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What is a Domain Extension?

The post What is a Domain Extension? appeared first on HostGator Blog . When the time comes to buy a domain name for your new website or online project, you’re going to have a lot of different things to take into account. Not only do you have to find the perfect domain name for your website or business, but you have to find the right domain name extension, too. This can be difficult, especially when you’re not sure what a domain name extension actually is? Luckily for you, domain name extensions are an easy concept to understand. The most challenging part about domain name extensions is choosing the right one that’ll represent your website in the best light possible.  If you have ever asked yourself, “What is a domain extension?” you have come to the right place. Below we cover the ins and outs of domain name extensions, as well as their interesting history, so that you can choose the right one for your new website.  What Is a Domain Extension? Domain name extensions are the last part of a domain name . For example, in ‘hostgator.com,’ the domain name extension is .com.  You’ll also see domain name extensions referred to as top-level domains (TLDs). These terms will be used interchangeably throughout the post.  Your domain name and domain name extension give you a working domain name that your target audience can type into their browsers to access your website. There are a few different types of domain name extensions available: 1. Generic Domain Extensions These are the most common form of domain extension. For a while you could only choose between .com, .org, and .net. But, in recent years the number of generic top-level domains has exploded. Now you’ll find a lot of unique top-level domain names to choose from like .beer, .blog, and more.  2. Sponsored Domain Extensions This style of domain extension is restricted to certain types of organizations and groups. To register this style of TLD you’ll need to satisfy certain requirements and there are restrictions on who can register these domains. Common examples of this are the .aero, .gov, and .edu domain extensions.   3. Generic-Restricted Domain Extensions This type of domain extension is similar to a generic top-level domain, but they are intended for more specific types of websites. When you register this domain extension you’ll typically need to provide a bit more information about your website and it’s intended purpose. Some examples of this TLD include .name and .pro. 4. Country Code Domain Extensions Lastly we have country-code domain extensions. Each country has its own TLD that helps to identify that site as being from a specific country. Common extensions include .co, .uk, and .us. However, these extensions are more flexible and can be used for more than just identifying locations. For example, the domain extension .co is the TLD for Colombia, but it’s also used by businesses and startups the world over.   A Brief History of Domain Extensions If you were trying to access a website in the early 1980’s you would have had to type in a long string of numbers known as an IP address . The only way that early computers were able to communicate on this network was by using these numerical IP addresses. Having to type in these strings of numbers was inefficient and a definite hindrance on allowing the web to scale. It was a far cry from the consumer web that has become a routine part of our lives today.  Luckily, things have come a long way since then. Thanks to the Domain Name System (DNS), we can now type easy to remember domain names into our web address bars to access whatever website we desire. Instead of having to type in a complicated IP web address, we type in a domain name like ‘ google.com ’ or ‘ hostgator.com .’ Along the same time as the new DNS came into effect, so did domain name extensions. These were used to help classify domain names into specific groups. The first six domain name extensions created were .com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov, and .mil. When these were first created, there were rigid rules about what kind of websites could use these domain name extensions. Today these rules are much more relaxed, and hundreds of different domain name extensions have come into existence.  The introduction of domain name extensions made accessing the web much easier. It wasn’t the sole factor that led to the explosion of the internet, but it certainly did help.  Up until 2008, there were only around 28 different domain name extensions you could choose between. However, the TLD system changed dramatically when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) allowed anyone with enough money to apply to create their own top-level domain.  A lot of massive corporations jumped on this and applied for top-level domain names that could be used in conjunction with their own brand. Think companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.  Different Types of Domain Name Extensions Available Today there are thousands of different domain name extensions for you to choose from. Luckily, not all of these will apply to your website, so there’s no need to get overwhelmed in your search for the perfect TLD. Here’s a breakdown of the most common domain name extensions available today that you can use for your new website: .com – This is by far the most popular and commonly used TLD. It was initially created for commercial organizations, but there are no restrictions on who can utilize this extension.  .net – This extension is shorthand for the word network and was initially created for companies dealing with networking technologies and internet infrastructure. Today there are no restrictions on who can utilize this domain extension and it’s typically the number one choice after .com.  .org – This extension was first created to be used by nonprofits. However, this is no longer enforced and is a common TLD for education-based websites, schools, and more.  .co – This is a relatively new extension, but you’ll come across this one a ton in the startup space. It’s become known as the domain name extension that represents a company.  There are probably dozens of other domain name extensions that’ll apply to your new website.  When you register a domain here at HostGator , you’ll be able to see which domain name extensions are available. For example, here’s a quick look of the available extensions for the domain ‘ bakecookies.com ’: As you can see, our domain extension of choice isn’t available. But there are a variety of other domain extensions we could use instead.  However, if the .com for a chosen domain is taken , it’s usually a good idea to just search for a new domain name. At the very least, you’ll want to do your research to ensure that there isn’t an existing website on that domain.   Restricted vs. Unrestricted Domain Extensions Even if a domain name extension is available, it doesn’t mean you can purchase it. A lot of domain name extensions are restricted. That means only certain types of companies, organizations, or institutions can use that given TLD. For example, only educational institutions can utilize the .edu domain extensions. The same goes for .mil: only military-related websites can use that domain extension. Likewise, the .gov extensions can only be used by government websites. However, there are still very popular unrestricted domain extensions you can use like .com, .org, and .net. Plus, most new domain extensions like .co, .xyz, and more are available for your use as well. If you’re interested in an entire list of the top domain extensions, Wikipedia has compiled an up to date list . You can also read our blog to see some of the most unique domain extensions that may surprise you. How to Choose the Right Domain Extension For You? With so many different domain name extensions, it can be challenging to choose the right one. The TLD you choose can influence how your visitors will perceive your website. Plus, some are more memorable than others and can end up enhancing or hurting your brand. Here are some best practices to follow when buying a new domain name . The domain extension you choose won’t influence how your site performs at all, but it can change how people perceive your website. For example, ‘ tools.com ’ gives off more authority than the domain ‘ tools.biz ’ or ‘ tools.info .’ As a general rule of thumb, you should try to obtain the .com for your chosen domain , and if that isn’t available, the .net could work. If both of those aren’t available, then you can begin looking for other domain name extensions. However, keep in mind that you’ll want your domain to be memorable . If someone can’t remember your domain name extension, chances are they’re going to try the .com. If this ends up leading to a competitor site, or a blank web page, then you might have lost that visitor forever.  Another common rule is to make sure that there are no other websites using the same domain name as yours . Not only could you be infringing on a copyright, but it’ll set you up for a whole host of issues down the road.  If you’ve come up with the perfect domain name, but the extension you want isn’t available, then it might be worthwhile spending more time coming up with another domain name.  You also have the option of using a novelty domain name extension . For example, if you’re building a website that shows people how to homebrew beer, you could pick up the domain ‘howtobrew.beer.’ But, novelty domain name extensions might be more difficult to remember as well. To sum up, keep the following best practices in mind as you choose your domain extension: Whenever possible, try to go with the .com TLD. Match your TLD with the type of website you’re running. Don’t choose a TLD for a domain that’s already being used. Novelty TLDs can work, but only if they make your domain more memorable. Should You Upgrade to a Unique Domain Extension? Maybe you already have a domain, but you’re thinking about picking up the same domain with a different extension?  When your website is picking up steam, it’s a good idea to go ahead and purchase any relevant domain name extensions as this will help to protect your online brand. Then, you can redirect all of your other extensions to your primary domain name. That way, if a visitor types in the wrong domain extension they’ll still end up on your site! Here are the most common reasons for upgrading or purchasing additional domain extensions:  Clever domain name. You’ve found a fun TLD and domain combination that you think visitors of your site will enjoy. This can even be used in a marketing campaign and still forward to your primary domain.  Target a local market. If you’re a local business, you can pick up a domain extension that’s branded for your local market. For example, ‘drycleaners.la’ for a Los Angeles based dry cleaner.  Your ideal extension is now available. Maybe when you first started your site, you went with a .net, and now you have the budget to purchase the .com. You can either migrate your website to the new extension or forward your new domain extension to your existing domain.  To strengthen your brand. It’s always a good idea to pick up as many domain extensions as you can that are related to your primary domain. This will prevent competitors from swooping up any related extensions, plus you might be able to pick up additional traffic by forwarding all of your extensions to your primary domain.  Choosing Your Domain Extension As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into a simple domain extension. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of why domain extensions are so important and how you can ensure you pick the right extension for your website as you do your domain registration. Choose the wrong domain extension and you’ll detract from your brand as a whole and deter your target audience. But, choose the right TLD and you’re on your way towards a strong and memorable online brand. Use the information in this post to ensure that you always choose the best TLD possible for your new online projects.  Remember, just like choosing the right domain name takes a lot of time, so will finding the right domain extension. Your domain and your TLD work together to help create a unique and memorable domain name.  For help finding the best web hosting package or domain name for your website, contact HostGator. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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The Right Way to Tag Your Blog Posts

The post The Right Way to Tag Your Blog Posts appeared first on HostGator Blog . It’s easy to overlook the humble post tag when you’re setting up your blog. But tags are worth a second look and then some. These little labels can deliver a lot of value when you know what they do and how to use them wisely. Tags on your blog posts can make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for. They can help search engine crawlers understand the content that’s on your site. And tags can help you organize, update, and repackage your archived posts. With the right tracking tools, your tags can even show you which direction your new content should take. What a Blog Post Tag Is—and Isn’t Tags are similar to a lot of other site elements, and it can get confusing. Let’s start by clearing up what a tag is and is not. First, blog post tags are not hashtags. They have similar functions, but hashtags work across an entire platform, which is why you get results from about a million different accounts when you search for #puppies on Instagram. Post tags work within your site, so clicking the puppies tag will return only your posts about wee puppers. Post tags also aren’t the code snippets used to track marketing campaigns with Google Tag Manager. Two totally different things. Post Tags Complement Categories Tags are optional, but WordPress automatically sorts blog posts into categories. If you don’t set up your own categories and use them, your content will be “uncategorized.” That’s not helpful for your readers, you, search crawlers, or people using search engines to find the topics you write about. So please, use your categories. Some bloggers don’t tag their posts because they feel like categories take care of all their sorting needs. That can work if you have a small blog that you don’t update that often, but the more content you have, and the more varied your topics are, the more useful tags will be. Here’s why: Categories sort your posts into a top-level groups that provide a general outline of your content. For example, baking blog categories might be cakes, pies, cookies, and brownies. But you can tag posts in any of those categories with specific labels like Christmas, gluten-free, and so on, so readers can find all your Christmas or gluten free recipes in one tag search. Category and tag management menus in WordPress Post Tags and Meta Descriptions Have Different Jobs Meta keywords show up in a search results snippet for your post, and they get scanned by search engine robots. They can share some of the same words you use in your post tags, but tagging your posts doesn’t automatically generate meta descriptions. You need to enter them in the meta description box for your post. 4 Ways Post Tags Make Your Blog Better 1. Tags can help your SEO. Before you start freestyling your tag names, check out your Google Search Console data to see what keywords people are using to find your blog. By tagging with keywords, you help search engine bots find and categorize your posts. That helps new readers find your blog more easily. 2. Tags make a big blog more manageable and appealing to readers. Consider the tags on a TechCrunch post about robot food delivery . TechCrunch has been around for more than a decade, so they’ve got a huge archive. But they limit the tags to a few relevant labels. Seven of these tags lead to lists of related content that readers can scroll through. The Berkeley SkyDeck tag only applies to the Kiwi story for now. But as the startup accelerator gets more coverage, that tag may appear on more posts. You’ll notice one tag that’s not on this post is food delivery. Even though it’s central to the story, most TechCrunch readers are not there for food delivery stories. Their focus is tech. So keep your tags tied to what your readers are looking for. Resist the urge to toss in oddball tags, because you’ll end up with a bunch of one-off tags that make your site navigation harder instead of easier and don’t help your SEO. 3. Tags relate your blog posts to one another. Once you have a few posts with the same tag, you’ve got a little niche within your content that readers can explore. Behind the scenes, you can also use your tags to find related blog posts you might want to link to in new posts. You can do this manually or you can use a WordPress blog plugin that will automatically surface related posts for you. Once you have a few posts with the same tag, you’ve got a little niche within your content that readers can explore. Behind the scenes, you can also use your tags to find related blog posts you might want to link to in new posts. You can do this manually or you can use a WordPress blog plugin that will automatically surface related posts for you. You can review your tags to see if it’s time to put together a mega-post that updates and combines related content from several different posts in your archive. Tags can also help you pull together material for an eBook quickly. 4. Tags can show you which blog topics your readers like most. You can track metrics for your tags, and even your categories, but you’ll have to do a couple of workarounds for Google analytics to make it happen. One option is to create custom dimensions for your tags and categories in your analytics dashboard . If you do this yourself, you’ll also have to modify your tracking code, too. If you’d rather not mess with your tracking codes, you can use a plugin to set up your custom dimensions. The MonsterInsights Pro plugin has an add-on for exactly this purpose. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics also lets you set up custom dimensions for tags and some other post elements. Ready to set up your blog and start tagging your posts? Get started with HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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7 Ways to Improve Your Site Speed in WordPress

The post 7 Ways to Improve Your Site Speed in WordPress appeared first on HostGator Blog . For the past several years, Google has been emphasizing site speed as a ranking factor in their algorithms. Given that, it’s amazing to see the number of under-optimized WordPress sites that exist. People spend so much time on “SEO” and content generation, and they forget to do the one thing that will increase the ranking of all their pages. Well, it’s never too late to get started. Here are seven ways to improve your site speed in WordPress. These will make Google sit up and take notice! These are listed in order of importance. Method 1: Use a Datacenter Closest to Your Clients The location of your server plays a big role in your site speed. For example, if your clients are based in the US, then HostGator is an ideal web host, since we have two data centers in the country – one in Texas, and one in Utah. You can view the speed with which your site is fetched by the Googlebot in your search console. Ideally, this should be just a few hundred milliseconds. When I switched my server to a local host, you can see how fast my site fetch speed went down: So don’t ignore this aspect of site speed. It’s crucial! Method 2: Implement Dynamic Caching WordPress generates its pages afresh each time a visitor comes to your site. This is quite a costly process and puts a strain on your database as well as your CPU. In addition, page generation takes time, so there’s a small delay for each visitor. The solution to this is dynamic caching. What is Dynamic Caching? The idea behind dynamic caching is to save a copy of the generated page and serve that copy to the next visitor. This way, each page is generated just once instead of over and over again. Not only is this faster, it reduces the resource load on your server, which means other parts of your site will work faster. It also means that your site can handle many, many more visitors! How to Implement Dynamic Caching on HostGator Dynamic caching can be implemented either with a 3rd party plugin or on the server. Having it enabled on the server is much faster. Not many web hosts allow this, but HostGator offers server caching on their WordPress plans as shown here on the product page: So if you use managed WordPress hosting with HostGator, just turn on the feature and you’re good to go! Here’s a complete review of HostGator WordPress , including all the special features! But even if you don’t have WordPress optimized hosting, you can implement dynamic caching with a plugin. I personally recommend WP Super Cache, which is an extremely popular WordPress plugin, is easy to use, and will get the job done without hassles. Method 3: Use a CDN A CDN is a “Content Distribution Network”. Apart from dynamic pages, there are lots of things on your site that never change. Images, Javascript, and CSS. Well… almost never change. Because of this, it’s best to deliver these resources from a server closest to your client. A CDN looks at the IP address of your visitor and chooses to send static content from a server closest to that location. Which means that people on opposite ends of the earth will receive the content equally fast. It’s really quite a magical technology. As before if you have WordPress hosting with HostGator, a CDN is available by default. But even without such a plan, you can use Cloudflare as your CDN. Despite it being free, I think Cloudflare is one of the best CDNs on the market. HostGator has a tie-up with Cloudflare, which allows for easy integration. You can even do cool stuff like changing your nameservers for faster access. But that’s beyond the scope of this tutorial. Method 4: Deferring or Asyncing JavaScript This one can be a bit tricky. Almost all websites use JavaScript. It’s an essential part of the web, but this adds to the page load time. The key is to wait until the page has fully loaded and is visible before loading JavaScript. It’s easier said than done, and each website works differently. Which is why we need a plugin. The one I recommend is Autoptimize . It’s open source and is almost universally recommended by WordPress gurus. After downloading and installing the plugin on WordPress, you can click the button to aggregate and asynchronously load JavaScript as shown here: The plugin has many options. Make sure to test them all so that your website’s features work properly. Stuff like resizing tables etc are all enabled by Javascript. Method 5: Inlining and Deferring CSS The CSS counterpart to method 4, this refers to delaying the loading of CSS files until the page has downloaded and displayed. However, there’s a catch. If we delay the loading of CSS, our page will look horrible and unstyled, since the CSS files are missing! The solution is called “Inlining” above-the-fold CSS. What this means is that you need to isolate the CSS rules that apply to all visible elements when your page first loads. And then paste those rules directly into every page so that they’re loaded instantly. Once your page has rendered, you can then load the CSS files at your leisure. So how do we do this? Get the Critical CSS This is pretty hard to do manually. So we’re lucky that automatic online tools exist to do it for us! For example, here’s an online tool from SiteLocity that’s quite popular. Simply type in your URL, and it’ll generate the critical above-the-fold CSS for you. Copy the rules that it gives you and use it in the next step. Insert the CSS Inline In method 4, we used the tool “Autoptimize”. Just like before, there is a section in the main settings area to enter your critical CSS as shown here: As shown above, paste the CSS into the box and save your changes. Now when you load your page, all the important CSS will be downloaded immediately, but the external files will be served later when the page has fully loaded. This makes your site blazing fast! Method 6: Lazy Load your Images Images constitute the bulk of a web page’s size. And not surprising, since a single image can be hundreds of MB. So it’s important to only load those images when necessary. “Lazy Loading” is the practice of downloading images only when the user has scrolled far enough to view them. Otherwise, if you have an image way down the article, and the user leaves the page before that, it’s wasted bandwidth both for you as well as the visitor. And it means your site slowed down unnecessarily. Lazy loading is yet another feature that’s difficult to implement manually. Luckily for us, WordPress themselves have released a plugin called Jetpack . I highly recommend using it, since it has a ton of useful features that you can play around with, and lazy loading of images is one of them as shown here: It’s just a single setting! Enable it and you’re done. Now when you visit your page, the images won’t be downloaded until you’re far enough down to see them. In which case, they’ll appear by magic as your user scrolls. Neat right? Method 7: Removing Unnecessary Emoji Code I didn’t notice this myself until I combed through my HTML code. WordPress adds a whole lot of junk useless emoji code to every page in order to render smiley faces and emojis. It’s a useful feature, but it’s a lot of wasted code, and it’s loaded every single time. Luckily, the Autoptimize plugin that we saw earlier has a way to remove them in the “Extra” tab as shown here: Click this option, save your changes, and you’re done! No more emoji code. The idea is to keep your WordPress installation neat and clean, without any unnecessary junk. These seven methods outlined here are a mix of server level and page level optimizations. Together, they should put your site on a fast track to higher rankings, and better experiences for your visitors. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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5 Best WordPress Email Plugins

The post 5 Best WordPress Email Plugins appeared first on HostGator Blog . It’s 2019, and email still rules when it comes to marketing. No other channel can match email’s 4400% return on investment , which means email campaigns earn an average of $44 for every dollar spent. And email marketing is more accessible than ever for businesses and blogs of all sizes.  When people can give you their email addresses right on your site, it makes a lot of marketing functions easier. These include building your list , targeting your email marketing to different segments of your list, and growing your business. All these things are possible with the right WordPress email plugin. The Best Email Plugins on WordPress Right Now Let’s look at some of the most popular options to see how they can help your business or blog. 1. MailPoet MailPoet lets your site visitors sign up for your newsletters, set up automated welcome emails to new list members, build newsletters right in your WordPress dashboard, and automatically notify your list when you publish new posts. Not sure how to design your newsletters? MailPoet has dozens of templates you can use. You can also set up automatic updates on a daily, weekly, or monthly cadence to keep your list members engaged and drive traffic to your site.  A few of MailPoet’s newsletter templates You can segment your list in MailPoet for targeted updates and promotions. If you have subscribers in the EU, you’re covered—MailPoet is GDPR compliant. Deliverability is a plus for MailPoet, too. The team tracks every message sent to optimize your deliverability and open rates. The premium version integrates with WooCommerce for opt-in at checkout, automated personalized recommendations, and easy product promotions. The optional sending service lets you send out as many emails as you wish each day, which can be helpful if your hosting plan caps your daily email traffic.  Pricing: MailPoet Premium plus sending service is free for accounts with under 1,000 subscribers. For larger lists, monthly rates start at $13. For MailPoet Premium alone, site licenses start at $149. 2. Newsletter Newsletter is another all-in-one email marketing plugin that’s consistently popular with WordPress users. Like MailPoet, Newsletter lets you build your list, manage it, and create newsletters in your dashboard. Drag-and-drop tools make it easy to create a good-looking newsletter using media from your site. You can customize Newsletter’s themes for your email campaigns, too.  Newsletter’s drag-and-drop composer tool The free add-ons for Newsletter give you useful extras, like premium content settings that only unlock for subscribers and an automatically generated archive page with a list of all your newsletters.  Pricing: Free. For automation and reporting add-ons and integrations with platforms like Facebook, WooCommerce, and Google Analytics, Newsletter Premium subscriptions start at $65 per year for a 3-site license.  3. SendInBlue SendInBlue goes above and beyond. The Paris-based WordPress plugin gives you GDPR-compliant email building and personalization tools, along with list management, real-time reports on your campaigns, and marketing automation tools. You can choose from more than 70 responsive templates, and then preview your messages to see how they’ll appear on different devices and with different email clients before you hit send.  A sample SendInBlue drag-and-drop email template With a SendInBlue account and a paid plan, you can also build landing pages for your website and manage your marketing, live customer service chat, and Facebook ads all in one place. Advanced segmentation tools let you get granular with your targeting. For example, “contacts who are less than 45 years who clicked links in my last 3 campaigns.” Pricing: SendInBlue’s free plan lets you send up to 300 emails each day and build an unlimited contact list. Paid plans with additional features start at US$25 per month. 4. SendPress With SendPress, you get a lot of features in the free version, including a simple newsletter editor in the WordPress dashboard, customizable templates, email tracking and reporting, unlimited subscribers, unlimited newsletters, customizable opt-in widgets and forms, and scheduled sending tools.  SendPress email editor With a personal paid SendPress plan, you can also get advanced reports with subscriber-level detail, automated post updates for your subscribers, tools for managing bounced messages, and tools for custom HTML-based templates and form fields. With a standard plan, SendPress users get easy spam testing tools to raise deliverability rates. They also get Autocron service from SendPress’ servers to check your newsletter delivery speed and help you get your messages out faster.   Pricing: Free for basic features. Paid plans start at $39 per year for a personal, one-site license. Plans that include all pro modules and services start at $99 per year for one site. 5. Sumo Sumo combines email subscription pop-ups, GDPR-compliant email marketing tools, and e-commerce integrations to help you reduce cart abandonment, increase your typical order value, and convert more customers. Sumo’s free tools include customizable, automated welcome emails for each new subscriber. You can create one-time email blasts as well as pre-scheduled email drip campaigns to create more touchpoints with your list members.  Sumo’s share button tools let your visitors raise your WooCommerce store’s visibility on social media. And Sumo offers free customer support, including one-on-one help when you’re just getting started.  Sumo pop-up form builder Pricing: Sumo’s free plan covers an unlimited number of email subscribers and up to 10,000 emails each month. Sumo’s pro plan ($39 per month) adds A/B testing tools, advanced site visitor targeting, e-commerce design templates, and advanced analytics.  Not Sure Which WordPress Email Plugin to Choose? You can try them all out for free. That way you can decide which interface you like best and which tools you’d prefer to work with. (For security and site management best practices, be sure to uninstall the plugins you decide not to use.) Ready to step up your email marketing game? Start with super-fast WordPress Hosting that includes advanced security tools, free site migration, and a free SSL certificate to protect the information your visitors share with you. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Add Google Analytics to Your WordPress Site [Step-by-Step]

The post How to Add Google Analytics to Your WordPress Site [Step-by-Step] appeared first on HostGator Blog . If you have a business, your website is a gold mine of information that tells visitors if your brand if right for them and suits their needs. If you want your site to increase your conversions , however, you need to keep tabs on its performance regularly. It’s also important to know how visitors interact with your website so you can continue making tweaks that suit their needs. Your WordPress website is as good as stale without tracking its progress in Google Analytics. Nearly 28 million websites rely on Google Analytics to keep their businesses afloat and give customers what they want. The key to running a successful business is knowing the customer so well you hand them opportunities before they realize they need them. With Google Analytics, you’ll have access to the data you need to know your customer. Setting up Google Analytics on your WordPress website is simple and doesn’t take much time at all. Here’s how to get started. 1. Know What Data You’re Looking For There are several reasons to use Google Analytics , but the main one is that it keeps you in tune with your visitors so you can give them what they want. To get the most out of it, you need to know what you’re looking for. It doesn’t make much sense to scour data and statistics when you aren’t quite sure what your numbers should be or what to look at. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of how your audience interacts with your site so you can continue creating content they’ll enjoy. Tracking your metrics is the best way to do this. Keep an eye out for these particular metrics: Bounce rate Acquisition overview Unique visitors Returning visitors Page views Session duration or engagement There’s an entire plethora of information you can gather from looking through your analytics. With Google Analytics, you can: See what blog posts perform the best and get the most shares so you can continue to create similar content you know will be useful. Track your bounce rate and see where visitors are leaving your site so you can figure out how to prevent that from continuing and instead focus on increasing page views. Visit your landing pages to see how well they are or aren’t capturing new leads. You can also decide the best times to post content , how people find your website, what browsers they use, and more. All of this information can aid you in creating a high-converting web experience for your site visitors. It’s always a good idea to A/B split test different components of your website if you aren’t reaching the conversion rates you predicted. You can create these tests right in Google Analytics to understand how you can achieve your goals faster. 2. Set Up a Google Analytics Account First, you need to either create an account with Google or use an existing one. Then, sign in to your Google account. Go through the following screens to continue to sign up for your Google Analytics account. Next, enter your account information. Google will ask you whether you’d like to track a website or mobile app, so make sure it’s under the Website tab. At the bottom, click on Get Tracking ID . This is a code Google uses to track your site information. Then you’ll want to accept the Terms of Service as well as Additional Terms. When you click Accept, you’re directed to your Analytics dashboard. Congratulations! Your Google Analytics account setup is now complete. You’re going to end up copying and pasting your tracking ID code into your MonsterInsights plugin settings. This will allow MonsterInsights to read and receive Google Analytics’ data so you can see it from your WordPress dashboard. 3. Install MonsterInsights for WordPress To set up Google Analytics straight to your WordPress dashboard, you need a plugin like MonsterInsights . The value of MonsterInsights is that it brings your Google Analytics data straight to you, in your WordPress dashboard. That means you no longer have to sign in to a separate website to view your site traffic and performance. First, you need to download and install the MonsterInsights plugin . From your WordPress dashboard, upload the plugin and select Install Now . Click Activate Plugin so your MonsterInsights plugin is added to your website. Now you need to authenticate your MonsterInsights account. Hover over the MonsterInsights button in your WordPress panel and click Settings . Authenticate your Google account so that it’s integrated with your WordPress website. Once you connect your MonsterInsights account, it will redirect you to sign in with your Google account. Click Complete Connection . From the MonsterInsights button in your WordPress dashboard, hover over it, and click Reports . Now, your MonsterInsights analytics is connected to your WordPress website and ready to view reports! The great thing about setting up MonsterInsights is it takes mere minutes to set up. Just a few clicks and filling out information and you’re able to see all your site’s data straight from WordPress. It’s convenient for you so that you can make quick, informed decisions about your website or business for the best results and highest conversions. Get Started with MonsterInsights Setting up your website for Google Analytics will be the best thing you do for your website. When you know how visitors are interacting and engaging with your site, you discover how you can serve them better so they can move further down the funnel and eventually become loyal customers. There are endless benefits when tracking your site’s progress and Google Analytics paired with MonsterInsights is the best way to do so. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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