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Do you ever wonder how your website is performing? How many people visit your website? What the conversion rates are? What your bounce rate is? You and millions of other people. That is why Google Analytics exists.
Knowing your website’s stats is important. If you’re running a business, analytics is something you need to know. Seeing the strengths and weaknesses of your website can help you turn things around and make sound business decisions. The best way to get all of this information in one place is via Google Analytics.
Google is the #1 search engine in the entire world, so you can trust that the analytics they offer are based on the unfathomable amount of data they collect daily. And if that’s not enough to convince you, it’s also free. You get in-depth detail about the people who visit your website so that you can better strategize what is best for your business.
There is a lot to this software, so you may feel overwhelmed at the amount of information housed in your Google Analytics profile. However, do not let the fact that it has a learning curve let it stop you from using it because the benefits are enormous.
Why Installing Google Analytics in WordPress is Worth It
Knowing what your users want and what their habits are is vital for the success of your site. When using Google Analytics, you can track and understand what your customer/website visitor is doing and other things you may never have even thought about.
Imagine knowing exactly what people want when they come to your website and giving it to them. Imagine providing an excellent experience to nearly everyone that lands on your page. Google Analytics, when used correctly, has the power to give these things to you. There is so much you can do with it.
Here are some of the reasons why you should install Google Analytics on your WordPress site.
As mentioned above, Google Analytics costs nothing. You don’t have to pay any fee for using the service. Simply set up your profile, and it will start collecting the data for you.
It collects data automatically.
Some analytics software requires you to do some work to get data on your own. This is not the case for Google Analytics. The digital analytics software collects data from your website automatically and turns it into reports. There is no work you need to do to gather the data and then transfer it into something digestible you can work with.
It allows you to customize reports.
Google creates its own reports in Analytics, but if there is something you need that they aren’t providing, you can create a custom report using its drag and drop interface.
It can be integrated with other tools.
It’s no surprise that Google Analytics works well with other Google tools such as AdWords, which is a benefit you will enjoy.
It is available as an app.
There is a Google Analytics app for smartphones and tablets free to download and use.
It helps you understand why people aren’t staying on your website long.
Do you have a high bounce rate? The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after looking at only one page. A high bounce rate means that people are coming to your website but cannot find what they’re looking for, which is very important to know. Google Analytics provides a report of the pages that have a high bounce rate so that you can figure out how to change it.
It tells you the age, gender, and more of visitors.
The Audience section of your Google Analytics tells you all kinds of information about the people who come to your page, including their age, gender, interests, devices, and location.
The age is broken down into different ranges, such as 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, etc. There is also an Interest Category that lets you know the interests of people who land on your page. As for the devices, Analytics lets you know whether someone came to your page via phone, tablet, or desktop. For the location, you get to see where people who visit your website live.
It tells you which social platforms drive traffic.
Sometimes people forget that social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Google Analytics shows you which platforms are pushing people to your website so that you can see where to focus your efforts.
It lets you know what content is worth sharing.
Content is one way you can reach your potential customers or clients, and you want to make sure you’re providing content that is wanted and needed. Google Analytics keeps track of how many views and shares each blog post gets.
It allows you to set goals and track them.
Google Analytics has a goals feature that helps you set and track goals for making a purchase or downloading a PDF.
As you are on this journey of adding Google Analytics to WordPress, you may find yourself wondering what hosting provider will serve your needs. The hosting provider determines the speed of your website, among several other things, and that can have a huge effect on the information that Analytics pulls for you.
The Investment Needed to Install Google Analytics in WordPress
Now that you have seen why Google Analytics is important to have for your website, you’re likely wondering how much time it takes to install it on your WordPress site and if there are any additional costs involved.
We have good news for you on both fronts.
As mentioned, Google Analytics is completely free. There are no hidden costs for the standard version. However, if you are a bigger company and looking for something much more in-depth, you may want to consider Google Analytics 360. Though be warned that it has a hefty price tag that starts at $150,000 per year. That’s a massive jump from the free version, but it unlocks all sorts of features limited by the free version.
The other good news is that it won’t take long to install Google Analytics in WordPress. With a few quick and reasonably easy steps, you will be on your way to tracking valuable data.
Here is the process for installation:
- Create a Google Analytics account
- Install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin
- Follow the setup wizard steps
- Choose add-ons
- Install the WPForms plugin
- Wait for the data to start collecting
- View metrics
7 Steps to Installing Google Analytics in WordPress
There are a few different ways you can install Google Analytics. One of them is quick and painless. The other is the method that takes a lot more time and effort. We will focus on the faster method.
So, here are the seven steps to installing Google Analytics in WordPress.
#1 – Create a Google Analytics account
To set up your Google Analytics account, you will go to https://analytics.google.com/ and click “Start for free” to sign in with your Google account. If you don’t already have a Google account (this includes Gmail), it takes just a couple of minutes to create one.
Here are the different steps you’ll encounter when setting up your Analytics account.
Create an account name.
Once you have created your Google Analytics account, the name is the first thing you will choose. This name is purely for internal use and won’t be seen by customers or other people visiting your website. To keep it simple, we suggest making the account name either the name of your business or your name.
Enter site information.
Here is where you will enter information such as timezone and currency.
Next, you will be asked to fill in more information about your website, including industry, size, and what you plan to use Google Analytics for in your business.
Accept the terms of service.
You cannot complete your Google Analytics account unless you accept their terms of service.
Tracking ID and tracking code.
At the end of the account setup, you will be given a tracking ID and code. If you use our method of installing Google Analytics in WordPress, you won’t need to have the ID and code on hand. However, if you choose the more DIY, complex installation method, you will need these numbers.
#2 – Install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin
The MonsterInsights plugin is the key to connecting your Google Analytics account with your WordPress site.
And the best thing about it?
It has a free version. The free version offers what you need and is the version we think works best. However, a paid version offers advanced features such as ad tracking and more if you want those things.
Regardless of which version you choose, you want to start by downloading the plugin via your WordPress dashboard.
Once the plugin has been installed, you next want to click Activate to get it going.
#3 – Follow the setup wizard steps
With the now-active plugin, the next step is to go through the wizard set up on WordPress and follow each prompt.
You can access this from the “Insights” part of the dashboard.
Here is where the setup wizard begins.
Choose your website category.
The path of your setup wizard depends on the category that your website falls under. The three options are business website, blog, or ecommerce site. Select the one that best fits your website category.
Connect MonsterInsights to Google Analytics.
Here is where you connect your MonsterInsights to the Google Analytics account you created in #1.
Once you click Connect MonsterInsights, you will be taken to the MonsterInsights website to connect it to Analytics.
Choose the account.
The page that pops up on the MonsterInsights website will prompt you to sign in to your Google account.
Be sure to choose the account that you chose when you created your Google Analytics in Step #1.
The next part of this step is to allow MonsterInsights access to your Google Analytics account. You cannot opt-out of this if you want to connect MonsterInsights and Google Analytics.
Finalize the connection.
You will be prompted with one final screen to finalize the connection.
Double-check that the profile on this page is the right one. If it is not, click on the dropdown to choose the correct one.
Click Complete Connection, and you are done.
#4 – Choose add-ons (optional)
If the free version of MonsterInsights does not provide all the information you are looking for, you can choose to add on paid features that will open up the doors to more information.
You can see the add-on options and pick which ones you want via the MonsterInsights settings.
#5 – Install the WPForms plugin
Now that you have your MonsterInsights set up, you need to get the WPForms plugin going on your page for contact forms.
A contact form or other similar form allows another way to collect data and information from visitors to your website.
This form plugin will help you get further information on the pages that are converting best, what forms are filled out the most, and how you can optimize your forms to make them more influential and useful.
Install the plugin.
Head to the “Plugins” page on your WordPress dashboard and search for the WPForms plugin.
Once you have clicked Install, click Activate to get it going.
Make your first form.
Follow the step-by-step instructions on the wizard to set up your first WPForms.
There are templates available for you to use, or you can create your own form.
#6 – Wait for the data to start collecting
While you have spent the time to get this all set up and likely are excited to see everything, you need to give Google Analytics some time to collect the data. So don’t be surprised if you head to your dashboard and see no information yet.
It usually takes Analytics up to 24 hours to start generating data for your website.
#7 – View metrics
Head to your MonsterInsights dashboard to start taking a look at the collected data.
Once there, you will see something like this.
Scroll down further, and you will find all kinds of information about your visitors, including:
- Number of sessions
- Number of pageviews
- Average session duration
- Bounce rate
- New vs. returning visitors
- Device breakdown
- Top 10 countries
- Top 10 site referrals
- Top posts/pages
This is a great place to start with gathering information about your visitors to improve your site. If you’re interested in more details, consider upgrading to MonsterInsights Pro.
Now that you’ve got Google Analytics up on your site, you can start gathering all kinds of information. But what can you do with it?
One piece of crucial data is the bounce rate: how many people visit your site but don’t click to other pages. If it is high, this means that your website is not giving people what they want. You want to make sure that visitors get any questions they have answered when they come to your site. Here are the top questions that website visitors want answered, so you can get them answers ASAP.