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Week 14 – Google Analytics basics

What is Google Analytics?

How to get started…

First, you need to create an Analytics account, which you can do here:

Next, grab the code that will actually tell Google to track your site. That code may look something like this:

Google Analytics code example

When you go through the process of getting the code, the Analytics website will give you instructions on where in the code of your website to paste it. On, for example, this code appears on every page near the bottom of the code.

Now that everything is up and running, it’s time to figure out what the information in Google Analytics means and how it can help improve your website (or the website of the Luddite news organization you got hired by).

Like everything else we’ve covered this semester, Analytics goes much deeper than just the basics.

So why is understanding Analytics important for multiplatform journalism?

Understanding how people are finding your site — and just as importantly your story — and what they’re looking for when they get there will help get you thinking about what words to use in the copy, how to craft better headlines and cutlines, what tags to add to your story, and how to deliver on the promise of all those elements.

If you’re thinking about these things when you’re producing your online story package, you’re package will improve — and so will your readership numbers.