How to Use Google Analytics for WordPress
Using Google Analytics for WordPress helps you understand how visitors interact with your site and content. Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that allows you to track traffic, behavior, conversions and more on your website. In this post, we’ll walk you through how to setup Google Analytics in the WordPress dashboard, and a few introduction techniques to measuring valuable data from your traffic.
Google Analytics can help you understand:
- Who is visiting your website
- Where they are coming from
- What they do on your site once they are there
- How successful your content and user funnels are
- & so much more
Installing Google Analytics to WordPress
First, you need to set up your Google Analytics (GA) account.
Click this link where you can either sign into an existing Google account or create a new one.
If you already have a Google Analytics account, then skip to the next section. If not, follow these steps.
Enter your phone number or email address associated with your Google account, or click the ‘more options’ button to create a new account.
Once you hit next, enter your password.
Once you’ve successfully logged in, you’ll see a screen like this. This screen shows you the simple three step process to installing WordPress onto your website.
Click ‘sign up’.
New account holders need to enter details about your website.
Giving this information to Google helps produce the tracking code needed for everything to work together seamlessly.
Once you’ve filled in the details and clicked the ‘get tracking ID’ button, you should receive your tracking code.
You’ll also be prompted to agree or disagree to the GA terms and conditions.
If you want to use the service, click “I agree”.
This is your tracking code. You’ll want to copy and paste this somewhere safe, as we’ll be using it in the next steps.
Once your GA account is set up, it’s time to connect it to your website. There are currently three main ways to do this.
- Manually through a plugin
- Using a dedicated WordPress plugin
Completely manually requires more time and leaves more room for error so in this guide we’re just going to cover number 2 and 3.
Manually through a plugin
Once installed, go to Settings >> Header and Footer code.
You now need to copy and paste the tracking code you saved from before into the ‘site-wide Footer Code’.
Once you hit ‘Save changes’ your site will now be connected to Google Analytics and you can start collecting data.
Key point: It may take some time for your data to begin tracking. Don’t be alarmed if you see no traffic on your Google Analytics account.
Using a dedicated WordPress plugin
A common Google Analytics for WordPress plugin is MonsterInsights.
With a whole plethora of tools built right into the plugin, you can look at most of the basic stats without even having to leave WordPress.
There is a free and a paid version (paid version for those wanting to use the advanced features of Google Analytics).
First, you need to install the Monster Insights plugin.
Once it’s been installed and activated hover over the Insights section on the left-hand side admin panel in your WordPress dashboard. Then click ‘settings’.
Click the ‘Authenticate with your Google account’ button.
You should then see a screen that looks like this.
You’ll then need to get a unique code from Google. When you click that button, you’ll see another screen that will prompt you to sign in with your Google account.
Click allow and you’ll be presented with a code like the one below.
Copy this code and return back to your WordPress window you had open before.
Enter the code you copied.
Choose an Analytics profile. If you just have the one site, that’s the only one that will appear.
Choose the site you want to connect your WordPress with and click ‘next’.
Using Google Analytics with WordPress
Now you’ve installed Google Analytics, it’s time to start diving into the data.
Key point: If you’re using a plugin tool for WordPress, like Monster Insights, then this data can be found within WordPress.
On the left-hand panel, you will be able to access a number of different reports.
- Audience tab will show you data about your users.
- Acquisition tab will show where your users have come from.
- Behavior tab will show what your users do once they arrive on your site.
- Conversion tab will show how well you are doing against the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Key point: If you’re unsure what any of the metrics mean whilst you’re browsing through Google Analytics, you can hover over the name.
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful free web analytics tools at your disposal. For WordPress users of all levels syncing your Analytics with WordPress will enable you to consistently improve the way your website performs. Specific questions on how to do something in Google Analytics? Ask in the comments!