Statcounter and Google Analytics

Is there a way of tracking visitors activity? How can I know how many visitors my website has? Where they come from and which pages they’re looking at? What about Statcounter and Google Analytics?

Chapter 1: What are the differences? Which one is the best? Why are they useful?
Chapter 2: Statcounter
Chapter 3: Google Analytics
Chapter 4: Installing Statcounter and Google Analytics in WordPress
Chapter 5: WordPress.com Stats plugin

Chapter 1: What are the differences? Which one is the best? Why are they useful?

The answer to the question which is the best is: both. The two services deliver a lot of different datas which makes it useful to have them both.

Here a few specifications:
- Statcounter delivers you real-time statistics (Google Analytics has one day delay)
- In Statcounter you can follow the paths a visitor follows page by page
- Statcounter shows you which pages are the most visited ones
- Statcounter shows you where they came from. You are also shown what they searched for on Google. If you see that they searched for something you don’t have on your website add it!
- In Google Analytics it’s easier to compare certain periods of time (current month with previous, ...)
- Google Analytics has a great visitors world-map
- Google Analytics delivers you data on which keywords your website performs best or worse
and more...

All this data is really important since it shows you what the visitors are interested in, where you need to work further, ... Use this data, analyze it and improve your website.

Chapter 2: Statcounter

1. Visit Statcounter.com and register for an account
2. Once you’re logged in hit “Add new project” and fill out the required fields
3. At the end of the process hit “Default installation guide”
4. You will get a code which you need to keep in a safe place and which we will be using in Chapter 4 of this FAQ

Chapter 3: Google Analytics

1. Go to Google Analytics and sign up for an account
2. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account yet once you’re logged in under “My Analytics Accounts” and choose “Create you account” from the drop down menu
3. Once you’re in an account hit “Add Website Profile” at the bottom of the page
4. Enter your URL in the appropriate field and hit “Finish”
5. You will be showen a code under
“Use this tracking code to gain access to a wide range of exciting new features as they become available”
6. Copy and keep this code in a safe place. We will need it in Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Installing Statcounter and Google Analytics in WordPress

There are multiple ways to install the Statcounter and Google Analytics code on your WordPress.

The first one is the one I use. It’s easy but Statcounter and Google Analytics advise you not to do so. I didn’t experience any problem or malfunctioning so I will write it here anyway:

1. Login to your WordPress administration panel
2. Go to Appearance, Widgets
3. Add a “Text, Arbitrary text or HTML” field to your sidebar
4. Post the Statcounter and Google Analytics codes to it
(Note: Since Google Analytics has one day delay you will see that it works only the day after)

The second one is the one the two third party services providers recommend:

1. Login to your WordPress administration panel
2. Go to Appearance, Editor and on the right side choose Footer (footer.php)
3. Scroll down the page and paste the codes right before the </body>
tag

The third one is to use a plugin for that (search the plugins database for it). However I don’t think a plugin is needed for this.

Chapter 5: WordPress.com Stats plugin

This plugin provides you with almost all the stats you need.

I think it’s best to have all three tools (Stats plugin, Statcounter and Google Analytics). The more data you have to analyze, the better you can improve your website.


This FAQ is also discussed in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


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