Using Google Analytics with WordPress

Posted on Jul 01 2014 by in Blog 

Everyone that operates a website likes to be able to know how many visitors they are getting.  One of the most used methods of tracking website visits is Google Analytics.  With Google Analytics, users can keep track of new visitors compared to repeat visitors, examine bounce rates and look at the page views of each post and page, and use dozens of other statistics.  This useful resource is available for free by visiting the Google Analytics website and signing into your Google Analytics account.  The only problem with this is that users then have one more location where they need to sign in when they want to manage their WordPress site.  By using a professionally designed WordPress plugin, WordPress users can access the same Google Analytics information directly from their WordPress dashboard.  Here are some ways that you can use Google Analytics with your installation of WordPress.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress will not automatically display information gathered using Google Analytics in your WordPress dashboard.  You are going to need to install a plugin that will provide this added feature.  There are two main plugins to choose from; though, you could perform your own search and examine a few of the other options.  These two are the most commonly used Google Analytics plugins for WordPress and have been downloaded thousands of times.  One is a free plugin while the other is a premium plugin that requires a small fee.  They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Google Analytics for WordPress

First up is the free WordPress plugin.  The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin is able to provide the most useful statistics from Google Analytics.  As soon as you login to your WordPress dashboard, you will be able to see page views and visits to your website.  Edit custom variables to tailor this plugin to your needs.  View visits by category, post, page, author, tags, and even post type.  Keep track of how quickly each page loads.  Other features include outbound link tracking and automatic placement of Google Analytics tracking code in each of your WordPress pages.  The only down side to this plugin is that it is not as customizable or detailed as the premium plugin that is covered below.

Google Analytics Plus

Google Analytics Plus is a premium WordPress plugin and the makers require a small fee in order for you to use this plugin.  Once installed, all you need to do is sign into your Google Analytics account through the plugin screen.  Then you will be presented with your main statistics as soon as you visit your WordPress admin dashboard.  The stats that are provided can be customized so that you are only presented with the information that you want to see.  This is an easy to use WordPress plugin that does not require any complicated setup.  The information is presented in a manner very similar to visiting the actual Google Analytics webpage.

However you choose to track visits to your website, you should consider using Google Analytics.  There is a reason why it is the most used program for tracking website statistics.  The service itself is free and there are many different fields and variables covered.  Choose between free WordPress plugins, premium WordPress plugins, and visiting the Google Analytics webpage, for tracking the number of visitors you get to your WordPress site.