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How to track website traffic free

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In this post, I will show you how to track your own website traffic using a free tool. I use this tool on all my websites. I know where my visitors come from, what pages they visit, how long they spend on my website and I also know if they click on an affiliate link. What is this great free tool? It is Statcounter. Statcounter is a real-time monitor of your website visitors. It is totally free and gives you so much information about visitors to your site. In this post, I will show you how I use Statcounter. There are so many features in Statcounter that you will find very useful. I like to use it to find out what my visitors are looking at and for how long.

Let’s begin.

First, you need to set up an account with Statcounter

The first thing you need to do is sign up for a free account. To do that you head over to Statcounter.com.

This is their homepage

Statcounter homepage

To start, click on the ‘Try for free’ link.

Once you click on that link then you come to this page.

Statcounter signup page

Statcounter want you to start with you having access to all features for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days you will need to pay should you wish to retain full access.

The free option has all the features you will need as a start up. I recommend you downgrading before the 30 days is up, but it is up to you.

On this page you fill in your details, accept the terms and conditions and then you are ready to go.

Once your account is created then you go to step 2 which is about adding a project. That is adding your website.

The adding your project screen looks like this.

Statcounter adding a project

On this page, you need to enter your websites URL address, your project name, the country where you are based, your timezone, how often you would like email reports, and finally, you can choose if you would like a visitor counter on your site, a Statcounter logo or nothing at all.

There is also an option to share your data publicly should you wish to do that through a special URL.

When you have finished entering all your details you hit the ‘Add project’ link.

How to add a project in Statcounter

The third and final step is to install your code onto your website. With WordPress sites, it is very easy because you just need to download the Statcounter plugin and then enter your project ID number and security code.

Your code will be shown after you hit the ‘Add project’ link.

Like this.

Insert code screen on statcounter

How to install the Statcounter plugin in WordPress

To install the Statcounter plugin you need to be in your WordPress dashboard.

Your dashboard looks like this.

WordPress dashboard

To install a new plugin you need to hover your mouse over the word ‘Plugins’ in the menu on the left-hand of your screen.

Once you hover your mouse over ‘Plugins’ then you will see a popup menu. On that popup menu, you need to select ‘Add new’.

The popup menu looks like this.

How in install a plugin on WordPress

Once you select ‘Add new’ you will come to this page.

Installing the Statcounter plugin

To find the Statcounter plugin you just need to type ‘Statcounter’ into the search box on the top right of the screen.

As soon as you start typing WordPress will start looking for your plugin based on the letters you type. After only a few seconds Statcounter will appear.

Like this.

Statcounter plugin

I have already installed Statcounter on this website so the box above ‘More Details’ shows active. If you haven’t installed the plugin then this box will show ‘Install Now’. You need to click on this.

After a few seconds, this box will show ‘Activate’. You need to click on this again and then you will have the same as the screenshot above.

How to input your codes into the Statcounter Plugin

Once you have the plugin installed then you will have an extra option in ‘Settings’ on your WordPress menu. You hover your mouse over the word ‘Settings’ and you will see ‘Statcounter’ in the popup menu.

Like this.

Statcounter option in WordPress settings

To enter your codes for your project you need to click on ‘Statcounter’ in this menu. Then you will come to this page.

It is on this page you have two codes that you need to enter. Your project ID and your security code. You were given these codes when you started your project.

Enter these code into these two boxes and then click on ‘Update options’.

How to track your visitors.

Once you have completed this then you can log into your account at Statcounter to monitor your visitors.

There are quite a few options on Statcounter for you, my favorite is ‘Visitor Paths’. The visitor paths page looks like this.

Visitor paths in Statcounter

As you can see from the menu on the left there are other options but I like this one the most.

I get to see where my visitor came from, how long they stayed on my website and what they did when they were on my website.

If you would like to see more details about a visitor then you click on the magnifying glass next to the national flag icon.

I am interested in my visitor from Cheyenne, Wyoming, United States. So I have just clicked on the magnifying glass next to this visitors flag.

My page now looks like this.

How to track your visitors

I can see that this visitor spent 1 minute and 2 seconds on my post about action cameras. The blue link is this visitors exit link. This visitor clicked on one of my Amazon affiliate links when they exited. Hopefully that will turn into a sale for me.

How to check if your Statcounter installation is successful

To check to make sure your code is working you need to log into your Statcounter account.

If you have more than one project you need to select the project you want to check the installation of.

Once you have selected your project you will come to this screen.

Check your website traffic free

From the menu on the left, you need to click on ‘Project Config’ which is at the bottom of the left-hand menu.

Once you have clicked on ‘Project Config’. You will get this popup menu.

Check your website traffic free

From this popup menu, you need to select ‘Reinstall Code’. Once you click on that option there will be a short delay while Statcounter checks to see what platform you are using to build your website.

I use WordPress so my check will look like this.

Reinstall Statcounter code

From here you just click on the ‘Continue’ link.

Then you come to this page.

Installation of Statcounter plugin

If you have installed the Statcounter plugin already and have inserted your codes then you need to scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Like this.

At the bottom of the page, there is a ‘Verify Installation’ link. Just click on that and Statcounter will check to make sure they are getting data from your website.

If everything is okay then after you click on the link you will get this message.

Verify insrallation on Statcounter

What to do if you can not verify installation

If you are sure you have installed the plugin and inserted the codes correctly but can not verify your installation. Then I would suggest contacting Statcounter support.

The link to support is at the top of each and every page you visit on the Statcounter website.

I have had to contact support on two occasions and they have replied within 24 hours.

Conclusion

Statcounter offers a lot of features for free. I find this tool very easy to use and it gives me the information I want.

You don’t have to worry about limits. You can check as many times as you want during the day.

All the data is in real-time. That means that all the data is correct up to the minute you log in to look.

I have been using Statcounter on all my websites and love how easy it is to set up and use.

I have one site that is an Amazon affiliate website. I find it very helpful to see what link my visitors took to go to Amazon.

I also love the fact that I can see how long a visitor spent on a post. That information helps me understand if my post is engaging or not.

Statcounter is a free tool that helps you find out if your visitors are enjoying your posts or not.

Frequently asked questions

Which tool is best for website visitor tracking?

For me, the best tool for website visitor tracking is Statcounter.

It gives me up to the minute information about visitors to my site. I know where they came from, what pages and posts they read, how long they spent on my website, what link they clicked on to leave, and I can see if they downloaded anything.

For me, that is great information to know. The best part of it is that Statcounter is completely free.

I also recommend Google Analytics. Google Analytics gives you really detailed reports on every aspect of your website.

I have both Statcounter and Google Analytics on my websites. I use Statcounter for quick visitors stats and Google Analytics for more in-depth reporting.

How do I know who visited my website?

With Statcounter you can see from the visitor path report where your visitors come from and what they do on your site.

You will also see if it is the visitors first time on your website or if they are a returning visitor.

How do I put Google Analytics on my website?

I have another post that helps you put Google Analytics on your website.

I go through the process step by step. You can find this guide at ‘Putting Google Analytics on your website‘.

Comments

Have you ever used Statcounter to track your website visitors?

What tool do you use to track visitors to your website?

If you decide to use Statcounter after reading my post. Please come back to leave a comment about your impressions.

I look forward to reading your comments.

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