Google provides two tools for monitoring your site.
They are Google analytics and Google webmaster tools.
If you want to see how many visitors are accessing your site, what pages they visit, how long they spend on a page etc then Google Analytics is the Tool to use.
If you want to know how many pages are indexed by Google, whether Google had problems crawling your site,what pages are returning errors,who is linking to your site etc then Google webmaster tools is the one to use.
To use Google Analytics and/or webmaster tools you will need a Google account.
Google accounts are free and I recommend you use a dedicated account for Google webmaster tools,analytics’s,adsense, adwords etc, and not your personal gmail account.
If you only have a single site then create an account like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google Webmaster Tools Setup
Here is a Google Introductory video For Google Webmaster Tools
Before Google starts collecting data for your site you will need to verify ownership of the site, which you can do in several ways.
The most common are the meta tag method and an HTML file.
If you have a php/html template based site then use either the html file or meta tag method. I always use the html file upload method.
Once the site is verified it can take several months before you start seeing any meaningful data so you need to be patient.
Here is a useful video that shows the verification options, and how to use them.
This support page is also useful Google support verifying site ownership
Google Analytics Setup
To get started see this Google support page.
Here is a useful video that shows you how to install and setup analytics:
Before Google starts collecting data you will need to add the tracking code to your site.
For WordPress sites I recommend you can use the All in one SEO plugin.
You can add the tracking code in the settings:
Google provides two free and very useful tools for monitoring your website.
At a minimum your should use the webmaster tools as it can be used to check that Google is indexing your site and it will alert you to any site problems that Google finds.
References and Resources:
- Absolute beginners guide to Google Analytics
- Small business guide covers Analytics in great detail
- WordPress Backup and Restore
- WordPress stuck in Maintenance Mode