Week 9 – Analytics

An AI generated image using Midjourney. The image is a purple and black illustration of a person standing in front of a room size screen containing data analytic charts.

Installing google analytics alongside MonsterInsights has been not only a great learning opportunity, but also an eye-opening experience. I’ve built a few WordPress websites for local businesses in the past; however, the client had never requested any analytic plugins nor functionality – and as I was still fairly new to freelance web design at the time, my focus was on the front-end presentation and functionality of the website, I was unaware of how powerful these tools could be.

So as stated, I have these two analytical platforms running in conjunction with one another. Monster insights gives me a nice, simple breakdown at first glance directly accessible through my WordPress dashboard, while the connected Google Analytics provides a much more in-depth view at these details.

As expected, it appears that my two most visited pages are my home page, along with my blogs page. Nonetheless, its incredibly beneficial to see a report of which specific articles have had the most traffic. By doing so I can do some meta-analysis and determine why some are more successful than others. Of course, one thing to consider is the popularity of the game I’m writing about – while most of the games are obscure indie titles, I do eventually cover a more popular game. For example, the most popular article I’ve written so far is on Lethal Company, a game which has recently taken the online community by storm – as such, its understandable that this post will draw more traffic than the posts covering more niche titles.

Regarding the Google Analytics dashboard, I find it beneficial to determine where my web traffic originates. So far it seems I’ve only had visits from individuals in Canada (not considering the various log-in attempts I get from all around the world each day). As time progresses, I could see this traffic expanding to contain countries in which English is their primary language.

One section that I found not necessarily useful, but interesting, is the “Real-time” section of the analytics dashboard, which at the time of reviewing showed me the exact cities from which a couple of viewers originated – at that very specific moment. This had me reflect on our weekly reading regarding digital trails. I was aware that we leave digital breadcrumbs everywhere we go – directly traceable through our IP address and other various means – and frankly, I don’t have much of an issue with this, its just the way our world operates. However, it was very interesting being on the receiving end of that data for once, rather than being the one leaving the breadcrumbs.

All and all, I’m glad I learned how to implement Google Analytics through WordPress – this will be a must-have feature I include for any future clients moving forward.

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