When I started blogging, stats of the blog was only for knowing how many visitors I’m getting, and with time I realize stats of my blog is the key to blog growth. It doesn’t matter if you have a blog with 100 views a day or a blog with 100 millions views a day, you need to have a stats program which help you to track blog traffic and analyse them. In my earlier post I have shared about 3 stats program for WordPress blog, and Google analytics is one of the free stats program that is must have for any blog. I would not get into details of benefits of Google analytics, as I have already covered it here. In this tutorial, you be learning about setting up your Google analytics account and adding Google analytics into your WordPress blog.
I have simplified this guide to non-technical users too, so you don’t have to worry about tech-how of Google analytics & WordPress integration.
How to Setup Google Analytics Account
Lets start the guide with setting up Google analytics account for your WordPress blog. You can repeat the same process for any website too. If you are doing this for your first website, you need to go to Google analytics page and login using your Google account or create an account which is free. For the first time setup, you will be asked to add your website details and your personal details to get started. If you are someone who already have an account, click on admin tab at the top > select account and click on add new property.
On the next page you need to add your website details to get the tracking code. Here is a sample screenshot from one website:
Click on Get tracking ID and you will be moved to the page with tracking ID for your website.
So far you have successfully setup your Google analytics account and created the tracking ID for your website. Now the most interesting part of this tutorial begins; as you need to integrate Google analytics tracking ID into your WordPress blog. Let’s have a look at it into next section.
3 ways to add Google Analytics to WordPress
There are multiple ways to add Google analytics (GA) into your blog, and depending upon your level of blogging you should pick one of the below mentioned methods. I’m putting down the different methods based on my recommended methods
Option 1) Google tag manager:
I started using Google analytics in 2013 and it become my only tag manager for all my sites. It’s free and using it you can manage all the tags for your blog from one place. I recommend GTM to every professional and serious blogger. It hardly takes 5 minutes to setup and once you are done, you don’t have to worry about tag management in future. Here is a 5 minute tutorial on integrating GTM on your WordPress blog.
Option 2) Using your WordPress theme:
Many of you might not beware of the fact that most of the WordPress theme have an option to add header and footer script. You can use this to add GA tacking code into your blog. Simply copy the tracking code which you obtained in the step1, and go to theme setting option, look for option to add footer script and paste the code. It will work seamlessly and more over you don’t have to rely on another plugin for simple task. The above screenshot is from popular Genesis theme framework.
Option 3: Using Google Analytics for WordPress plugin
There are many plugins which are available in WordPress Plugin repo to add Google analytics to your WordPress blog, but Google Analytics plugin by Yoast is the best. All you need to do is to install GA for WordPress plugin from official repo (plugin link) and configure it, which I have explained below. Once you have activated the plugin, you will see a popup asking to allow or disallow tracking, which I prefer to select “Do not allow tracking”.
Go to settings > Google analytics to configure the plugin and click on click here to authenticate with Google or you can also select manually enter the UA code.
Click on save settings and you have successfully configured the plugin. You can also check this official guide by Yoast to configure other options of the plugin. If you want to see Google analytics data in your dashboard, Analytify is one useful plugin for you.
Of all the 3 options, I would recommend you to use the Google tag manager option as it will make your life easier in longer run. Here are essential GA tutorials for bloggers to move ahead in the series:
- Custom Google analytics dashboard to get more out of it
- How to find blog top landing page using Google analytics
Do let me know which method you are using to add Google analytics to your blog and what other stats program you are using to track visitors on your blog. Don’t forget to share this tutorial with your friends on Google plus and Facebook.