Tracking your WordPress site’s traffic data such as visitor time-on-site and location using a tool like Google Analytics helps you understand how users interact with your site. To add Google Analytics to WordPress, you’ll need to set up a Google Analytics account, get a unique tracking ID, and paste it into WordPress.
However, you need to host your site with a third-party provider in order to connect Google Analytics to your site. If you are looking for a new host for your WordPress site, we suggest looking at Bluehost. The hosting service is recommended by WordPress itself to help you host, edit, and manage your WordPress site quickly and easily. Best of all, plans start at just $3.95 per month. Click the button below to learn more.
Steps to connect Google Analytics to WordPress include:
1. Make Sure You Have a Self-Hosted WordPress Site
There are two ways of hosting a small business website on WordPress. If you have the Free, Personal, or Premium packages, your content will be hosted by WordPress itself. The other way is to host your site on a third-party service like Bluehost. This is known by the company as a “self-hosted” site.
The following steps are for self-hosted WordPress sites. If you want to self-host, you will have to subscribe to the company’s Business package or higher. We suggest looking at WordPress’s pricing page for more information on the difference between packages.
2. Ensure That You Have a Google Account
Google Analytics requires you to have a Google account, just like any other of the company’s services. Fortunately, Google accounts are free of charge. All you need to do is log on to accounts.google.com and follow the step-by-step instructions on making an account. You will be asked to enter your first and last name, as well as your phone number and another email address for backup services.
3. Set Up a Google Analytics Account
Once you have a Google account, you will need to set up the Google Analytics service. The setup process comprises of a form that you fill out. It’s very similar to any form you have filled out while signing up for any website in the past, asking you for your name, email address, and some other basic information. The standard version of the service is free to use. You will only be charged if your site’s visits surpass 5 million impressions per month.
This will not likely be a problem for most small businesses. Alternatively, an enterprise-level version of the software is available on a customized pricing model. This version usually costs around $150,000 per year.
4. Select Your Website or Application
To verify your account, simply go to analytics.google.com. Sign in with the login credentials that you made for your Google account, and you will be taken to a form to set up your account. When you log on for the first time, you will be asked to set up a “property.” A property refers to any website or application that you connect to Google Analytics.
A Google Analytics property can either be a website or a mobile app. Therefore, it can also track any software you may have on the Google Play or iOS App Store marketplaces. Google Analytics can track multiple properties at once under one account.
5. Get Your Tracking ID
Connecting Google Analytics to WordPress is a straightforward process if you have a self-hosted site. In basic terms, the Google Analytics small set of instructions to look at your WordPress site, track visitor behavior, and serve that data in the form of visual graphs and charts. In order to start tracking, you will need to get your tracking ID.
When you first sign up for Google Analytics, you will be asked to connect a website or mobile app right from the setup page. Simply enter the name of your website, some information about the type of site you have, and enter the URL.
When you are done with the setup process, click on the Get Tracking ID button. Copy this code to your computer’s clipboard, as you will need to enter it into your WordPress site in the next step. We recommend keeping your browser tab with Google Analytics open during the rest of this process. If you lose your tracking ID, or something goes wrong, you can then easily go back to that tab.
6. Insert Your Tracking ID Into WordPress
Now that you have your Tracking ID, you are ready to insert it into your WordPress site and start tracking. On your main WordPress Settings menu, go to Tools>Marketing>Traffic. You should see a labeled field for your Google Analytics Tracking ID. Paste the ID you got from Google and click Save Settings.
Once you have saved your setting, you should be able to see the Google tracking ID on your settings page. If so, the process is complete. Next, you will have to wait several hours for Google Analytics to begin tracking website activity.
7. Wait a Few Hours for Google Analytics to Start Tracking
You will not start seeing statistics for your website on the Google Analytics dashboard immediately. The tracking mechanism needs time to take hold, and it can only track user activity that happens after the analytics code is inserted. We suggest waiting for 14 to 18 hours before checking Google Analytics again.
If you see no page views after that period of time, it is possible that the connection between Google Analytics for WordPress did not take hold. In that case, delete the tracking ID from your WordPress, re-enter it, and click Save Settings. Then, wait for another 14 to 18 hours. If it is still not working, it is possible that your site simply is not getting any visitors.
8. Consider Using a Plugin
The process of getting your tracking ID, copying it, and pasting it into your WordPress site’s code only takes a minute or so. With that said, there are alternative methods available if you do not feel comfortable altering your site’s live code. WordPress plug-ins like MonsterInsights can automatically add Google Analytics to WordPress to your site by using your Google account’s login credentials and can make the setup process much less technologically challenging.
In fact, there is a wide range of Google Analytics plugins for WordPress. ExactMetrics offers its Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress free of charge. These providers offer advanced features like the ability to export analytics into a CSV file for easier sharing. If you feel like a plug-in is a better option for you, we suggest looking at the WordPress plugin marketplace. All plugins offer different features and have different processes of connecting the services.
Google Analytics Benefits
Google Analytics connects to your business’s website to track users and generate reports on their behavior. It works by adding a tracking code to your site and then creating events, reports, goals, custom dashboards, and user segmentation. It’s ideal for ecommerce businesses and other companies that rely on website traffic.
The fact that Google Analytics is used by independent small businesses and major corporations alike is a testament to its usefulness for understanding web traffic. The fact that it can tell you how many people are visiting your site, where they are located, how long they spend on your site, and more can be extraordinarily helpful in understanding your audience.
Google Account: Additional Benefits
It is worth noting that a Google account gives you access to many free apps provided by the company. For example, you get access to the company’s word processor, spreadsheet editor, and presentation builder. You also get an email address. That, in addition to other extras like the virtual Google Voice phone service, make a Google account useful to virtually any small business user.
Google Analytics Drawbacks
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful web tracking tools available. However, it is worth mentioning that Google Analytics may reveal some uncomfortable truths about your website. There have been many small businesses users who start tracking visitor activity only to find that very few people are looking at their site. There are even administrators who realize that no one is looking at their content at all.
The solution is also very complex and takes time to fully understand. There are even paid courses offered all over the world that teach people how to use Google Analytics. However, the tool is so powerful that we find it is worth investing the time in mastering. You can also make use of the system by keeping just a few basic things in mind. Check out our guide to using Google Analytics for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is it important to track my WordPress site?
As a small business, you need to understand which of your strategies are working and which aren’t. Setting up and maintaining a WordPress site takes a lot of time and effort. Google Analytics for WordPress could tell you what users like most about your site, or even if the site is worth maintaining at all.
For example, Google Analytics could tell you that you have very few visitors to your site at all, giving you the opportunity to re-evaluate your customer outreach efforts.
Can Google Analytics track multiple sites?
Yes. If you want to track visitors to another one of your websites in addition to your WordPress, you can do so. In fact, Google Analytics can track over 50 properties at once, whether they are websites or mobile apps.
Can I still use Google Analytics if I don’t self-host my WP site?
No. Google Analytics integration with WordPress is supported only with the more expensive, self-hosted Business or eCommerce packages.
Bottom Line: How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress
Google Analytics is a free service that can help you better understand how many visitors your site has and how they interact with your content. Connecting Google Analytics to your WordPress site is simple and can be done by even non-technical staff. All you need to do is acquire your Google Analytics tracking ID, paste some code into your WordPress site, and wait a few hours for the system to start tracking.
If you are looking for a host for your WordPress site, we suggest looking at Bluehost. The company offers hosting plans at affordable prices. Not only that, but the service is so reliable that it is recommended by WordPress itself. Click the link below to learn more.