How To Install Google Analytics on WordPress Blog
You’ve finally got your website up and running. You’re totally stoked at how it looks (great pictures!) and the words you’ve written. Before you start to pour your efforts into growing your online tribe/ community/ following, remember to check off one the most important things you can do for your blog: Install Google Analytics.
- How many visitors are you receiving?
- How long are they hanging out at your website for?
- Is your website performing at its best?
- What are the areas to improve on?
This might all seem like basic questions but for anyone starting out it can come as an afterthought. Especially for solopreneurs or even small business owners, it can be hard to remember all the things you must do to help your business thrive.
As websites or rather, a web presence become the centerpiece of your brand and business, it’s so important to be able to start measuring its performance from the get go.
This is a how-to guide to setting up Google Analytics for anyone on a WordPress based website.
The first thing you’ll need to do is sign up to Google Analytics, set it up then hook it up with your website.
RELATED POST: A Google Analytics Checklist when Setting Up
Signing up to Google Analytics
Signing up is really really easy. Even though it is not as easy as 1, 2, 3 - this guide/ walk-through will help you maneuver this unchartered territory! To sign up, go to analytics.google.com - here you will be welcomed by a whole suite of Google products. It’s really tempting to click and read everything but let’s stay focused!
Click on Analytics in the menu and on the next window, hit the bright green button that says Sign Up For Free.
The next window will prompt you to sign-in to your Google account. If you have a Gmail email address - that will be your Google account sign-in. If you (like me) have multiple Gmail email addresses for specific purposes then be sure to sign-in with the Gmail email address that is linked to your website or business.
After signing in you’ll be taken to another sign-up window but hey look! It totally confirms that it is literally a 3 step process. Click the Sign up button and let’s get this analytics setup started.
Setting up your Google Analytics account
Here it is - the window to a whole new world. Google Analytics makes it super simple to sign-up for an account.
Now though it says optional I personally don’t think it should be. You’ll want to have a way to identify and distinguish your Google Analytics account (which is especially helpful if and when you need to track multiple websites). I recommend entering your blog/ business name, ie. Michelle Awesome Enterprise
- Repeat step 1 - Enter in your blog/ business name, ie. Michelle’s Awesome Blog
- Enter in your blog web address/ URL. As you can see you do not need to include http:// . Tip: Be sure to check if your blog URL has www before your domain or not.
- Select an industry category your blog/ business falls under. This is to let Google know the type of blog/ business you are running so that they can send (with your permission of course) tips and tricks relevant to you.
- The reporting time zone is a pretty important one. Don’t just go with the default or else you’ll see reports from another timezone!
- Check through all the fine print and pre-selected options, and when you’re satisfied hit the bright blue button Get Tracking ID.
And that’s it! You have successfully signed up for Google Analytics.
Adding the Google Analytics Tracking Code to your website
There are several ways to add the tracking code to your website. But first, let’s take a look at this new window we’re on.
Whoa - there is a lot happening on this page but do not worry because you’ve got this! You’ll see that Google really really wants to help you out hence the proliferation of messages in different coloured windows on the screen.
Did you notice that little notification bell on the top right? Yep, just another message from Google Analytics to help you out.
Good ol’ Google.
While it’s tempting to read, click, explore and do everything for now, let’s focus on the task ahead: Installing the Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress site.
If you are on your own WordPress hosting plan (ie. WordPress.org) there are 2 ways of adding the tracking code to your website:
Method 1: Super easy, does not require a change to your template codes and requires a plugin if you are on WordPress.
Method 2: Requires a change to your templates codes, does not require a plugin if you are on WordPress.
For this post, I will only breakdown method 1.
Method 1 - Adding your Google Analytics Tracking Code via WordPress Plugin
This is probably the most popular option for many. It’s super simple, takes a few minutes and does not require fussing with your website template codes. First, pick a plugin to install. I use Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights.
The service is free (with paid upgrades available) and it is regularly testing against the latest WordPress upgrades. You don’t have to pick this one of course!
There are hundreds of WordPress Google Analytics plugins available. If you want to ‘shop’ around, WPMudev recently listed the 9 best Google Analytics Plugins for WordPress.
Tip: When picking a plugin, lookout for the number of active installs it has received as well as its reviews and its last update. These are useful indicators as to how good a plugin is.
Once you have picked a plugin, then login to your website on WordPress.
- Navigate yourself to Plugins > Add New
- In the keyword search bar, type in Google Analytics or the name of the plugin you want to install. For this guide, I’m going to install Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights.
- Once the search results are returned, click on Install Now for the plugin you will be installing.
You will know the plugin installation is complete when the Install Now button turns blue and reads Activate.
Your browser window will refresh and you will see a couple of notices on the top. Click on Google Analytics settings.
We’re almost there so bear with me. Before we can add the Google Analytics tracking code to the plugin, we will need to authenticate our website with our Google Analytics account.
This is an important step to verify that we are indeed the rightful owner of the Google Analytics account and our website. Click on the bright blue button to Authenticate with your Google account.
- Click on NEXT to proceed to the next step.
- Click the grey button to retrieve the Google Code and a pop-up window will appear asking you to sign-in to your Google Account. Once you have done that, the Google Code will appear on the next window. Copy the code that appears in the white field box below the grey button and click NEXT.
- Paste the Google Code into the other white field box and hit NEXT.
- Once that’s done, you will need to choose your Google Analytics profile (the account you had set up earlier!). Click on the little arrow and select your profile.
If you followed all the steps above you should see this line appear on the top of the bright blue button. This means, YOU ARE DONE! Stand up and do a little jig around the house!
Level up on your Google Analytics skills
Time to level up your Google Analytics skills. Take my FREE 5-day email course on Improving Your Blog Traffic with Google Analytics. You'll learn practical and actionable tips, and gain coinfidence to start using Google Analytics for your blog or website.
Hey there, I'm Michelle.
I created Hustle/Flow to help heart-centred individuals pursue their passion fearlessly and healthily. I teach bloggers, entrepreneurs and small business owners how to make their online hustle work, and how to keep the flow.