, if you have trouble, you can contact Techivity for help.  Next up; getting into Google Analytics, the basic information.

You ARE what you PUBLISH. Think about that.

In this Internet world, so many of us are interconnected through social media and I want to encourage my clients and friends to think about what they publish online. Publish what you want to publish, I am not suggesting that you censor yourself. I am making the radical assertion that you want to be responsible and conscientious about what you publish.

With the flattening of communication so we all have the power to reach hundreds, if not thousands, most of us are suddenly and irrefutably accountable for what we publish on-line.

For example, I was reading on Facebook a note from one of my former youth (I was a youth adviser for a while) that was a rant, full of 4-letter words about something they thought was out of line. Even if their Facebook settings publish that only to their friends, maybe one of those friends has a feed out to other sources. Its hard to control where information on the Internet winds up.

Think about it. Its not uncommon for employers and HR folks to go to Google or Yahoo and type in the name of a candidate, their city, and a few keywords. Right or wrong, its common practice, and since the information is in the public domain, its fair game. Try this interesting exercise. Go to Google, type in your name, city and something about yourself that you might put on a job application and dig around a bit…

Even if your various profiles are not public, when you write status, share thoughts, comment on-line and publish videos, you are publishing to the largest interconnected, grass-roots network the world has ever known. One of the most beautiful things about the ‘net is that information is free – so no, you don’t get to control where the things you publish wind up.

The power at your fingertips is immense, humbling and staggering. “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Yes, I will continue to write technical posts for every-day people on this blog. Next we’ll get into the basics of reading analytic data. I am also going to provide some coaching and reflection about wielding this great power that we all suddenly find in our fingertips through Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Wordpress, Blogger, Google Connect, Yahoo Groups and more!

So, when you next click “Publish” – remember, the great power the Internet offers is a mighty double-edged sword.

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Next up, free options for web analytics.

I consider this to be the most important strategy book in my library. Robert Cialgini defines six ways humans influence each other. It is the best perspective I have ever read on how we influence each other’s decisions and attitudes. Just read it.

If you work with other people at all, in any capacity, it will provide tools and resources to help you. Or, if you want to understand how other people influence your own choices, it helps there too.

Here’s a link to order a copy at Amazon.

A knowledge of the six “weapons of influence” is useful not only in a proactive way, but is also helpful to improve our awareness of when the principles are influencing our own choices.

Influence discusses the six “weapons of influence” and how they impact our decision-making.

  1. Reciprocity: People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. We feel obligated to return good deeds. Examples include the influence of business lunches, small favors and how reciprocity influences negotiation.
  2. Commitment and Consistency: If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor their commitment. Even when the original incentive or motivation is lost, people try to honor an agreement.
  3. Social Proof: People do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. The experiment was so effective, it stopped traffic and had to abort…
  4. Authority: People tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre.
  5. Liking: People are easily persuaded by people that they like. For example, friendship and social connections increase sales, its why network marketing works. People are more likely to buy if they like the person selling it to them.
  6. Scarcity: Perceived scarcity generates demand. For example, saying offers are available for a “limited time only” impacts a decision to purchase.

I highly recommend this book to anyone in business or who is trying to collaborate and work with clients or peers (so pretty much everyone).