If you make a Google search on How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress, you will most likely see a lot of tutorials on that. However, this tutorial is targeted at the less tech savvy.
You will get a step by step guide to help you get your Google Analytics code and add it to your WordPress Website in the easiest and safest way. Also, this guide will help you understand the information contained in your Google Analytics dashboard.
There are many ways to Add Analytics to your WordPress blog, you could create a plugin for Google Analytics, add Google Analytics code directly to your theme .php, or add it using an already created plugin.
For the less tech savvy, or a newbie concerned, the simplest and most effective way to add a Google Analytics code is by using an already created plugin.
Before going on with this process, I want to offer a brief intro into what Google Analytics is, and why it is deemed so important for proper and accurate tracking of your blog.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a comprehensive Webmaster tool developed by Google. It provides you with real time information regarding your website’s audience and how they interact with your website.
After you start a blog, a proper understanding of your audience is of essence. You need to build a better relationship with your audience by knowing and meeting their very needs.
This is where Google Analytics comes in handy. It provides answers to all the important questions webmasters or website owners ask about their audience. Questions like; who your website’s visitors are, their Geo-location, devices they use, activities, etc.
Why not rely on Alexa or Google Search Console reports?
Alexa and Google Search console reports are a bit delayed in my opinion. You don’t get to receive important data early enough.
Frankly speaking, there is no other report more reliable than the Google Analytics report. When you talk of real time data collation, Google Analytics standout by a yard.
Like I said, it is by far the most comprehensive webmaster tool ever (in my opinion). Also, you can set up search console data sharing with Google Analytics.
How to get Google Analytics code.
Step 1: Visit Google Analytics and login with your Gmail account.
Step 2: After login, click on the sign up just below “Start using Google Analytics”.
Step 3: You will be provided with a form, fill in all the details of that form.
Make sure you select website for the ‘what would you like to track?’ question. After filling in all the required details, click on ‘Get Tracking ID’.
Step 4: You will be provided with the term of service for your country, click on ‘I accept’.
Step 5: Your Google Analytics tracking code will be displayed on the next screen.
All you have to do is save that page or copy and paste to notepad. You need to save this code where it is easily accessible. This is the code you will add to your website in order to track the activities of your audience.
How to Add Analytics to WordPress
Now, the next thing we must do is add your Google Analytics tracking code to your website. Like I said, we will be adding it in the easiest and most effective way.
There are many ways you can add Google Analytics to your website. You could do that by downloading a Google Analytics plugin that will enable you to track your website’s audience directly on your WordPress dashboard.
You can also go about it by creating your own Google Analytics plugin. This however demands some bit of rolling up of sleeves and working with codes. We are not going to use any of those methods. An additional plugin means an additional workload on your website’s database.
Also, if we add it directly to your website’s theme, then you will have to keep adding the code each time you change your WordPress theme.
So, to add Google Analytics, we will be making use of a plugin called Simple custom CSS and JS. It’s a must have plugin on WordPress. You can easily add codes to different sections of your website using this plugin.
Step 2: Access Simple Custom CSS and JS on you WordPress dashboard, and click on ‘add custom JS’.
Step 3: Paste your Google Analytics code into the space provided.
Name the code Google Analytics, and make sure the code is added in the last space provided.
Now that you have Google Analytics added to your website, you can easily track the activities of your audience by visiting your Google Analytics account.
Like I said before, Google Analytics provide answers to all the important question webmasters ask concerning their websites.
It will provides answers to questions like:
Who are my website’s visitors?
To get a detailed information on this, click on ‘Audience’ in your Analytics Dashboard.
You will be provided with data regarding the age range of your visitors and the number of sessions had by those visitors.
You will also get information regarding the gender of your audience.
From this data, you can see the percentage that are male, and the percentage that are female.
Also, you get information regarding the interest category of your audience.
With all the information provided about your audience, you will be able to understand how to condition your website’s design, articles and products to service their needs better.
What are the devices or browsers my audience use?
If you are interested in knowing the devices used by your audience, you can do that on Google Analytics. Having this information will help you understand how to properly configure and serve your website to accommodate every of your audience.
If for instance, a high percentage of your audience visit on their mobile devices, then, serving the Google AMP version of your website will be an excellent idea. We have a guide on how to serve the Google AMP version of your website.
To get detailed information on the devices your audience use, you need tosetup Google Search Console data sharing on Google Analytics.
Note: For you to do this, you must first verify your website property with Google Search Console.
Click on Acquisition>>Search Console>>Devices. You will get a message saying, This report requires Search Console integration enabled. Go on and click on Set up Search Console data sharing.
What is my conversion rate?
Using Google Analytics, You can easily track the sales made on your website. All you have to do is, configure it to include that option.
AdSense publishers are also able to track their CTR (click through rate) and other important stats, without having to visit their AdSense Dashboard.
Click on Admin>>AdSense Linking to have this implemented.
There’s so much you can do with your Google Analytics account. At first, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of data you are presented with on your dashboard. Just keep exploring to learn everything about Analytics.
You can also take a free course on the Google Analytics academy to further understand your Analytics dashboard and also explore other powerful features Google Analytics has in store.