Google Analytics for WordPress
Hopefully I don’t need to convince you that you need a tool to track what is happening on your website. Whether you’re running a personal blog, e-commerce site or anything in between, you need to measure analytic data for the website.
This is not earth shattering news for the vast majority of online business owners and popular bloggers, I’m sure you’ve been using Google Analytics and at least a few other analytic tools for years. However, if you’re just starting out or have an existing WordPress blog you should install Google Analytics. It’s the right price (Free), contains a wealth of data and can be set-up in five minutes with some help from Yoast WordPress Plugins (Free).
What Does Google Analytics do for WordPress?
Google Analytics is a free, web-based tracking service that allows website owners to measure website visits, traffic sources, visitor demographics and visitor behavior. This page from Google provides a good overview of what Google Analytics offers and provides links framaroot android so that you can drill down and get further insight. Google is constantly adding new features, such as real-time tracking and although I’ve worked with the program for five years I still learn something new about it every few weeks.
The primary metrics that you will want to watch from day one include:
- Visits/Unique Visits: How many people are visiting your website?
- Pageviews: How engaged are your visitors, how many pages do they view per visit?
- Avg. Visit Duration: Additional engagement metric, are people interested in exploring your site and spending time reading content?
- Traffic Sources: How do people arrive at your site (organic search, paid search, referrals from other sites, directly entering your url)?
- Content: Which pages are most popular?
How to Set-up Google Analytics for WordPress in 5 Minutes
I take it you’re convinced that you should install Google Analytics (if you weren’t before reading the last three paragraphs)? Great, let’s get started. You don’t need to know anything about programming, aside from how to use WordPress, and best of all it won’t cost you a dime. Google will provide you with a powerful, free analytics tool and they just hope that when you decide to start advertising your business online you’ll use Google AdWords (which accounts for over 90% of the billions of dollars they make annually).
Create a Google Analytics Account
This is the really easy part.
- Visit the Google Analytics Homepage
- Click on the “Create an Account” button in the upper right hand corner
- You will need a Google ID here. If you have one, enter it and sign in. If you do not have one, click Sign Up in the upper right hand corner
- Click sign up on the next page
- On the create your account page fill in all of the details under General Information, including your website URL and select “Create Account”
- Google will provide you with a customized tracking code to insert on each page of your website, but to integrate with WordPress you will not need to manually enter this number. Just follow the steps below.
Yoast WordPress Plugins for Google Analytics
Luckily for you Joost de Valk has created several free WordPress plugins to optimize your WordPress site and make it very easy to install Google Analytics. I highly recommend both of these plugins: Google Analytics for WordPress and WordPress SEO. I install both of them on every WordPress site I create, and I don’t know what I would do without them.
For our five minute analytics install purposes we’ll just focus on the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin.
- In the WordPress Admin highlight the plugins icon on the left side of the screen (it’s a plug, how cute!) and click “Add New”
- On the next screen type “Yoast Google Analytics” in the search box and click search
- You will see the “Google Analytics for WordPress” plugin, select install now
- Click OK on the pop up box and after WordPress tells you that the plugin has installed select “Activate Plugin”
- You will see a red box at the top the screen that tells you to select which Analytics Profile to track, click it
- Now you are taken to the Google Analytics WordPress Configuration and you click on the big blue button at the top that says “Click here to authenticate with Google”
- Log-in to the account that you created earlier with your Google Analytics name and password
- Click “Grant Access”
- You are now taken back to WordPress and you will select your Account and Profile from the drop down (if you have multiple websites being tracked under one account it is necessary to separate them with the Profile option, but if not just select the only options here)
- Click on the blue button that says “Update Google Analytics Settings”
Now you have Google Analytics set-up for WordPress, but there’s plenty of learning left to do. Visit the Google Analytics site, log-in and experiment (I would wait a day or two so that you start collecting data). Take a look at the key metrics mentioned above, and visit the Google Analytics Features Page to learn more. There are also countless blog posts, online resources and books that will help you master Google Analytics. Good luck!