Tracking visitors on your NHD website isn’t terribly useful, but it’s fun and can sometimes provide some helpful information (e.g. when judges might be looking at your website). Here’s how to add Google Analytics to your website:

  1. Register for a Google Analytics account. If it asks you to choose between Universal Analytics and Classic Analytics, choose either. It doesn’t matter for our purposes.
  2. Put your website title and URL where it is requested and click “Get Tracking ID”.
  3. Go to the Weebly editor, make a custom theme (if you haven’t already), and open the HTML/CSS theme editor.
  4. Open the primary HTML file (usually index.html) and find the </head> tag. Right before the </head> tag, paste in the code that Google Analytics gave you.
    That’s it. Now, wait a day or two for some statistics to show up and you can go to Google Analytics to view everything from bounce rates to referral sources.

Here are some clever uses for Google Analytics in NHD:

  1. The “behavior flow” page shows which pages people land on and which pages people tend to go to from certain pages. For instance, on The Disease of Hope: Mao’s Great Famine, most people who started at the front page went to the context page next. You can use this information to change or add buttons, portals, etc. to help guide visitors along the optimal path of viewing the website.
  2. Site speed is also a useful page. It’s not great to have a slow loading website. Another useful resource for speeding up your website is Google Webmaster Tools.
  3. I find the geography page to be interesting. The states that visit our winning website the most are also the ones that seem to win a lot at the national competition (though they also have larger populations).

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