You developed your website with a goal, right?
Maybe you want to earn money, build your brand, reach to an audience, gather opinion or anything else. It does not matter whatever your goal is, you need a way to track the performance of your website.
While there are different ways to do this, using Google Analytics in your WordPress blog is a free and easy way. In today’s tutorial, I will introduce you to Google Analytics for WordPress.
Installing Google Analytics in WordPress
As you can guess, you will need a Google account for using this service. Once you have logged into your Google account, go to Google Analytics Account.
At the top, you will see four menus –
Click on the ‘Admin‘ link. This will take you to a new page, which will have three sections – Account, Property, View.
Click on the Property drop-down menu and select the ‘Create new property‘ option. The free version of Analytics lets you add up to 50 websites.
In the next window, provide a name for your website, the URL, select the category and time zone. Once everything is set, click the ‘Get Tracking ID‘ button. In the next screen, you will find a tracking ID and the Google Analytics tracking code.
You have to add this asynchronous tracking code to the header.php file of your WordPress site. You can do that by using an FTP tool or by editing the file from your website dashboard. Make sure that you have added the code before the tag.
Once you have added the website, Google Analytics will start monitoring the site and record the appropriate data for you.
Adding Other Users
If you want to provide access to logged in users, you can do so from the ‘User Management’ link on the ‘Account’ area.
Provide the email address in the ‘Add permissions for‘ box, choose the capability, check the box to notify the user by email and finally, click the ‘Add’ button.
Demographics & Interest Reports
You will find all the necessary website data in the ‘Reporting‘ section of Google Analytics. Clicking the link will open a screen like the following –
As you can see, the available reports are divided into several categories – Dashboards, Shortcuts, Intelligence Events, Real-Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, Conversions.
Each category also has several sub-categories. Let’s discuss the broad categories one by one.
Google Analytics dashboard comes with an enormous number of readymade report widgets, charts, and overviews. The dashboard section lets you create custom dashboard consisting of any story you want.
To create a new dashboard, click the ‘+ New Dashboard‘ link. You can choose a blank canvas and star adding custom reports. Or, you can choose the Starter Dashboard, a ready-made template provided by Google.
Once you have made your choice, click ‘Create Dashboard‘. If you have elected to create a custom dashboard, you will be asked to add a widget. Choose the widget and configure the necessary options. Once you are done, click ‘Save’.
The dashboard is divided into several segments. Each widget will be added to a segment. You can create new widget and segments from the top menu. They could be reordered by dragging and dropping to your desired location.
If you want to get email reports from a dashboard, click the ‘Email‘ link on the top menu. Choose the recipient email address, subject, attachments, frequency and click ‘Send‘.
As the name suggest, shortcut lets you add quick links to the reports you use the most. Most reports and widgets support the shortcut feature.
To add a new shortcut, go to your desired report. On the top menu, you will find four options – Email, Export, Add to Dashboard, Shortcut. Click on the Shortcut link.
We have discussed the first option already. Depending on the report type, the Export option lets you export the report as CSV, TSV, Excel, Google Sheets or PDF. Clicking the ‘Add to Dashboard‘ will let you add the report to a dashboard. Choose the panel from the dropdown list and click ‘Add to Dashboard’.
Lastly, clicking the Shortcuts link will open a popup window like the following –
Provide a name for the shortcut and click ‘OK’. This will add the report to the shortcuts section. Clicking on the Shortcuts link will display the available shortcuts. Click on any of them to open the report.
Intelligence event tracking let you track daily, weekly or monthly reports. The real use of intelligence events is to set alerts for tracking changes in the visitor, traffic and engagement data. While it is not realistic to check the charts each hour, you can set custom alerts for letting you know about specific changes.For example, you can set an alarm for a 10% traffic increase in a single day.
To set a new alert, click ‘+ Create a Custom Alert’ link from the ‘Custom Alerts’ section. This will bring a popup window. You can provide a name for the alert and select the profile for which you want to receive the alert.
Then, you can choose the period and enable email notifications. In the ‘Alert Conditions‘ section, you can choose the target audience and set the alert conditions. After making all the changes, click ‘Save Alert‘.
This fascinating report will provide you with detailed information about your current visitors. There are five types of reports available – Locations, Traffic Sources, Content, Events, Conversions.
The overview report will show the number of currently active visitors. It also includes other widgets like Top Referrals, Top Active Pages, Top Social Traffic, Top Locations, Top Keywords, etc.
Locations and traffic courses will display the location and original sources of the currently active visitors. Content displays that page the user is currently visiting. Events and Conversions reports will tell you how your visitors and responding to your site.
This is the most important report section of Google Analytics. While their 12 types of reports, most reports are also divided into sub-reports.
First of all, the overview page displays a complete report about your visitors including their sessions, page views, average session duration, bounce rate, etc. The reports could be viewed as hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.
The demographic reports allow you to view detailed statistics about the age and gender of your visitors. From the Geo reports, you can see the language and location of your visitors.
The behavior section lets you analyze the behavior of your visitors. There is a specialized report section for comparing new and returning visitors. The engagement report will display how long your visitors are staying in your website.
The technology reports provide some interesting data including the browser, OS and network of your visitors. The mobile report will show which mobile devices your visitors are using to access your site.
Lastly, the Users Flow displays a visual presentation of the common behavior of your visitors. By clicking the drop-down list on top, you can easily choose which report should be used to display the user flow chart.
This section includes reports about how you are getting your visitors. You can view reports from various sources like AdWords, SEO, Social, Campaigns, etc. The overview page will display detailed information about the referral and direct visitors.
From the Source/Medium report of All Traffic, you can view a list of the sources of your visitors. If you run AdWords campaigns, you can see detailed reports in the AdWord section.
The Analytics SEO report page let you see the search queries, landing page details(if any) and a geographical summary of the search terms. Social section tracks user engagement, conversion, transactions, etc. and provides detailed analysis.
The behavior reports will help you to find out what your visitors do on the site. In the reports, you will find which pages they visit and what they do on those pages. There are nine different reports in total.
As usual, the overview page will provide a quick glance at your website traffic along with some additional data. The Behavior Flow report will display how your visitors browse through the site.
Site Content provides detailed data about the content, i.e. the pages of your website.
Site Speed provides useful data about the loading time of your site’s pages. From the Site Search reports, you will get an idea of how the visitors use the search page of your site.
The other reports of this section include information about the download, external links, AdSense pages, A/B testing, in-page analysis, etc.
The Conversion section shows you how a visitor converts and becomes a lead. The section is broken into four reports – Goals, E-commerce, Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution.
Goals allow you to create personalized goals and track how your performance. The overview page will show a summary of the goal completions. Other reports will help you to track your performance regarding the goals.
If you are running an e-commerce site, you will find all the necessary data in the Ecommerce reports. They will show you how a customer goes through your site.
Multi-Channel Funnels reports will help you to understand how your visitors convert. You will find useful data about all the marketing channels that drive conversion in your website.
Lastly, the Attribution reports are helpful to find out the differences between various conversions. The report will show the performance of different attribution methods with their success percentages.
If you are looking to integrate all features of Google Analytics within the WordPress setup itself, then I suggest you to use this new and excellent plugin- Google Analytics WD.
This plugin gives you the option to view all reports, graphs, custom options, email reports, push notification, eCommerce tracking from within the WordPress Dashboard itself. We recently added this plugin to our other site and found it kind of interesting.
Keeping track of your website performance is crucial. Google Analytics provides a simple way of doing that. In today’s tutorial on how to use Google Analytics, I have tried to introduce you to the available options.
Let me know if you have any question about this tutorial. And if you want to know more about any of these features, let me know by leaving a comment below.