How to: track your WordPress website stats with Google Analytics

How to: track your WordPress website stats with Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the most widely used website reporting system in the world, because it is free and easy to use. You can report on a huge range of performance metrics, including visitor numbers, time spent on the site, geographic location of visitors and many more. This type of information can be very valuable to a website owner to help you see which parts of the site and performing well and which could benefit from additional work.

Here is a more detailed list of the various areas which can be tracked:

  • Visitor numbers
  • Average time spent on website
  • Average number of pages viewed
  • Acquisition sources of visitors (e.g. search engines, advertising, other websites)
  • Geographic location of visitors
  • Social media traffic
  • Visitor demographics (e.g. age, gender, interests)
  • Browsing device (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile)
  • Web browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer)
  • Search engine terms used to find the website

There are many more functions available in Google Analytics, but this gives you a general overview of the most popular.

All you need to know now is how to set up your account and start tracking. Please follow the simple steps below to create your Analytics account and link it to your website:

  1. Create your account with Google Analytics – visit http://www.google.com/analytics/ and click ‘create an account’ in the top-right corner of the page.
  2. Follow the instructions on screen. You are required to have a general Google account already, you will have this if you have registered for any of Google’s services before (e.g. YouTube, Gmail, Google AdWords etc).
  3. If you already have a Google account you can log in using your username and password. If not, you will need to create one at https://accounts.google.com/SignUp?service=mail.
  4. Once you have logged in you will see the Google Analytics signup page. Click ‘SIGN UP’ on the right side to proceed.
  5. On the following page simply enter the details requested about your business and website and click the ‘Get Tracking ID’ button.
  6. Now you will be given a tracking code to add to your website. This needs to be added to every page of your website.
  7. If your website uses the WordPress CMS (Content Management System) you can easily add a ‘plugin’ which will implement the Analytics code for you.
  8. Simply log in to your website, click ‘plugins’ on the vertical menu on the left side of the admin area, click ‘Add New’ then locate the search box on the right side of the page – this will allow you to search the public plugin library on WordPress.
  9. Paste “Google Analytics by Yoast” into the search box and this will find the most popular plugin for GA on WordPress.
  10. Click ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’ the plugin.
  11. Once activated you can access the settings by going to the ‘Plugins’ page and clicking ‘Settings’ in the ‘Google Analytics by Yoast’ section.
  12. In the next screen click ‘Authenticate with your Google Account’ – and then follow the instructions.
  13. Once the steps above are completed it will take a few days for the tracking to show in your Google Analytics account.
  14. There are lots of additional features in the ‘Google Analytics by Yoast’ plugin which will allow you to view the data directly on the website rather than logging in to Analytics. It is worth taking a look at these to see if they would be useful for you.

Good luck and we hope that the data brings you some useful insight into the performance of your website!

(Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.)

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