.If you want to improve your website and make it more effective at helping you achieve your goals – whatever they might be – you need to be measuring its current level of performance.
After all, if you’re not monitoring how many visitors you’re receiving, how many pages are being viewed, or how long people are staying on your site, how will know if your efforts to improve your website are working?
One of the best ways to monitor and analyze how your website is performing against a wide range of metrics is to use Google Analytics. We’ll cover the reasons why you should use Google Analytics in just a second, suffice to say it’s a free but very powerful tool for measuring and interpreting data about your website and its traffic.
In this guide, we’ll explain why you should be using Google Analytics on your WordPress website. We’ll also cover the best way to set up the necessary integration. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to start understanding your website and its visitors in ways you’ve never been able to do before.
Why Install Google Analytics on Your WordPress Website?
As mentioned in the introduction of this guide on the hows and whys of Google Analytics for WordPress, it’s very hard to improve something if you’re not measuring its current levels of performance. If you wanted to lose weight, you’d start by measuring or weighing yourself to assess your current stats. If saving money was your aim, first you’d need to see how much money you already had in the bank.
Compare Different Subsets of Users
Growing the number of visitors your website receives or increasing the sales or leads your website generates is no different. If you want to know if your content creation, search engine optimization, website design, or marketing efforts are effective you must be able to compare the before and after data.
View Individual User Reports
Thankfully, Google Analytics makes it very easy to do this. As we’re about to see, installing Google Analytics for WordPress is simple. In just a few clicks, Google will start tracking all kinds of data on your website. After a few days, you’ll be able to get to know your website and its audience in ways you couldn’t before, all through a user-friendly dashboard.
Some of the data and information about your WordPress website you can track with Google Analytics includes:
- The number of visitors to your site.
- How long each visitor stays on your site.
- How those visitors found your site.
- What devices those visitors are using to access your site.
- The journey of each individual visitor on your site.
- Custom goal conversion rates.
- ….and much more!
Best of all, not only is Google Analytics one of the most powerful tools for tracking and reporting website traffic, the core features are free to use. So if you’re ready to get an insight into your website that will help you focus your actions, let’s get started and find out how to integrate and install Google Analytics on WordPress.
How to Install Google Analytics on WordPress Websites
Google Analytics can be used to track and report traffic for a range of website types. However, WordPress users can integrate this service with their website in just a few clicks thanks to a great free plugin.
Monster Insights is the plugin of choice when it comes to installing Google Analytics in WordPress. Of course, there are plenty of other plugins for integrating WordPress with Google Analytics, but Monster Insights is a great option. You can even avoid using a plugin and simply insert the Google Analytics tracking code into your website yourself.
However, using a purpose-built Google Analytics integration WordPress plugin simplifies the process. With Monster Insights you get access to some great additional features.
Step 1: Create a Google Analytics Account
If you already have a Google account, such as a Gmail account, you should be able to sign straight into Google Analytics to set up your account.
As you walk through the process of setting up your account, you’ll need to enter the name, address, and category of your website. You can also set the reporting time zone to localize the analytics reports from Google. Once you’ve entered the required information, you’ll get the tracking code which must be added to your website for Google Analytics to start working its magic.
Don’t do anything with that tracking code just yet. First, we need to quickly install the Monster Insights plugin on our WordPress website.
Step 2: Install the Monster Insights WordPress Plugin
Now log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Plugins section. From the Add Plugins page, type Monster Insights into the search box.
Click the Install Now, then the Activate button. Once, the plugin is activated, a link will be displayed to take you to the Google Analytics setting page. From this page, click on the Authenticate with your Google account button. It’ll start the integration of your WordPress website with Google Analytics.
Once you’ve walked through the steps to authenticate the WordPress and Google Analytics integration, data about your website and its visitors will begin to be collected.
Step 3: Viewing Your Google Analytics Data and Reports in WordPress
If your site has only just been launched or you’re new to Google Analytics, then you might have to wait at least a few hours or even some days before any meaningful data is shown in the Monster Insights dashboard. However, once there is some activity on your site and in your Google Analytics account, you can get a good overview from the Monster Insights page in your WordPress Dashboard.
The main report on the dashboard shows the number of page views your site has received over the last few days. Scrolling down the page reveals the most popular posts and pages on your WordPress website as well as the top traffic sources.
One of the best reasons to choose Monster Insights as your Google Analytics WordPress plugin is the ability to see you traffic reports and data inside your WordPress dashboard. However, logging into your account on the Google Analytics reveals a world of information covering almost every aspect of your website and its audience.
Step 4: Viewing your Website Traffic Data and Reports in Google Analytics
Once you’ve logged into your Google Analytics account, you can access a treasure trove of information. The number of reports can be a bit overwhelming at first. However, once you’ve found the data that’s relevant to your website and its goals, you can add them to your dashboard for easy access next time.
A useful feature of Google Analytics is the ability to compare segments of your audience. For example, you can view the data for all visitors to your site. Then, compare that to the data for the visitors who found your site through the search engines. Did these visitors stay on your site for longer than average or convert better against your goals? If so, then maybe you should focus your marketing efforts on search engine optimization.
Setting up goals in Google Analytics is relatively straightforward. For example, if you want to track how many visitors submit a contact form and get in touch, you can create a goal that records each time someone reaches the form submission page.
Once you’ve created at least one goal, you can start monitoring the performance of your WordPress website. Then, you can also analyze how effective your optimization work has been!
Now that we’ve covered the main reasons to start monitoring your visitor numbers it’s time for you to create a Google Analytics account and integrate this service with your WordPress website.
Using a plugin like Monster Insights lets you see the highlights from your analytics account in your Word Press Dashboard. All of that without being overwhelmed by all the data available in Google Analytics. Then, when you’re ready and want more information, you can start exploring the wealth of features and reports inside Google Analytics.
Which analytics reports and visitor information will help you improve your WordPress website?