As mentioned before on TBM, we love to check out our stats on Google Analytics. When in a pinch it’s always nice to have the Jetpack Stats for WordPress installed, but there’s really nothing comparable to GA when it comes to analyzing your website’s traffic and strategizing growth! I will spare you an entire tutorial on GA because there are about 5 million of them out there, but if you do want to set it up on your blog, this lesser known trick will save you any analytics anxiety you may be having.
Years ago when I first put GA on my blog and the blogs of clients I worked with, I would always get confused by the process. If you pop over to Google’s help page, you might wonder where exactly to find the codes and more importantly where to put them. This process isn’t all that difficult if you’re handy with website management, but I still found it to be a little tedious. Luckily, I finally noticed a Google Analytics plugin for WordPress! I’m a little apprehensive about using plugins for every little thing, but it’s nice when you just need to install one feature and forget it. Here’s what to do.
From your WordPress menu, click Plugins, and search for “Google Analytics” plugin:
I will show you another plugin great GA plugin below, but this is the simplest plugin for setting Google Analytics up. It allows you to add it without going into code. You still view stats at google.com/analytics, but it will pull the data from your site. Click install, then activate.
Meanwhile, you’ll need to get a short tracking code on Google. If you’re not set up at all you’ll just need to login with a Google account/gmail. Once logged in, there’s a navigation menu on your GA home page. Click on the Admin panel to find the code. Under property, click add new property, and this will pop up:
Your new property is the website you’d like to add. Fill in the forms above and click save. Once saved you’ll be able to click “tracking info” and grab the tracking ID. It begins with UA- and then a series of numbers. You’ll also see a website tracking box which has a piece of code, but because we’re using a plugin, we don’t need to deal with that!
Next, head back to WordPress and your plugin should be under Settings. Click the Google Analytics tab. It should take you to a page with a web property ID box where you can paste the code below. Make sure to paste the whole code.
Once this is saved, you should be able to refresh your page on Google Analytics and find your website! Since it hasn’t tracked views until this moment, it will look something like this:
These dash marks will eventually be data including sessions, average session duration, bounce rate, and more. You’ll soon be able to click on this “All Web Site Data” tab and analyze the results. There’s SO much you can do with Google Analytics, and if your site is growing it’s nice to be able to track it from the get go. This may not seem necessary now, but as you grow and potentially work with advertisers or collaborate with others, they will want to know how specific content performs on your site!
Lastly I wanted to mention another helpful plugin, for those who want something basic they can look at straight from their WP dashboard. That would be the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. You can install this after GA is already set up, and it will automatically place the stats on your dashboard to view each time you log in!
Let me know if you have questions!