Google Analytics In WordPress – Set-Up And Usage
Google Analytics is an efficient tool that lets you understand the target demographic of your WordPress site, so you can generate popular content to attract higher traffic.
Why Is Google Analytics Important For Bloggers?
SEO content writing can get expensive, and if you own a blog that spends a lot on this, you deserve to know whether it is paying off. Determining Return of Investment for a blogging site can be done by checking how SEO optimization is increasing website traffic. Tracking this often will let you understand what topics are increasing the blog popularity, and what is not interesting to the customers.
Google Analytics can tell you how many people are reading the blog posts, what posts are popular, where the readers are from, and what topics they would be interested in when they land on your website. You can strategize the release of content accordingly and make sure your site is getting attention.
We will go through all the steps of setting up Google Analytics through various tools in your WordPress blog in this article.
How To Add Google Analytics To WordPress
Here is how you can add Google Analytics to WordPress .
Step 1# Signing Up
If you have a Google account, you can log in, or you can create a new account with Google Analytics WordPress from the following link: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/ .
Click ‘sign up’ on this page to start registering your account. In the next screen, you will have the option to choose from a mobile number or website link. Choose the website link and add the details of your WordPress blog, or whatever website you are trying to track. You can add multiple websites from the same account.
You can give any name to the account, for example, Tracking Sites. Add the name of the website you are trying to tract, the industry that blog belongs to, and the time zone. Select your data sharing settings as applicable for your website.
Agree to the terms and conditions page of Google Analytics. On the next page, you will find out the Tracking ID (This tracking ID has to be added to the WordPress site later. So, note it down or leave the webpage open until we reach that step).
You will find the tracking code of the website inside the Google Analytics’ Admin tab. Next, go to Tracking Info and you will see the code.
Step 2# Understand The Analytical Information
The Google Analytics WordPress screen contains a lot of information. Before connecting Google Analytics with the blog, understand the options that you can find on the interface when you go to the Home button.
The blog or website specific related information will be on the right of the screen, and on the left, you can see which of the data sets you want to see.
The reports tab is the most important section in this app and contains all the sections that we have listed below. Each of these sections will give out important data.
Know all the current data related to your website here. You will be able to see how many people are live on your website at this moment, from what link they have come, how engaged they are, what links they are clicking, and what content they are reading.
Get all the quantitative data of your website about your demographic. How many people have visited the website in the last hour, week or month? How much time a user has to spend on the website? You can find out in this tab, as well as other technical information about them.
- Source of traffic
If you spend a lot on social media marketing sites like Facebook, you should know how much traffic you are getting from that site in return. The Acquisition tab will show you which websites have directed people into your site to understand which marketing channels are effectively working.
When readers come to your site, they perform a lot of actions. Sharing contents, clicking on the links of other contents, if there are video embeds – how long they are watching the videos for, etc.
If you are an eCommerce site owner, you need visitors to become buyers. If you run a blog, you need people to subscribe, for your platform to grow. This is called a conversion. Higher the conversion rate, better the chances that your campaigns are working well.
Step 3# Connect Google Analytics with WordPress
WordPress Google Analytics cannot start tracking all the above details unless you have added it to the WordPress account. You can manually create your custom plug-in, or use one of the pre-existing plugins from the WordPress site to connect these two.
First, let’s see how you can manually add you’re your own plugin to the website. There are two advantages to doing this. First, you will be able to switch the tracking on or off from the WordPress site itself. Second, even if you change the theme on WordPress, the Google Analytics tracking code will remain on the site.
To begin with, your default theme should have the wp_head hook inside the header.php. This is normally the default configuration but check it anyway before you begin to make sure everything works according to the plan.
After this is done, you have to create a .php file. You can do it from notepad, or text pad from the windows itself. Create a new file, and save it with the .php extension after you add the following code inside. This will serve as the custom plugin on WordPress.
The sample tracking code shown here is only used as an example inside the <script> tag. You should replace it with the tracking code you received in step 1. You can give whatever plugin name you like.
Save the file. Go to the WordPress site and open the plugin folder from wp-content. You can even add this in a separate folder if you like. After you have finished, you have to activate it from the backend. This step will be the same even if you are using ana available plugin.
Here’s How To Install Wordpress Plugins For Connecting Google Analytics To WordPress
Step 1# Find The Plugin You Wish To Install
We have discussed Chartbeat, IO Technologies, and Parse.ly in this article. The overall installation process will remain the same for all these plugins.
You will be able to find the plugins by navigating to the Plugins option in WordPress. From there, you will be able to Add New plugin. You can either search for a specific tool in the search bar or simply search for Google Analytics and you will get all the options for plugins.
Select the chosen plugin from the list and hit on the install button. When it finishes, you can activate it from the backend, the same way you did for the custom plugin.
Step 2# Connect The Plugin To Google Analytics
After you have activated the plugin, you will be able to find a new menu on the dashboard called Insights. When you click on it, you will find Settings.
This is where you have to authenticate the Google Analytics accounts you created. It will send you to the GA page. Since we have already created the account, select that account for tracking. Inside, your website details are already saved. If you are creating the account at this stage, do not forget to add the website details on the second page.
Now you have to provide access to the Google Analytics app so it can start tracking your data on the WordPress blog. You can do so by first selecting the profile you want to start tracking and authenticating it.
Now your WordPress setup with Google Analytics has been completed and you are ready to see a complete analysis of your data.
How To Use Google Analytics In WordPress
Google Analytics for WordPress has a lot going on. When you see the screen after you have an authenticated connection with your website, you will see more data than you can comprehend. Here is where the advantage of custom plugins come in. These plugins have customized the dashboard so you can see data and reports in a much more comprehensible way.
The built-in dashboard of this plugin is very useful and well built. Various reports will help you make sense of the raw data from Google Analytics, so you understand exactly what is going on with your visitors.
Every feature we discussed that Google Analytics has, there is a report in this plugin dashboard that presents data much better. Cut out all the unnecessary clutter of the analytics page by browsing the following reports that present data in a comprehensible way.
This report shows you the details about your visitors. Understand what location they are from, what topics they like reading about, what kind of devices they are opening your blog in, their age, gender, and many other details.
You can publish more popular content to make sure they are engaged, and keep up with the local trends where your readers are from, publish content that is more age-appropriate, all of this boosts your website revenue.
Understand what keywords the readers used that landed them on your blog, what websites they came from, what links they clicked on when they landed on the site. Unleash the easily achievable opportunities and goals by pushing more in the marketing platforms that generate the most traffic for your website. Understand which blogs or websites can partner up with you to deliver more impactful customer service, and cut off promotional sites that are just not delivering good enough results.
Understand the individual content level in which posts are getting attention, so you know what content to target.
This applies to eCommerce websites, and not to blogs. But it is an extremely useful report, nonetheless. As a business owner, you can see the health of the store on this dashboard. You can see the price of an average order, how many referrals you have received from which campaign platform, what is the total profit and click to convert rate of customers.
Search Console Report
This report shows the SEO ranking of your website on google so you can take action to improve it by generating traffic through SEO optimization.
Custom dimensions report – see the performance of the authors on your team by tracking the popularity of their articles, see the best times to publish articles, etc.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics
ExactMetrics also has its own custom spin on the Google Analytics data and the dashboard features useful reports such as the following:
It is an overview of all the important analytics highlights that you see in a much elaborate format in Google Analytics. Use this to keep an eye on any red flags.
Crucial for publishers, this report shows which contents are popular with visitors. If you have affiliate websites, you can also monitor their performance here.
You can decide which Google Analytics stats are the most important for your website and create a widget that will pop up on your screen the moment you log in the website.
Page Insights Admin Bar
View analytical data by page or by individual posts from the menu that will be available post installing this plugin.
This applies to eCommerce websites, and not to blogs. But it is an extremely useful report, nonetheless. As a business owner, you can see the health of the store on this dashboard.
You can see the price of an average order, how many referrals you have received from which campaign platform, what is the total profit top products and click to convert rate of customers.
If you have contact forms on your website you can see how many people converted to subscribers or buyers in this report.
Site Kit by Google
The Site Kit plugin has the following features that will help you navigate Google Analytics:
AdSense – know the earning the website is generating.
If your website is slower than competitor websites, you will bleed customers. Through this tracker, you can see how much time it takes for pages to load so you can take appropriate actions.
You can create and manage tags through this feature without any coding involved.
A/B testing – you can optimize the site by setting up A/B tests and utilizing the results to improve the site.
Shows the SEO ranking of your website on google so you can take action to improve it by generating traffic through SEO optimization.
Google Analytics For WordPress Alternatives
How to Install?
You can follow the same method to install WordPress plugins that we have described in this post.
- IO technologies provide pretty accurate results, and lets you set up A/B testing so you can optimize testing. You can keep an eye on any metrics that are performing alarmingly poorly, by the automatic alerts in this app.
- You can monitor how well your posts and contents are performing so you know where to focus on for monetization. You can even see data collected from various media resources in one master database to have a unified result in the dashboard.
- Understand how the readers are liking individual articles, how much time they are spending per session, and make use of filters that categorize users from the main dashboard to conduct a detailed analysis.
- Whatever reports you create with this app can be exported or shared easily if you need to do offline analysis.
Pricing: Starts at $370 per month.
How to Install?
- Follow these steps to install Chartbeat and activate the dashboard in WordPress.
- Once you have installed the plugin, you will find the Chartbeat option under settings. From there you can find the User ID.
- Here are some options that you have to set up so the app performs correctly. You can choose to track visits by site admins or set it as ‘no’, so the site ignores any incoming traffic from the admins of your blog. This way you won’t have skewed statistics.
- Enable Chartbeat publishing if it applies to you.
- In the next step, you have to navigate to the Chartbeat dashboard from the navigation bar on the left, and you will see the plugin has already added a widget. This will give you access to the admin dashboard.
- Next, enter domain details for your website without using the https://www part.
- Next, go to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Test’.
- If all the setup is done correctly, you will receive a success message and this dashboard will be available to you for quick analytics.
- One of the most useful features of Chartbeat is the video dashboard where you can see historical data on how many people have seen the video content, how long a user is watching the video, how many people abandon the video when advertisement starts playing, and what is their engagement level while watching the video (sharing, finishing the entire video including adds).
- You can also see how often and how likely a user is to see a video when it starts loading up on-page.
Pricing : Pricing varies depending on site traffic and packages start at $7,000 annually. Chartbeat offers core and premium bundles.
How to Install?
- There is a free trial of Parse.ly which you can sign up for before you can use the plugin. This plugin will only be active post signup. After that, download and install the plugin. Activate it from the plugin menu inside WordPress – this step remains the same as what we have described previously.
- Go to the setting page in Parse.ly and add the site if or domain name without using the https://www part.
- Once you save this setup, you should be able to start using the plugin.
- You can get real-time data analytics and see which posts are trending so you know where you can place ads to make sure you are monetizing every opportunity. See how authors are performing in a team by tracking the popularities of their articles. Know which are popular topics, and also which advertisement campaigns are performing well.
- Content creators must know which of their contents are hitting the mark with the audience. These trending topics should be utilized.
- From channel-specific data, you can see where the majority of the traffic is coming from.
- See how your newsletters are performing so you know how content should be distributed to create better user engagement. This can only happen when you have identified the best content that needs to be distributed through social media platforms, and anywhere else where your outreach lies. Track how sponsored content is faring, what is happening to ad campaigns so you can generate expert reports on sales data.
Pricing : The starter pack costs $500, Growth costs $1500 and Enterprise has to be customized with the tool to receive a quoted price. You can find out by contacting customer service.
Google Analytics has Google’s processing power and can process millions of data points in real-time to generate all the intel we discussed. Having a good quality WordPress blog is not enough to make sure that you are reaching your target audience. You need to utilize data-based insights to make real-time decisions.
Google Analytics has a vast reserve of data, and if you are unwilling to see all the clutter, you can install plugins that will simplify the raw data into readable reports. Adding these analytics tools to your website is quite easy, and you can do that by following the steps we discussed. Each one of them offers a suite of reports and metrics and you can decide what is vital for your business to track.
By now you should have all you need to start generating some metrics for your WordPress site to track new business opportunities and improve existing ones.