Are you serious about setting up and growing a WordPress website or a blog?
Do you want to turn that hobby into a serious business or an income generation opportunity?
If so, you have to track the performance of your WordPress website and improve results for the metrics that seem to be lagging behind.
Google Analytics provides a simple and easy to implement opportunity in terms of knowing how many people are visiting your website, what they’re looking at and how their behavior is affecting engagement metrics.
What does it take to install Google Analytics? Can you handle the challenge on your own?
Google Analytics for WordPress comes with a simple and user-friendly installation process.
The easiest thing you can do is opt for a Google Analytics for WordPress plugin. If you don’t like that option, there are alternatives.
Let’s examine the most important steps of setting up your Google Analytics account and linking it to your WordPress website.
Statistics suggest there are over 27.37 million live websites using Google Analytics.
That’s great but what exactly is Google Analytics?
Analytics is a web analysis service that, as its name suggests, is offered by Google.
Through website tracking, Google Analytics can give you information about the number of visitors on your website, the primary referrals, the countries these visitors are from, their other demographic characteristics, and the types of website content they engage with the most.
Obviously, this is a simplistic view of the tool.
Google Analytics can be used to accomplish a lot more than that. In addition, you can set your customer campaigns that will enable you to track very specific and tailored aspects of your audience’s performance.
Google Analytics is available free of charge.
If you need yet another reason to consider installing Google Analytics for WordPress, that one would definitely be convincing.
Google Analytics is just one of the numerous practical tools bloggers can use to adjust and enhance their performance.
The Benefits of Using Google Analytics
It doesn’t really matter what language your website is in or what audience you’re targeting, Google Analytics will come in handy.
When it comes to website analysis tools, Google Analytics ranks among the most popular. Statistics suggest it’s being used by 64 percent of the top 500 US retailers and 45 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
There are several reasons why Google’s website analysis tool is so prominent and the fact that it’s free of charge is just one factor.
You Can Track Multiple Domains
You don’t need to set up a separate Google Analytics for WordPress blog each time you put together a new project.
A single account can be used to manage multiple domains.
You can simply create separate properties and switch from one to the other to examine the performance of your various websites.
The control panel is user-friendly and you can quickly access the relevant data you require.
Easy to Integrate
Even those who lack experience will find it incredibly easy to integrate Google Analytics for WordPress.
A Google Analytics for WordPress plugin can be installed and activated. That would be all it takes!
You don’t need professional assistance to set up your analytics account and link it to your WordPress website.
In addition, there are several distinctive ways to accomplish the goal.
You Get Access to Multiple Metrics
Google Analytics provides incredibly detailed reports about your audience and what these people are doing on your website.
If you’re carrying out paid marketing campaigns, you can also rely on Analytics to track the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.
You can evaluate traffic flow through your website, the engagement of people, the most prominent types of content, the websites sending you the most referrals, whether your site is viewed on a desktop or a mobile device and many others.
The reports you get are easy to customize, giving you access to the most relevant data you’re looking forward to.
The drag and drop interface makes it possible for you to select what you’d like to see and what you’re not that interested in.
There are also features for more advanced users and as you gain more experience, you can begin exploring these metrics.
You Can Set Goals
While many people aren’t making good use of this feature, it’s certainly a powerful one.
Setting your own goals allow you to track specific groups of people and their interactions on your website.
The interactions can be anything of interest – button clicks, email submissions for newsletter subscription, downloads, purchases, etc.
When you set a goal and the respective website visitor carries out the respective action, Google Analytics will not that as a conversion.
It’s Easy to Connect to Other Tools
Your Google Analytics account can be connected to other website management tools.
In addition, there are numerous add-ons available, some of them in the convenient form of Google Chrome extensions.
Such integration can be used to crawl links, block technologies that could slow down your website, define funnel steps, customize reports even further and enhance your SEO efforts.
If you’re not familiar with these aspects of setting up a blog and knowing which elements to monitor, you may want to opt for a blogging course.
We have developed a five-day blogging e-course that will teach you the essentials and give you a flying start.
How to Set Up Your Google Analytics Account
Before setting up a Google Analytics account, you’ll need to have your blog up and running.
The most important considerations include choosing a niche, coming up with a content plan, opting for the right hosting and the right website design/development service.
If you’re still looking for a reliable hosting opportunity, you may want to give Bluehost a try.
Right now, BloggingDoneRight fans can benefit from an exclusive Bluehost offer.
Upon the completion of these first steps, you can move ahead to pick and install other tools.
Google Analytics is one of them and you can sign up for an Analytics account here.
Analytics provides extensive documentation you can rely on if you stumble along the way.
Signing up for Analytics is basically like signing up for any other online service.
You will have to provide some basic information like your email and your password of preference.
To register your website, you will next be asked to provide the following information: the name of your profile, the name of your website, its URL, the category it belongs to and your time zone.
Once you complete these steps, you will be ready to get started with the WordPress integration.
Google Analytics for WordPress: Adding the Code to Your Site
When you complete the previous steps, you will be provided with an ID number.
The ID tracking number will look something like this: UA-133194776-1.
Its purpose is to establish the link between your WordPress website and your Google Analytics account.
By this point, you should already be inside your Google Analytics account.
Apart from the ID tracking code, you will get information about the alternative ways to begin tracking your website’s performance.
As already mentioned, Google Analytics does give you more than one way to integrate the analytical tool with your WordPress blog.
Let’s take a look at each one of these methods.
All of them are valid and you can choose the one that seems to be most convenient.
When the integration is completed successfully, you’ll start seeing information about the performance of your website in your Google Analytics account.
Some of the WordPress plugins that can be used for the purpose will also make it possible to access the information through your WordPress content management system (CMS).
Use the ID Tracking Number
One of the simplest options for linking your WordPress and your Google Analytics account involves the use of the tracking number.
For the purpose, you will need to add a plugin to your WordPress admin panel.
GA Google Analytics is a free WordPress plugin you can use for the purpose.
Once you install the plugin and get it running on the website, you’ll be given a simple box where you should paste the ID number mentioned above.
Saving these settings will establish the link between your website and your Analytics account.
Go back to your Google Analytics dashboard to see whether any information about website visits is being recorded.
This is a lightweight and quick solution.
If you don’t care about getting Google Analytics information within your WordPress dashboard, this plugin will ensure a quick and errorless integration.
Use the Google Analytics Code
The second method for the addition of Google Analytics for WordPress involves the addition of a short piece of code to the header of your website.
This one is probably suitable for somewhat more advanced users because it will involve opening up the website’s code and pasting something into it.
If you’re not confident in your skills, you may want to avoid this method.
To get the Google Analytics code, go to your Analytics dashboard, click on Admin in the bottom part of the left vertical menu and choose Tracking Info from the menu.
A drop-down menu will open, choose Tracking Code from it.
You will be provided with a code you need to copy and paste into the header of your website.
For the purpose, look for the header.php file via your hosting panel.
Look for the closing </head> tag. Add the Google Analytics code right before it.
If you don’t want to go inside the code, you can once again use a plugin for the purpose.
Tools like Head, Footer and Post Injections allow you to add code to specific elements of your website through the WordPress admin panel.
Use a Custom Plugin
There are more advanced WordPress plugins that will allow the connection between the site and Google Analytics while also providing additional functionalities.
You can choose among many such simple site add-ons.
Knowing what you’re looking forward to in terms of functionality will make it easier for you to pinpoint the WordPress plugin that will do the best job.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights is one of the most comprehensive and popular Google Analytics for WordPress plugins.
Download and activate the plugin. Navigate to the settings panel and use the Insights menu.
The first step will be to authenticate with your Google account.
You will have to be logged in the Google Analytics account to proceed with that step.
You will be asked by the plugin whether it could access your account to establish the connection. Allow Insight to carry out the process.
After establishing the connection, Insights will see all of the properties (websites) you are tracking with Google Analytics. Choose the one that corresponds to the website you’re in right now.
From this point forward, you’ll simply have to use the Reports section of the Insights menu in your WordPress admin panel.
The plugin allows you to view the results in the WordPress dashboard and you don’t have to go to your Google Analytics account every single time.
Some of the information that Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights will make available in your WordPress dashboard includes sessions, pageviews, new and returning visitors, device breakdown, referrals and a search console report.
If you want to access more detailed information or set goals, you’ll obviously need to head over to the Google Analytics dashboard.
You can find various other similar plugins that work in a comparable manner and that will give you analytical functionalities within your WordPress dashboard.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics is another well-received, free of charge opportunity.
For a freemium plugin, try WD Google Analytics. It will display the Google Analytics information in your WordPress dashboard and it will also enable metric comparisons, the creation of ecommerce reports, goal management and the addition of custom dimensions to your tracking efforts.
Keep in mind that occasionally, you will have to deal with issues like Google Analytics not working in WordPress.
This may happen whenever a plugin is to updated to a newer version.
When your Analytics account suddenly stops tracking the website’s performance, you may want to head over to your WordPress dashboard and check whether updates or fixes have become available.
If you change your website’s design template, you may run into similar problems.
This is particularly true for those who choose to insert the Google Analytics code into the header of their website.
To prevent the problem from occurring again and to keep yourself from having to add a code each time you change the website’s design, you may want to opt for one of the alternative methods for Google Analytics information.
Conclusion: Does Your WordPress Website Need Google Analytics? Heck, Yes!
Setting up Google Analytics for WordPress is imperative, even if you’re just going to be blogging as a hobby.
Analytics makes it much easier for you to understand what your audience wants.
Even if you believe that certain pieces of content and campaigns are going to deliver a stellar performance, you cannot be confident unless you’re tracking the right metrics.
Google Analytics gives you a chance to track these metrics.
What’s even more important, you can customize your reports and your goals.
As you gain more experience, you will find it much easier to determine which metrics matter the most, how to do a bit of personalization, and how to get engaged with more advanced tools available through Google Analytics.
Are you tracking your WordPress blog’s performance?
Did you face any issues with setting up your Google Analytics account? Which integration method did you opt for?
Don’t hesitate to share your experience with us in the comments below.