Part V – Google Analytics – Advanced SEO Tips for Your Exponent CMS Website
In this, Part V of my advanced SEO tips for Exponent CMS websites, I'll discuss a critical component for search engine marketing: Analytics.
A gigantic aspect of search marketing is measuring, analyzing, and modifying your SEO and PPC campaigns to ensure they're always performing at their best. The best way to gather this data is by integrating a comprehensive traffic analytics program into your Exponent CMS website.
One of the most popular Analytics programs available – and is 100 percent free – is Google Analytics. Google Analytics gathers detailed statistics about web traffic and its sources and measures conversions and sales. All of this data is essential for running a well optimized SEO campaign.
So how do you get Google Analytics to work on your Exponent CMS website? If you're the webmaster of an Exponent site, the process takes a few steps but it's really quite simple.
Setting Up Your Google Analytics Account
If you or your client don't already have a Google Analytics account set up, it's very easy to get a new account. Simply go to Google.com/Analytics and sign in with your Google Account. From there, you'll need to go to Accounts list and click to add a “New Account.”
Next, fill out the pertinent information about your Exponent CMS website, giving it an account name and providing your website's URL. Whether or not you choose to allow Google to view your account data is up to you.
When you're done, simply click “Get Tracking ID” and accept the Google Terms & Conditions to get the code snippet you'll need to integrate into your Exponent CMS theme files.
Installing Your Google Analytics Code
As you can see in the image above, you'll need to simply copy the code snippet tracking code found in the box that is specific to your account and paste it into each page of your site.
If you were working with a straight HTML site, this could get a little cumbersome, however because we're working with a dynamic CMS that uses themes/subthemes, you'll only need to paste it into each of your theme files.
You can access these theme files within cPanel or by pulling them down via FTP.
Within your public_html directory, you'll need to navigate into your Exponent theme folder and into the directory of the theme you're using for your website.
Within your theme directory you'll first want to edit your index.php file, inserting your code snippet just before the closing body tag of the file:
Once you've pasted in your snippet, save the file or push it back up via FTP. Go back into your theme folder and into “subthemes” and repeat this paste/save step for each of your website's subtheme files.
Once you've saved the snippet, you can verify its tracking status by going back to your Google Analytics account and into Tracking Info where you copied your code snippet. There you'll see the tracking status for your Analytics account:
Now that you've successfully setup and installed Google Analytics into your Exponent CMS website, you can now set goals, track traffic sources and gather other pertinent website data that will help you continually measure and analyze the performance of your SEO marketing strategy.
About the Author
This SEO tutorial article was written by Chris Everett, a search engine marketing consultant at Captivate Search Marketing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chris has worked with Exponent CMS websites since 2007 and continues to help improve the system's SEO friendliness.
Connect with Chris on Google+ to learn more.