Have you ever wondered what people actually do when they enter your WordPress website?
Have you thought about which website pages they tend to stay on longest, what campaigns bring them there, and which of your website pages covert the best?
Google Analytics can help you understand all of this information and so much more. By simply installing a Google Analytics plugin on your WordPress website, you can start collecting this data immediately. As is most things with WordPress, installing Google Analytics is a painless process.
In just five easy steps, you can uncover insights about your website visitors and what is and isn’t working for them so you can improve user experience, increase conversions, and learn about the people who are interested in your business.
How to Set Up Google Analytics for WordPress
Depending on the Google Analytics plugin you choose, set up may differ slightly. The WordPress plugin library has several options, such as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, MonsterInsights, WooCommerce for Google Analytics, and Analytics Cat.
For the sake of this example, we’re going to review how to set up Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics. No matter which plugin option you end up picking for your own WordPress website, the process will look fairly similar.
1. Sign Up For Google Analytics
The first thing you’re going to need to do is sign up for Google Analytics. If you already have a Google account, you’re off to a great start because that’s the only way you can actually use Google Analytics.
Either sign up for or sign into your Gmail account.
Then, head to the Google Analytics sign up page and click “Sign Up”.
You’ll be given the option to choose between using Google Analytics for your “Website” or “Mobile app”. We’re going to stick with “Website” for this example.
Complete the necessary information — Your “Account Name” will be the Google Analytics profile name for your website. You can choose whatever name you like, but best practice is to use your domain name.
Once you have completed the form fields, click “Get Tracking ID”. Your tracking ID and website tracking code will appear on the next page.Your tracking ID is included in your tracking code — this is what tells Google Analytics which account and property to send the data that is collected to. Depending on the plugin you chose, you may need add this information to the plugin, so it’s a good idea to keep this tab open.
2. Install Your Plugin
Next, you’ll need to actually install your plugin. If you are unsure how to install a WordPress plugin, check out the “Install Your Plugins” section in this WordPress guide.
Once your plugin is installed, click “Settings” and then “Insights” to gain access to your new Google Analytics plugin.
Now that you have installed your plugin, you’ll need to authenticate your Google account through WordPress so Google Analytics can access WordPress.
3. Authenticate Your Google Account
To authenticate your Google account, head to “Insights”, Click “Authenticate with your Google account”.
This will take you to the Google login page again where you can complete your information and click “Next”.
Google will ask if you want to allow the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin — or whatever plugin you chose — to access your information. Click “Allow”.
Note: When your plugin is installed and authorized, and a default domain is selected, the Google Analytics tracking code is automatically inserted on all web pages.
Some plugins may require you to insert the tracking code yourself if they don’t come with the same level of automation.
For example, Insert Header sand Footers is a Google Analytics plugin that does not install the tracking code for you. Instead, you’ll need to head to “Settings,” then “Insert Headers and Footers,” copy your tracking ID code and paste it into the “Scripts in Header” box.
Click “Save” to store your tracking ID.
4. Select the Profile You Want to Track
Once you’ve allowed your plugin to access your Google Analytics information, you need to select the profile you want to track. Select your website and click “Continue”.
You’ll then be redirected back to your WordPress website.
5. Start Tracking
Now, Google Analytics will start tracking data your website data.
You can view your Google Analytics data by heading to your Google Analytics dashboard through your Google account and clicking “Reporting”.
There is also a menu on the left side of your dashboard that includes different tabs with reports on your audience, acquisition, visitor behavior, and conversions.
Depending on your plugin of choice, you can also view your Google Analytics data in WordPress. In your WordPress menu, click “Dashboard” and your analytics should be visible.
Google Analytics for WordPress: What Can You Track?
Whether you’re looking for details about who is visiting your site, what they’re doing while on your site, or how long they’re staying on specific pages, Google Analytics will provide you with the report you need. The tool allows you to track many interactions between your website and visitors.
Let’s review some more of the specific types of reporting Google Analytics provides.
The audience tab will help you understand who your visitors are, their demographics, and other characteristics such as their interests, preferred language, and how they navigate to and from different pages on your website.
The acquisition tab will help you understand where your visitors are coming from.This information is helpful when setting up your marketing campaigns because it can show you exactly what’s working best for your acquired visitors.
The conversion tab will help you understand your conversion rates. You can compare them to your goal and understand what is and isn’t working. You’ll learn more about which CTAs and landing pages on your site are successful and what is keeping your visitors most engaged.
The behavior tab will help you understand what your visitors do when they arrive on your website. It dives into information about how they choose to get around your website, where they end up going on your site, and how they tend to interact with the different aspects of your site.
Analytics Specific to Your Plugin
In addition to the plethora of information that you receive from Google Analytics, your chosen plugin will also provide you with unique insights. For example, let’s review what Google Analytics Dashboard for WP provides. Some of these insights and features come standard with other analytics plugins in the WordPress library as well.
In-Depth Performance Reports. These reports provide you with in-depth performance details, such as bounce rates, referrals, page views, organic searches, and more, for each post and page on your website so you can segment your analytical data in a way that makes sense for your website and business.
Real-Time Stats. With Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, you’ll be able to review real-time statistics any time you open the plugin. Some of these stats include the current number of visitors on your website, your acquisition channels, and the source of your current traffic.
Custom Dimension Tracking. You can create custom dimensions to get specific data that matters to you and your business. For example, you can create custom dimension tracking about certain events and types of user engagement that are important to you.
Set Permissions Based On User Roles. If you have a large team, or team of people with different qualifications and needs when it comes to your analytics, you can set permissions based on user roles. This way you can ensure only the right people can make changes.
Back To You
Google Analytics provides you with insights and data that can help you drastically improve the state of your website. You can learn more about what is and isn’t working for your visitors as well as discover more about who they are so you can continue to tailor your content to their needs. With WordPress, installing Google Analytics on your website is quick and easy. In just minutes, you can start collecting the information that you need to enhance user experience and increase conversions on your WordPress website.